Press release 218/2013
11 October 2013
Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja extends warm congratulations to the winner of the Nobel Peace Price 2013, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), for the recognition it received. The OPCW’s long-term work for the implementation and overseeing of the International Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) deserves this honour. Finland has been supporting the OPCW since its establishment.
The OPCW is facing a challenging task when implementing the steps taken by the international community to eliminate Syria’s chemical weapons. Finland gives its full support to the OPCW and the UN’s important task in Syria.
189 states have joined the International Chemical Weapons Convention. Finland has provided strong support for the Convention since its inception. The CWC has practically set a world-wide standard. As Syria’s example shows, the international community strongly condemns the use of chemical weapons.
In Finland, the Finnish Institute for Verification of the Chemical Weapons Convention (Verifin), located in Helsinki, has been an important supporter of the OPCW’s work. The latest example of this is Verifin’s role as one of the laboratories chosen by OPCW to analyse material collected by the UN fact-finding mission on suspected use of chemical weapons in Syria. Operations of Verifin are mainly funded by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland. Finland values the trust endowed on Verifin and its internationally recognised status. Verifin just celebrated its 40th anniversary, with the OPCW Director-General Ahmet Üzümcü as guest speaker. The OPCW Executive Council, which convened in the Hague last week, also unanimously appointed Üzümcü for a new four-year term of office.
Additional information: Tarja Kantola, Special Adviser to the Foreign Minister, tel. +358 40 590 4119; and Hanna-Leena Korteniemi, First Secretary, Unit for Arms Control, tel. +358 295 351 594