Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons opens new training facility

The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) opened a new international training laboratory facility in Rijswijk, the Netherlands, in a ceremony on Friday.

This facility allows OPCW personnel to train laboratory employees across the globe in order to be able to have their facility obtain the OPCW-Designated Laboratory status. With this facility in the Netherlands, the OPCW will be able to facilitate growth of its international network of partner laboratories and allow more institutions to test samples under OPCW guidelines.

“This new facility is a solid investment in chemistry working for peace," OPCW Director-General Ahmet Üzümcü said. "It will significantly enhance the reach and effectiveness of the OPCW’s verification activities, as well as build analytical chemical capability."

There are currently 21 laboratories with the OPCW-Designated distinction. Samples that are studied at these facilities come from fact-finding missions that the organization takes on in cases of suspected abuse or violation of the Chemical Weapons Convention by a state actor. These facilities and six partner institutions provided a key portion of analysis that allegations of chemical weapon use had occurred in Syria in 2013.

Training of laboratory staff takes place in a week-long course, during which they cover techniques and processes that are required and tested in the OPCW Proficiency Test, which determines eligibility for designation.

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Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons

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