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Promoting the peaceful use of chemistry: Chemicals convention celebrates 20 years


18 Apr 2017


Innovation & Enterprise

Brussels, 18 April 2017 – This year marks 20 years since the launch of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), a Nobel prize-winning organisation that aims to prevent the misuse of chemicals. A range of high-level events and initiatives have been organised to mark this special milestone.

Cefic, along with its global counterpart, the ICCA (International Council of Chemical Associations) actively contributes to the goals of the organisation, and welcomes OPCW’s effectiveness over the decades in banning the use of chemical weapons. Cefic strongly condemns the recent misuse of chemicals during a tragic attack in Syria, and underlines its continued support for the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) towards the full implementation of a global ban on any chemical weapons-related activity.

A Commemorative Ceremony in the presence of His Majesty King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands will kickstart the anniversary on 26 April 2017 in The Hague, The Netherlands. A dedicated website has been launched sharing a further list of related events taking place in countries protected by this important convention.

OPCW achievements

Since the CWC entered into force nearly 20 years ago, some 2,600 inspections have taken place at over 1,100 industry facilities in 81 nations worldwide. Over the past twenty years, approximately 95 per cent of chemical weapon stockpiles declared by possessor states have been eliminated under the watchful eye of the OPCW. This remarkable achievement is the result of a global endeavour – involving nations, industry, scientists, and civil society – to create and enforce the world’s most successful disarmament treaty. Through this powerful international legal regime, an entire category of weapons of mass destruction is nearing complete eradication.

Cefic and OPCW

Through its Responsible Care programme, Cefic and its member companies help prevent chemicals used lawfully being diverted to the production of chemical weapons. Cefic takes part in outreach meetings of the OPCW in CWC member countries, to leverage its Responsible Care programme in other regions. This provides a basis for industry best practice to address process safety, product stewardship and security.

About OPCW

The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons is the implementing body for the Chemical Weapons Convention, which entered into force on 29 April 1997. The OPCW, with its 192 Member States, oversees the global endeavour to permanently and verifiably eliminate chemical weapons. For its extensive efforts in eliminating chemical weapons, the OPCW received the 2013 Nobel Prize for Peace. One hundred and ninety-two countries committing themselves to the Chemical Weapons Convention have made it possible for 98 per cent of the global population to live under the Convention’s protection.

Contact: Dervla Gleeson, Cefic Media Relations Manager ( / +32 (2) 676 7289)



About Cefic:

Cefic, the European Chemical Industry Council, is the Brussels-based organisation that represents the European chemical industry. Created in 1972, it represents 29,000 companies that produce about a fifth of the world’s chemicals and employs around 1.2 million people. To learn more about Cefic, visit our Web site at


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