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Annual Meeting of National Authorities of State Parties to CWC in Eastern Europe Opened in Tallinn

16.05.2011

No. 177-E

On Monday, 16 May, Foreign Ministry Secretary General Alar Streimann and Director-General of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) Ahmet Üzümcü opened the annual meeting of the national authorities of Eastern European states that are party to the OPCW’s Convention on the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, taking place from 16-18 May in Tallinn.

Estonia views arms control and disarmament as an essential means of ensuring security, and this meeting being hosted in Tallinn is evidence of Estonia’s dedication. The number of countries that have joined the Convention on the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (CWC) clearly indicates that most of the world shares the goal of prohibiting chemical weapons. The convention is a unique means for disarmament and preventing the spread of weapons of mass destruction. Hopefully those countries that have not yet joined the convention will do so soon.

Estonia signed the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling, and Use of Chemical Weapons and Their Destruction on 14 January 1993 and ratified the convention on 25 June 1999. Estonia has fulfilled the obligations set forth by the convention. In 2009 Estonia co-ordinated the co-operation of Eastern European countries in the OPCW.

The convention has been signed by 188 states. The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, which is headquartered in Prague, was established in 1997 on the basis of the Chemical Weapons Convention. The convention prohibits the development, production, stockpiling, and use of chemical weapons.

Additional information about the Convention on the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons can be found on the homepage of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons: http://www.opcw.org/.

In addition to Foreign Ministry Secretary General Alar Streimann, Director-General of the OPCW Ahmet Üzümcü also met with Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Sulev Kannike, chairman of the Riigikogu foreign affairs committee Marko Mihkelson, and Director General of the Health Protection Inspectorate Tiiu Aro. Topics discussed at the meetings were the domestic implementation of the Convention on Chemical Weapons, the final deadlines for destroying chemical weapons, and the challenges standing before the OPCW.

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