Joint media release - Support to OPCW investigation mandate

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Related ministers and contacts

The Hon Matt Thistlethwaite MP

Assistant Minister for Defence

Assistant Minister for Veterans’ Affairs

Assistant Minister for the Republic

Media contact

Ben Leeson on 0404 648 275

The Hon Tim Watts MP

Assistant Minister for Foreign Affairs

Ministerial contact

DFAT Media Liaison - (02) 6261 1555

Release content

21 October 2022

Australia has reinforced its support for the vital work of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) by signing a Technical Agreement in Canberra today.

Director General of the OPCW, Fernando Arias, and Australia’s Chief Defence Scientist, Professor Tanya Monro AC, signed the agreement as part of ongoing efforts to prevent the re-emergence of chemical weapons.

Under the agreement, Defence’s Chemical Agents Analysis Facility (CAAF) will play an integral role supporting the OPCW efforts to investigate and verify the alleged use of chemical weapons.

CAAF is one of only 15 laboratories in the world designated to undertake both biomedical and environmental sample analysis for the OPCW.

It will be responsible for preparing proficiency test samples for OPCW-nominated laboratories around the world.

This work will ensure overseas laboratories maintain the highest standards to analyse samples to detect the use of chemical weapons.


Quote attributable to Assistant Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Hon Tim Watts MP:

“Australia strongly condemns the use of chemical weapons. We’re working hard internationally to support all efforts to investigate the alleged use of chemical weapons – and attribute responsibility.”


Quote attributable to Assistant Minister for Defence, the Hon Matt Thistlethwaite MP:

“Australia is committed to supporting the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and its global network of Designated Laboratories, including its mandated role to investigate alleged use of chemical weapons.”

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