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Modelling Multilateral Disarmament:
The Chemical Weapons Experience

H.E. Mr Ahmet Üzümcü, Director-General of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).

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H.E. Mr Ahmet Üzümcü was appointed Director-General of the OPCW in December 2009 by the 14th Session of the Conference of the States Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention and began his first term of office on 25 July 2010. He was reappointed for a second term at the 18th Session of the Conference of State Parties in December 2013. Immediately prior to his appointment as OPCW Director-General, he served as the Permanent Representative of the Republic of Turkey to the United Nations Office at Geneva.

Ambassador Üzümcü is a career diplomat with vast experience in multilateral diplomacy. During the past decade he has represented Turkey at the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Council, the Conference on Disarmament, the United Nations and other international organisations in Geneva. Ambassador Üzümcü chaired the Conference on Disarmament for four weeks in March 2008 and attended various disarmament-related meetings and conferences in Geneva, Brussels and elsewhere. He has a thorough understanding of and considerable expertise in political-military affairs, disarmament and proliferation issues.

Previously, Ambassador Üzümcü served as Deputy Undersecretary of State for Bilateral Political Affairs at the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. From June 2002 to August 2004, he was the Permanent Representative of Turkey to the NATO Council in Brussels. He held the post of Ambassador of Turkey to Israel from 1999 to 2002. From 1996 to 1999, he headed the Personnel Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Ankara. Prior to that, he served in various posts at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as well as at the Turkish delegation to NATO (1986-1989), the Turkish Embassy in Vienna (1979-1982) and as a Consul in Aleppo, Syria (1982-1984).

In addition to his diplomatic experience, Ambassador Üzümcü served in an international capacity as a staff member of NATO’s Political Directorate from 1989 to 1994, where he contributed to work on NATO’s Partnership for Peace initiative in the immediate aftermath of the Cold War and travelled extensively in Eastern European countries and the former USSR.

Ambassador Üzümcü was born in Armutlu, Turkey on 30 August 1951 and holds a Bachelors Degree in International Relations with a specialisation in Public Administration from the Faculty of Political Sciences, Ankara University. He speaks English and French fluently, is married and has a daughter.

Ambassador Üzümcü received the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of the OPCW in December 2013. In January 2014, he was awarded the Medaglia d’Onore and the Sigillum Magnum by the University of Bologna in Italy