On December 1, the Federal Republic of Germany made an additional voluntary contribution of 1 million Euro . Most of the project activities financed by this contribution shall be carried out at the new OPCW Centre for Chemistry and Technology (ChemTech Centre). One half of the contribution, 500,00 euros, will be used for training programmes that support capacity building of OPCW staff for non-routine missions. The second half of the donation is earmarked for analytical capacity building of laboratories in Africa.
Ambassador Gudrun Lingner and OPCW Director-General Fernando Arias formalized the German donation by signing a Contribution Agreement on the sidelines of the 26th Conference of the OPCW States Parties.
Ambassador Lingner emphasized the importance of adequate training of OPCW personnel for non-routine missions. The TS capacity with regard to investigation techniques, planning and conducting of fact-finding missions, as well as providing technical assistance to receiving States Parties is particularly relevant in the aftermath of a potential chemical weapons use. It is equally essential to be able to subsequently identify those responsible for the attack. With such capacity building, the implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) can be enhanced. With the second part of the grant, Germany wants to support the capacity building of African laboratories, both through new programmes to be implemented at the ChemTech Centre and through its continued, and increasing support for the Africa programme. Other successful examples of German-African cooperation, such as the laboratory twinning between Algeria and Germany, will continue regardless of this funding.
The ChemTech Centre project aims at strengthening the OPCW's capabilities to combat emerging chemical weapons threats and to provide capacity building for OPCW member states. To meet the Organization's needs for improved verification, detection, and response capabilities, as well as to increase capacities of States Parties and OPCW personnel, a new centre is under construction in which new as well as existing training programs will be implemented. Special training laboratories at the ChemTech Centre will also be used to train personnel for non-routine OPCW missions in the future. The first pillar ceremony for the ChemTech Centre took place in June 2021, and construction is expected to be completed by the end of 2022.
Since 2007, the OPCW's Africa Programme has strengthened cooperation with African member states under the CWC, focusing primarily on regional needs, with a focus on promoting the safe use of chemistry for a developed, secure, and peaceful Africa. Currently, the fifth implementation phase of the OPCW's Africa Programme ( 2020 - 2022) is in progress. The objectives of this program include increasing the effectiveness of African national authorities, sharing knowledge and expertise, and strengthening the capabilities of African laboratories.