The Director-General of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), Ambassador Ahmet Üzümcü, applauded the complete elimination of the Category 2 chemical materials removed from Libya and transported to Germany for destruction at ceremony hosted by the Government of Germany and held on 11 January at the chemical weapons destruction facility operated by GEKA mbH in Munster, Germany.
In attendance were high-level Libyan and German officials, including: Minister of Foreign Affairs of Libya, H.E. Mr Mohamed Taha Siala; State Secretary, German Federal Ministry of Defense, Dr Katrin Suder; Deputy Federal Commissioner for Disarmament and Arms Control, German Federal Foreign Office, Ms Susanne Baumann; as well as the Permanent Representatives to the OPCW for Libya, Dr Ali Gebril Werfeli, and for Germany, Ambassador Christine Weil.
The Director General stated in his remarks:
“Today’s event marks a historic occasion for disarmament and international security. It heralds the end of Libya’s chemical demilitarisation process and another step towards fulfilling the core goal of the Chemical Weapons Convention – the complete and permanent eradication of all chemical weapons.”
He further expressed that “the removal and destruction of approximately 500 metric tonnes of Libya’s Category 2 chemical agents was an extraordinary operation that necessitated agility, creativity, and above all close international cooperation”. The Libya operation represents “a prime example of the OPCW’s motto – working together for a world free of chemical weapons – in action”.
During the ceremony, the Director-General presented a certificate to the Libyan government in recognition of the complete destruction of all its declared chemical weapon stockpiles.
GEKA’s highly-capable specialised facility in Munster was designated to destroy the chemical weapons stockpile removed from Libyan territory in an international operation coordinated by the OPCW in 2016. The OPCW verified the completed destruction of these materials at GEKA on 23 November 2017.
The Executive Council of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) on 20 July 2016 adopted a decision calling for necessary international assistance in response to the Libyan Government of National Accord’s request for help destroying its remaining Category 2 chemical weapons on an expedited basis outside of Libya.