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OPCW Highly Values Estonia’s Contribution to Destruction of Syria’s Chemical Weapons

08.11.2013

Members of the Executive Council of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) met in The Hague to discuss the latest developments in Syria. The organisation’s Director General Ahmet Üzümcü thanked the countries, including Estonia, who have already supported the organisation’s activities related to the destruction of the Syria’s chemical weapons through financial allocations. In addition to Estonia, the other countries who have contributed to the fund are United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, Switzerland, and the Netherlands.

According to Foreign Minister Urmas Paet, the rapid and complete destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons is necessary to prevent further chemical weapon attacks and the recurrence of war crimes in the future. Paet also emphasised that in conjunction with the destruction of chemical weapons, it is important to continue to pay serious attention to the broader situation in Syria, including the provision of humanitarian aid. “We have taken the position that an enduring peace in Syria can only be accomplished through a political agreement,” said Foreign Minister Paet.

Estonia supported the OPCW’s activities toward the destruction of chemical weapons in Syria with 50,000 Euros. 14 more countries have promised to contribute in the near future. The size of the voluntary donations has now grown to 9.7 million Euros and this will be used to fund the activities of the OPCW mission and inspectors in the current year. Its operating costs for the next year will be financed from the general budget, which is made up of member states’ membership fees.

The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons was founded in 1997 on the basis of the Chemical Weapons Convention. The convention prohibits the development, production, storage, transportation, and use of chemical weapons. The convention has 190 member states.

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