OPCW Concludes Cooperation Agreement with Italian University on Master’s Course in CBRNe Protection

24 June 2013

The OPCW and the University of Rome Tor Vergata concluded a cooperation agreement on 20 June 2013 under which the Technical Secretariat will support the university’s postgraduate course in protection against Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and explosive (CBRNe) events. It is the first such agreement the OPCW has made with a university in this field.

This Master course prepares operational officials, decision-makers, advisers, and professional First Responders to face CBRNe threats. The University of Rome Tor Vergata will provide graduate students lectures, theoretical knowledge and Live Agent Training with the OPCW’s cooperation and the support of the Italian Prime Minister’s Office, Ministries of Defence and Interior, Institute of Health (ISS) and public and private national entities. Classes and lectures will take place at the University’s premises while the practical training activities will be carried out at specialised European facilities: Joint CBRN Defence Coe and Vyskov’s VVU Centre (Czech Republic), NATO School (Germany), NBC School of Rieti (Italy), Seibersdorf Laboratories (Austria), and Chernobyl Centre (Ukraine). 

As the world’s only organisation dedicated to the elimination of an entire category of weapons of mass destruction, the OPCW will make available to the course the expertise and knowledge it has developed during 16 years of hands-on experience with destroying chemical weapons and conducting thousands of industry verification inspections. 

On the occasion of the agreement signing the OPCW Director-General, Ambassador Ahmet Üzümcü, said: “It is only through innovative relationships such as we have concluded with the University of Rome Tor Vergata that we are able to ensure that the OPCW’s knowledge and expertise, so hard won, is disseminated to new generations of professionals dedicated to eliminating weapons of mass destruction.”

While appreciating the role of Prof. Lauro, Rector of the University of Rome Tor Vergata, and Prof. Bellecci, Director of the International Master programme, Ambassador Üzümcü also noted the valuable assistance of the Ambassador of Italy in The Hague, H.E. Mr Azzarello, and his staff in bringing about this agreement.

Article X of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) makes provision for cooperation and assistance among States Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention and between States Parties and the OPCW. This important agreement with the University of Rome Tor Vergata, forms an essential element in the building of capacity and expertise to effectively manage incidents involving weapons of mass destruction, and in particular chemical weapons. For the eligibility criteria to participate in the International Master Courses, please see http://www.mastercbrn.com.