OPCW's annual Associate Program on chemical-weapons prevention underway

The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) launched its 16th annual Associate Program late last week at the Hague, Netherlands.

The program focuses on training so that chemistry is utilized for peaceful purposes, involving chemists and chemical engineers from around the globe. Participants also will attend in-depth courses on the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC). The course is 10 weeks long, and this year, 32 participants are representing 30 countries.

Most courses and exercises will take place at OPCW headquarters, and participants will also take part in the "Chemical Engineering-Oriented Skills Development Course" at the University of Surrey in England.

Participants will also spend time learning about country-specific chemical industries in Germany, Brazil, Denmark, Croatia, Japan, Italy, Malaysia and the Netherlands, among others.

During the opening of the course, OPCW Deputy Director-General Hamid Ali Rao welcomed participants and expressed his appreciation on behalf of the organization for the state parties' continued support for the program. Rao also expressed gratitude to regional partners, including the European Chemical Industry Council and the European Chemicals Agency. Locally, the Dutch Customs Authority, the University of Delft and the City of Rotterdam also provided support.

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Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons

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