I offer my warm congratulations to Rogelio Pfirter on his election
in The Hague yesterday to the position of Director General of the
Organisation of the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).
The Chemical Weapons Convention is a vital element of global disarmament
and non-proliferation efforts. The OPCW, based in The Hague, is
the international body charged with overseeing the effective implementation
of this Convention.
Australia, an initial signatory to the Convention, has strongly
supported the work of the OPCW since its inception in 1997. In June
Australia co-sponsored and participated in a regional workshop in
Nadi, Fiji, to promote better adherence to and implementation of
the Convention by Pacific Island countries.
Australia looks forward to continuing our active role at the OPCW
in close cooperation with the Technical Secretariat under Mr Pfirter's
Media inquiries: Lyndall Sachs (Departmental) 02 6261 1555