OPCW Director-General uzumcu visits U.S. to tour chemical weapon destruction facilities

Ahmet uzumcu, the director-general of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, accompanied a delegation on a recent U.S. visit to tour the sites of new facilities to destroy chemical weapons.

uzumcu visited the two chemical weapon destruction facilities with a delegation of OPCW executive council members between May 19 and May 24. Council delegates make annual visits to the U.S. and Russia to monitor progress toward the elimination of chemical munitions.

The delegation visited the Pueblo Chemical Depot in Colorado and the Blue Grass Army Depot in Kentucky to review the status of CWDFs being built in the two locations. uzumcu and the other delegates visited the sites and received detailed briefings on plans to complete the destruction of U.S. chemical munitions from the two facilities. The delegates learned of the Assembled Chemical Weapons Alternatives program, which is the federal authority that oversees the two CWDFs.

The OPCW delegation also met with representatives of community-based citizens' groups to listen to their opinions and concerns on the initiatives to destroy the chemical arms.

The delegation will issue a formal report of the delegation visit and submit the report for consideration during the OPCW executive council's 73rd session in mid-July.

uzumcu was also the featured guest in a discussion forum on the Chemical Weapons Convention at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.

The delegation included the council chair and representatives of each of the OPCW regional groups, in addition to the state party representatives of South Africa, Russia, Japan and Libya.