THE HAGUE, Netherlands–24 November 2020–Four Member States of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), who are also members of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), enhanced their emergency response and protection capabilities against chemical warfare agents during the online Basic Course on Emergency Response to Chemical Incidents. The course was conducted by the OPCW and the Sudanese National Authority for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (SNAPCW) from 23 to 24 November.
The Director General of the SNAPCW, Mr Moawia Osman, stated: “We underline the willingness of the Sudan to continue offering regional capacity building courses as a contribution to the implementation of Article X of the Chemical Weapons Convention, which deals with assistance and protection against chemical weapons.”
OPCW’s Special Advisor on Assistance and Protection, Mr Shawn DeCaluwe, thanked the Sudan for its “sustained commitment to the implementation of the Convention” and commended the Sudanese National Authority for its “substantial progress on chemical response preparedness”.
The participants enhanced their knowledge of protection, detection, monitoring, and decontamination operations, and developed skills in working in contaminated environments, and medical management of chemical casualties. In addition, the training developed basic knowledge in the effective use of incident command systems, as well as specialist applications such as the Wireless Information System for Emergency Responders (WISER), Emergency Response Guidebook (ERG), and Joint Emergency Services Interoperability Programme (JESIP).
The course included 24 participants from the following OPCW Member States: Ethiopia, Kenya, the Sudan, and Uganda.
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 98% of all declared chemical weapon stockpiles have been destroyed under OPCW verification. For its extensive efforts in eliminating chemical weapons, the OPCW received the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize.