European Union contributes €2.1M to OPCW business continuity

The voluntary funding supports investment in secure digital information and communication infrastructure 

THE HAGUE, Netherlands — 9 September 2021 — The European Union has contributed €2.1M to the Trust Fund for Security and Business Continuity, in support of activities under the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons’ (OPCW) Cyber Security, Resilience and Information Assurance Programme, to be carried out over the next two years.  

The contribution was approved by the Council of the European Union in its 21 June 2021 decision.  

The Director General of the OPCW, H.E. Mr Fernando Arias, on 7 September met with Principal Adviser, European External Action Service, H.E. Ambassador Mika-Markus Leinonen, to thank him for the European Union’s support. 

This contribution will help the OPCW to upgrade its business continuity capabilities, which have significant implications for the integrity of the Organisation’s operations. This targeted funding will allow the OPCW to continue investing in modern secure IT infrastructure, thus ensuring the Organisation is well prepared to meet current and future cybersecurity and cyber resilience challenges.  

Ambassador Leinonen noted: “The objective of this new European Union voluntary financial contribution of €2.1M in support of the OPCW Cyber Security, Resilience and Information Assurance, is to enable the OPCW Technical Secretariat to continue delivering on its mandate in a professional, objective and independent manner, without interference.” 

The Director-General underlined: “The OPCW is deeply grateful to the European Union for this significant contribution, once again demonstrating its unwavering support to the Organisation and its mission to rid the world of chemical weapons. To remain resilient and agile in fulfilling the OPCW’s mission, and to ensure uninterrupted operations at all times, technically advanced cyber solutions are needed. Today’s contribution is an important step towards that goal.”  

Based on common objectives, the EU remains committed to supporting OPCW in its efforts to fulfil the goal of the Convention – a world free of chemical weapons,  thus contributing to international peace and security, as well as international disarmament objectives. Voluntary contributions have been provided throughthe Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) budget since 2004.  

The Trust Fund for Security and Business Continuity helps the OPCW to enhance its digital resilience to ensure that the Organisation’s people, operations and information are protected effectively. The OPCW has been working to ensure greater resilience for its information systems. This includes investments in modern IT solutions that are secure, resilient, and foster collaboration across the Technical Secretariat. Furthermore, the Trust Fund allows the OPCW to deliver solutions and infrastructure that enable meetings and communication with its Member States when in-person events may not be feasible. 

As the implementing body for the Chemical Weapons Convention, the OPCW, with its 193 Member States, oversees the global endeavour to permanently eliminate chemical weapons. Since the Convention’s entry into force in 1997, it is the most successful disarmament treaty eliminating an entire class of weapons of mass destruction.  

Over 98% of all declared chemical weapon stockpiles have been destroyed under OPCW verification. For its extensive efforts in eliminating chemical weapons, the OPCW received the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize.  

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