THE HAGUE, Netherlands – 19 June 2018 – First Responders from Asia increased their skills in handling emergencies involving chemical weapons and toxic industrial chemicals (TICs) during the 13th edition of the Advanced Assistance and Protection Course held for Asian States Parties in Seoul, Republic of Korea, from 4 to 8 June.
Commander of the Korean Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) Defence Command of the Republic of Korea, Brigadier General Yoo-Bong Heo, underscored his country’s readiness to continue contributing, through such training courses, to the goal of the Chemical Weapons Convention: a world free of chemical weapons.
Senior Program Officer from the Assistance and Protection Branch of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), Mr Justo Quintero Mendez, underlined that, OPCW places high priority on boosting regional capacity to respond to chemical attacks or incidents with TICs. He added that, “In these efforts, we enjoy strong support from the Republic of Korea”.
The course was jointly organised by the OPCW and the Republic of Korea’s CBRN Defence Command of the Ministry of Defence.
Sixteen participants represented 13 OPCW Member States: Armenia, Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Cote D´Ivoire, India, Indonesia, Jordan, the Republic of Korea, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, and Sri Lanka.
As the implementing body for the Chemical Weapons Convention, the OPCW oversees the global endeavour to permanently and verifiably eliminate chemical weapons. Since the Convention’s entry into force in 1997 – and with its 193 States Parties – it is the most successful disarmament treaty eliminating an entire class of weapons of mass destruction.
96% 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 Peace Prize.