ACS recognizes the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons

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DENVER, March 22, 2015 — The Board of Directors of the American Chemical Society (ACS) will recognize the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) for its tireless efforts in promoting the peaceful use of chemistry at the Society’s 249th National Meeting & Exposition.

The commendation will be received by the Director-General of the OPCW, H.E. Mr. Ahmet Üzümcü. The ACS national meeting features nearly 11,000 reports on new advances in science and other topics. It is being held here through Thursday.

In recognizing the OPCW, the leadership of the ACS emphasizes once again its promotion of the peaceful application of the chemical sciences as a benefit to the Earth and its people. In 2013, the exceptional work of the OPCW was acknowledged when the organization was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for its extensive efforts to eradicate chemical weapons. Its accomplishments were most recently demonstrated in Syria, where it has supervised the elimination of Syria’s chemical weapons program. To date, 98 percent of the chemical weapons declared by the Syrian government have been destroyed.

ACS prioritizes the positive uses of chemistry. Promoting the work of organizations such as OPCW fulfills the Society’s goal of educating the public on the positive impacts that the chemical sciences provide.

Additionally, the ACS has maintained a strong interest in exploring the nexus of science and human rights for a number of years. Through monitoring cases of scientists at risk of rights abridgement to participating as a founding member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Science and Human Rights Coalition to hosting a variety of events, ACS is committed to encouraging scientists and human rights professionals alike to be cognizant of this connection. The activities of the OPCW are prime examples of making this connection.

A related symposium titled “The Interface of Chemical and Biological Sciences International Disarmament Efforts” will be held on Tuesday, March 24, at the meeting. This symposium is sponsored by ACS Science and Human Rights.

The ACS applauds the work of the OPCW and looks forward to supporting the OPCW’s mission through collaborations and continued activities.

OPCW was established when the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) entered into force in 1997, and the mission of the organization is based on four key provisions as listed in the convention: destroying all existing chemical weapons under international verification by OPCW; monitoring the chemical industry to prevent new weapons from re-emerging; providing assistance and protection to States Parties against chemical threats; and fostering international cooperation to strengthen implementation of the Convention and promote the peaceful use of chemistry. In pursuit of these provisions OPCW has conducted more than 5,000 inspections around the world, including some 2,500 at industrial plants in more than 80 countries. Membership is composed of the 190 states that have adopted the CWC.

The American Chemical Society is a nonprofit organization chartered by the U.S. Congress. With more than 158,000 members, ACS is the world’s largest scientific society and a global leader in providing access to chemistry-related research through its multiple databases, peer-reviewed journals and scientific conferences. Its main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio.

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