Ambassador Fernando Arias Gonzalez of Spain will be the new Director-General of OPCW for the period 2018-22.  His appointment was ratified at the Conference of the State Parties of the OPCW in the Hague at the end of November.

Ambassador Arias was the victor in three successive votes, securing an increasingly larger margin over six other candidates.  His election provides continuity to the work carried out by Spain on the United Nations Security Council from 2015-16, particularly in the field of non-proliferation and disarmament.

OPCW, which was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2013, was set up in 2013 by the State Parties of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.  The Convention, whose State Parties number 192, accounting for 98% of the world’s population, entered into force this year.  It has become the most successful treaty on disarmament ever, and, under the supervision of OPCW, has led to the elimination of approximately 96% of the chemical weapons declared by the States that held such an arsenal.