OPCW holds regional meeting on education and outreach in Asia

OPCW Deputy Director-General Ambassador Grace Asirwatham, left, and Assistant Minister for Foreign Affairs of China Liu Jianchao | Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons
The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) Deputy Director-General Grace Asirwatham and Liu Jianchao, China's assistant minister for foreign affairs, opened the Regional Meeting on Education and Outreach for States Parties in Asia last week.

In her opening remarks at the meeting held in Beijing, Asirwatham noted the important role education and outreach play in securing more effective and broadly based implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention.

"The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and its member states continue to make steady progress in chemical disarmament," Asirwatham said. "Our shared goal of reaching a global zero on chemical weapons and ensuring their non-proliferation is within our reach.  In this regard, education and outreach are crucial in sustaining the achievements of the Convention and its relevance as a global norm against chemical weapons."

She also stressed the necessity to expand the convention's reach within universities, scientific communities and industry in order to foster a culture of responsible science across the globe.

Asirwatham also spoke of verification and industry inspections, including new tools recently devised by the Technical Secretariat of the OPCW for enhancing real-time exchanges of information.

Asirwatham met with Li Yang, China's deputy director-general for disarmament of the ministry of foreign affairs, as well.

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