Ambassador Teshome Toga Presented his Credentials to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons

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Ethiopian Ambassador to the Benelux and Baltic States and the EU institutions, Mr Teshome Toga presented his letter of credence as the Permanent Representative of Ethiopia to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). The ceremony took place on September 2, 2014, at the Headquarters of OPCW in the Hague, Netherlands. During the meeting, Ambassador Teshome Toga reaffirmed Ethiopia’s readiness to work together with the organization and cooperate with it in areas such as chemical industries’ security and safety, as well as technology transfer.
The Director General of the OPCW, H.E. Mr Ahmet Üzümcü, on his part talked about the OPCW and how the organization is striving to attain a chemical weapons free world. He pointed out that the OPCW is the second largest international organization by membership after the UN. During the discussion, he noted that in the last 17 years the Chemical Industry has shifted from European countries to the developing countries, mainly in Asia, because it has become increasingly necessary to develop the capacity of developing countries to prevent their vulnerabilities to associated threats such as terrorism and environmental disaster. He also pointed that this includes supporting state parties to enact national legislations in line with the Chemicals Weapons Convention (CWC).
In this regard, he recalled that Ethiopia has been benefiting from the capacity development program of OPCW and would benefit of such training for more experts in the future. Moreover, the Director General expressed his readiness to provide internship programs for Ethiopian experts in the view of developing their technical skills in the chemical industry. He also indicated that he would like to see Ethiopia play an active role in the OPCW activities. With this, the Director General extended an invitation to Ambassador Teshome Toga to the Commemoration of the victims of the first use of Chemical Weapons during the First World War, which will be held on April 21, 2015 in the Hague.
Ambassador Teshome Toga, the Permanent Representative of Ethiopia to OPCW, on his part thanked the Director General for the capacity development activities and the trust OPCW endowed to Ethiopia and assured the Director General that OPCW is one of the organizations Ethiopia will continue to work together with, in respecting the Chemicals Weapons Convention (CWC). Ambassador Teshome indicated that OPCW could be able to maximize its effectiveness in reaching the African region by working closely with Pan African Parliament and other Sub regional legislative bodies. He further stated his country’s readiness to play an active role in the OPCW via the membership of the OPCW Executive Council and expressed the willingness of Ethiopia mission to assume one of the next Executive Council seats representing the African region.
The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) is an independent, autonomous international organisation with a working relationship with the United Nations. Its Goal is preventing chemistry from ever again being used for warfare, thereby strengthening international security. The OPCW is the implementing body of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), which entered into force in 1997. As of today OPCW has 190 Member States, who are working together to achieve a world free of chemical weapons.

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