THE HAGUE, Netherlands — 4 August 2017 — Chemistry professionals from Latin America and the Caribbean are better equipped to implement the industry-related provisions of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) after a seminar on chemical safety and security management for chemical industry in Mexico City, Mexico from 17 to 19 July 2017.
The seminar which was conducted by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), presented a step-by-step guide on how to set up and manage an effective safety and security framework in small-and medium-sized chemical enterprises, as well as understanding the approach employed in reducing risks of chemical disaster.
OPCW’s Senior International Cooperation Officer, Mr Rohan Perera pointed out that, “Learning how to reduce and eliminate the safety and security risks at chemical plants is essential for preventing chemical accidents and the potential misuse of chemicals.”
The seminar included briefings on various countries’ experiences in safety management and disaster risk reduction in chemical industries. Other topics comprised industry outreach, chemical safety and security risk assessment for accident prevention and preparedness, disaster risk reduction knowledge approach, and chemical threat mitigation strategies. The speakers were specialists from Mexico’s National Authority and experts from the OPCW.
The 32 attendees representing 15 OPCW Member States comprised a diverse group of individuals ranging from government officials responsible for chemical industries, small to medium-sized chemical industry professionals, to academics and chemists.
After the seminar, a special event was held on 20 July to mark the 20th anniversary of the Chemical Weapons Convention and the OPCW. It was attended by representatives from the Mexico’s Ministry of Defence and Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as well as chemical industry professionals.
As the implementing body for the Chemical Weapons Convention, the OPCW oversees the global endeavour to permanently eliminate chemical weapons. Since the Convention’s entry into force in 1997 – with its 192 States Parties – it is the most successful disarmament treaty eliminating an entire class of weapons of mass destruction.
Ninety-five per cent of all chemical weapon stockpiles declared by possessor States have been destroyed under OPCW verification. For its extensive efforts in eliminating chemical weapons, the OPCW received the 2013 Nobel Prize for Peace.