Winners of 2017 OPCW–The Hague Award Announced
THE HAGUE, Netherlands — The Director General of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), H.E. Ahmet Üzümcü, is pleased to announce the decision of the OPCW-The Hague Award Committee to honour the African Centre for the Study and Research on Terrorism (ACSRT) from Algiers, Algeria, and the International Master Courses in Protection Against CBRNe Events at the University of Rome Tor Vergata, as joint recipients of the 2017 OPCW–The Hague Award.
This is the press of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affair and the words of the Ministry Angelino Alfano of the 27 of November 2017:
Today, at The Hague, the OPCW-The Hague Award 2017 was assigned to two International Master courses in the protection against CBRNe (chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive events) of the University of Rome “Tor Vergata” at the 22ndConference of the States Parties of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.
The 45,000 euro award was handed over to Prof Leonardo Palombi, the Director of the Master Courses and of the Department of Biomedicine and Prevention, by the Director General of the OPCW, Ambassador Ahmet Üzümcü, at the presence of the Italian Ambassador in The Hague and of the Head of the National Authority for the Implementation of the Convention for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.
“Italy staunchly supports any initiative aimed at promoting the implementation of the Convention on Chemical Weapons which prohibits their use and requires their destruction,” said Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano. He added: “My congratulations to Tor Vergata University that, through its curricula, supports this strategic goal.”
The two “Protection from CBRNe events” International Master Courses (1st and 2nd level), entirely taught in English, aim to train professionals to operate on the ground and to provide technical support in managing emergency situations arising from chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear events. Since 2009, the two courses have trained more than 170 experts, becoming a point of reference of absolute relevance in the academic world. The National Authority for the Implementation of the Convention for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons established at the Directorate General for Policy and Security Affairs put up its candidacy for the 2017 prize in close coordination with the Italian Embassy in The Hague.
The OPCW-the Hague Award is a legacy of the OPCW receiving the 2013 Nobel Prize for Peace and it recognises individuals and institutions that make an outstanding contribution towards the goals of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC). The Award was established in 2014 from the monetary prize accompanying the Noble Prize for Peace and is supplemented by the City of The Hague.
Ambassador Üzümcü congratulated the award recipients and stated: “This year’s winners have furthered the goals of the Chemical Weapons Convention to achieve a world free of chemical weapons. Both institutions tackle issues of vital global importance and at the very heart of OPCW’s work now and for years to come“.
These two trend-setting institutions are working to ensuring a world free of chemical weapons in the new security environment. Both awardees have also been addressing the threat of chemical terrorism, the ways to mitigate these risks and the need for further international cooperation.
While ACSRT conducts important research focussing on the Africa region, which occupies a prominent place in the activities of the OPCW, the University of Rome Tor Vergata targets the next generation CBRN practitioners. Both institutions contribute significantly to the OPCW objective of preventing the re-emergence of chemical weapons.
The award ceremony has been held on 27 November in The Hague, during the first day of the Twenty-Second Conference of the States Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention.
The African Centre for the Study and Research on Terrorism (ACSRT) was established in 2004 in Algiers, Algeria, as a structure of the African Union (AU) Commission. ACSRT contributes to and strengthens the capacity of the African Union to prevent and to combat terrorism in Africa.
To achieve its mission ACSRT conducts research and produces studies on terrorism in Africa and develops strategic policy, operational and training mechanisms for the AU and its Member States. The Centre coordinates its activities with the National Focal Points of the 54 Member States of the AU as well as with Regional Focal Points representing the seven Regional Economic Communities.
The two International Master Courses in Protection against CBRNe Events at the University of Rome Tor Vergata, Italy aim to educate the next generation of first responders and advisors to policy makers. Since 2009 the two courses have produced over 170 international experts and developed into a respected academic benchmark in this field. The Master courses contribute to the promotion of the peaceful uses of chemistry among a new generation of CBRNe experts.
As the implementing body for the Chemical Weapons Convention, the OPCW oversees the global endeavour to permanently eliminate chemical weapons. Since the Convention’s entry into force in 1997 – with its 192 States Parties – it is the most successful disarmament treaty eliminating an entire class of weapons of mass destruction.
Over 96 percent 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 Prize for Peace.
Speech for the award: