THE HAGUE, Netherlands – 26 November 2018 – The annual Day
of Remembrance for All Victims of Chemical Warfare was observed
today in the Ieper Room of the OPCW’s Headquarters. The Ieper Room
is named after the site of the first large-scale chemical weapons
attack in April 1915 in Ieper, Belgium.
The Chairperson of the Conference of States Parties, H.E.
Mr Yun-young Lee of the Republic of Korea opened the commemorative
session. OPCW’s Director-General, H.E. Mr Fernando Arias;
Secretary-General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom
of the Netherlands, H.E. Ms Yoka Brandt; and the Mayor of The
Hague, H.E. Ms Pauline Krikke, delivered statements.
The Director-General noted that the annual ceremony to
remember all victims of chemical weapons is always a “poignant time
that strikes a deep chord within us”. He encouraged the audience to
“take this moment to remember the victims of the past and those of
the present … and to reaffirm our resolve to ensure there are none
in the future”.
To pay homage to the victims of chemical warfare, the
dignitaries laid wreaths and observed a minute of silence at the
The ceremony was attended by representatives of OPCW
Member States, victims’ associations and international
Each year, the Day of Remembrance for all Victims of
Chemical Warfare provides an opportunity for OPCW Member States to
pay tribute to the victims of chemical warfare and to reaffirm
their commitment to exclude completely the possibility of the use
of chemical weapons through the implementation of the provisions of
the Chemical Weapons Convention.
As the implementing body for the Chemical Weapons
Convention, the OPCW, with its 193 Member States, oversees the
global endeavour to permanently eliminate chemical weapons. Since
the Convention’s entry into force in 1997, it is the most
successful disarmament treaty eliminating an entire class of
weapons of mass destruction.
Over 96% of all chemical weapon stockpiles declared by
possessor States have been destroyed under OPCW verification. For
its extensive efforts in eliminating chemical weapons, the OPCW
received the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize.