As a member of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), Singapore has the obligation to enforce the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) at domestic level. By developing and enacting the necessary legislation, Singapore has already met this obligation. It has a national authority in charge of coordinating and monitoring the implementation of the CWC. Singapore has also an OPCW designated laboratory which is a significant contribution to the OPCW’s work.
Singapore can do more by sharing its best practices with other members. On “port security”, the briefing at the OPCW two years ago was well received. It can organize capacity building activities for experts from ASEAN members and other countries on chem-bio aspects of the port security. The laboratory in Singapore may help other countries to train experts and help build their own laboratories. A new OPCW Chem Tech centre is being established in The Hague. The project is expected to be completed in 2022. Singapore can contribute to training and research activities to be conducted at the centre.
Singapore is self-sufficient in terms of capabilities that the OPCW could help to develop. However, by sharing its knowledge and experience with the countries in the region, Singapore would bolster regional security on the one hand and further promote its image in international fora on the other.
About the Speaker
Ambassador Ahmet Üzümcü was Director-General of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in The Hague from July 2010 to July 2018. He is a career diplomat with vast experience in multilateral diplomacy.
Prior to his appointment as OPCW Director-General, Ambassador Üzümcü served as the Permanent Representative of the Republic of Turkey to the United Nations Office in Geneva from 2006 to 2010. In an earlier assignment, he was the Permanent Representative of Turkey to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Council in Brussels, from 2002 to 2004. Ambassador Üzümcü also held the post of Ambassador of Turkey to Israel, from 1999 to 2002.
In the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Ankara, Ambassador Üzümcü has served, inter alia, as Deputy Under-Secretary of State for Bilateral Political Affairs in charge of Russia, Central Asia, Caucasus, the Middle East, Asia and Africa, from 2004 to 2006 and as Head of the Personnel Department from 1996 to 1999.
From 1989 to 1994, Ahmet Üzümcü served in an international capacity as Staff member in NATO’s Political Directorate. During this posting he contributed to NATO’s initiatives in the aftermath of the Cold War, such as the Partnership for Peace (PfP). In this capacity he travelled extensively to Eastern European countries and former Soviet Republics.
Ambassador Üzümcü received the Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of the OPCW in December 2013. In December 2015, H.E. Mr Laurent Fabius, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development of France, decorated Ambassador Üzümcü with the Légion d’honneur (rank of officer).
Ambassador Üzümcü is fluent in English and French and a native speaker of Turkish. He is married and has one daughter.