THE HAGUE, Netherlands — 7 October 2019 — Safety and security specialists gained requisite skills to mitigate risks arising from chemical accidents and the potential misuse of toxic chemicals, including the threat of terrorism, during a training on ports and maritime chemical safety and security management, in Doha, Qatar from 30 September to 2 October 2019.
In his opening statement, Vice Chairman of the NCPW, Colonel Khalif Mohammed Al Ali spoke about the wider context in which the training is taking place, particularly “the challenges facing the world related to the ports and maritime security, and our region.”
He added that “security and safety in sea port is one of the most important pillars” for ensuring chemical safety and security and promoting economic and technological development.
Senior Programme Officer of the International Cooperation Branch of the OPCW, Dr. Rohan Perera, outlined the key objectives of the training during his opening speech, which included: “improving cooperation between ports and maritime authorities and developing a closer partnership between the two sectors.”
“With that, we aim to raise global standards and set norms for the safety, security, and efficiency of ports and coastal State authorities; and standardise port procedures through identifying and developing best practice guidance and training materials for secure transfer of hazardous chemicals.”
The training provided a platform for attendees to share their views on new approaches to building strong ports and maritime security to transfer hazardous chemical in more secure manner. Areas addressed include: aspects of port and maritime chemical safety and security management, port security plans and assessments, risk management, and chemical emergency management.
The training was organised by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in collaboration with the National Committee for the Prohibition of Weapons (NCPW) of Qatar.
The training was attended by representatives from port authorities, coast guards, and maritime security authorities from the following States Parties: Bangladesh, China, Iraq, India, Kenya, Malaysia, Philippines, Pakistan, Qatar, Spain, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam.
As the implementing body for the Chemical Weapons Convention, the OPCW, with its 193 Member States, oversees the global endeavour to permanently eliminate chemical weapons. Since the Convention’s entry into force in 1997, it is the most successful disarmament treaty eliminating an entire class of weapons of mass destruction.
Over 97% 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.