Portable devices and development of methods for discovery of chemical weapons

We need smaller devices and faster analytics in order to help the victims of an attack with chemical weapons as soon as possible on site, OPCW Director-General Ahmet Üzümcü said during his visit to the University of Helsinki.

Turkish-born Ahmet Üzümcü is director of the Organisation to Prevent the use of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), which received the Nobel peace prize in 2013.

A job for the university

The international organisation depends on national research institutes for analysis and research.

In Finland, VERIFIN at the University of Helsinki is the national authority defined in the international ban on chemical weapons, which can analyse bio-medical or environmental samples on the authorisation of the OPCW.

-VERIFIN also carries out research and development of methods, as well as an extensive educational programme, Director Paula Vanninen from VERIFIN says.

Locked-up chemicals

Many routinely used chemicals can be misused as weapons.

-If you use chemicals to harm other people on purpose, you are breaking the ban on chemical weapons, Üzümzü says.

OPCW aims at promoting the safe use of chemicals and requires its member states to control the use of chemicals and stop dangerous chemicals from ending up in the hands of terrorists.

Director-General Ahmet Üzümcü visited Finland in connection with celebrating 20 years since the establishment of the OPCW.

More details

Director, Professor Paula Vanninen, VERIFIN, University of Helsinki

Email: paula.vanninen@helsinki.fi

Tel. 02941 50444, GSM 040-550 2204