OPCW deputy director-general opens regional meeting in Cyprus

Grace Asirwatham, the deputy director-general for the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, visited Nicosia on 27 and 28 May and gave an opening address to the 11th annual meeting of CWC National Authorities of State Parties in the Asia region.

The OPCW is an intergovernmental organization that promotes and verifies the adherence to the Chemical Weapons Convention, which prohibits the use of chemical weapons and asks countries to destroy any stockpiles of them. The OPCW works in cooperation with the United Nations and is located in Hague, Netherlands.

Asirwatham began her address by acknowledging the fact that this was the first time Cyprus had hosted the event. She thanked Cyprus for doing this and expressed appreciation for its significant contribution in advancing the CWC's goals.

She went on to speak about the growing chemical industry in Asia' rapidly expanding economy. Asirwatham said that because of this growing sector in Asia, the important of this region's implementation of the CWC is more important than ever.

Asirwatham also held meetings with Minister of Commerce Yiogos Lakkotrypis, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Ambassador Andreas Mavroyiannis and the heads of the Cyprus National Authority.

Asirwatham also delivered a lecture at the Department of Chemistry at the University of Cyprus.