Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) Director-General Ahmet Üzümcü visited Kazakhstan this week, meeting with officials including Minister for Foreign Affairs Erlan Idrissov, Minister for Investment and Development Asset Issekeshov, Minister for Energy Vladimir Shkolnik, First Deputy for Internal Affairs Marat Demeuov and Prime Minister Karim Massimov.
Üzümcü discussed issues and challenges for the continued implementation of the the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC).
"Kazakhstan is an important partner for the OPCW, with strong credentials in disarmament and non-proliferation in a dynamic region," Üzümcü said.
The CWC prohibits the use of chemical weapons along with their development, stockpiling and other proliferation activity. Currently only four countries have not signed the convention and two have yet to ratify it.
During his time in Kazakhstan, Üzümcü was able to visit a wastewater treatment plant in Astana and gave a lecture at the Eurasian National University relating to the challenges in pursuing non-proliferation of chemical weapons on a global scale.
In April, the OPCW commemorated the centennial of the first use of chemical weapons in World War I. On April 22, the Ypres Declaration was announced, reaffirming OPCW's commitment to end chemical proliferation and to hold those who use these weapons accountable.