Table Top Exercise on Preparedness to Prevent Terrorist Attacks Involving Chemicals Held in Poland

26 November 2010

The Table Top Exercise, the first of its kind organised by the OPCW, was held on 22 and 23 November 2010 in Warsaw with 150 participants, including over 70 international representatives from 27 countries, 16 international and regional organisations, and relevant NGOs.

The exercise was designed as a practical response to the growing threat of proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) and terrorism. It was developed within the implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention as a non-proliferation regime and as an input to support OPCW Member States in meeting the challenge of WMD terrorism.

In his opening statement the OPCW Director-General, Ambassador Ahmet Üzümcü, stated that the Table Top Exercise is the beginning of a sustained initiative to promote the OPCW as a platform for consultation and cooperation – both bilateral and regional – on ways to prevent terrorists from acquiring and/or using chemical weapons and to promote chemical security. He said the results of the exercise will be reported by the OPCW Technical Secretariat to the Member States, and that a model environment will be developed for planning and implementing activities to prepare for, prevent, and respond to a release of toxic chemicals by a malicious act. He further noted that Member States in different regions have already expressed an interest in organising similar table top exercises.

Joining the Director-General in opening the exercise were Mr. Jacek Najder, Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Mr Wojciech Lubiewa-Wielezynski, President of the Polish Chamber of Chemical Industry; and other senior Polish officials.

During his visit the Director-General met with Mr Najder and Mr Lubiewa-Wielezynski; with Mr. Dariusz Bogdan, Undersecretary of State, Ministry of Economy; with Mr. Zbigniew Włosowicz, Undersecretary of State, Ministry of National Defence; with Mr. Zdzisław Lachowski, Deputy Head of the National Security Bureau; inter alia. In the meetings he discussed a variety of issues, including the contribution of comprehensive CWC implementation to non-proliferation and global counter-terrorism efforts. He commended Poland for its firm commitment to the Convention and support for the work of the OPCW, and was assured of Poland’s continuing collaboration with the Organisation.

OPCW NEWS  39/2010