OPCW ‘train-the-trainer’ event supports sustainable national capacity building efforts

Course trains national instructors to further build domestic chemical emergency response capacity

18 February 2022
OPCW ‘train-the-trainer’ event supports sustainable national capacity building efforts

THE HAGUE, Netherlands—18 February 2022— National emergency response trainers from every geographic region in the world strengthened their teaching skills during an online course for instructors held from 15 – 17 February. The course was conducted by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in collaboration with the Population Protection Institute of the Fire Rescue Service of the Czech Republic.

The three-day course builds a foundation to have in place a cadre of trained national instructors to further enhance the chemical emergency preparedness capacity of OPCW Member States.

During opening remarks, Lt Col Ladislava Navrátilová, course leader from the Population Protection Institute, stated: “The participants in this course are equipped and able to train others in how to manage chemical incidents.  Our Institute is committed to working with the OPCW to strengthen chemical safety and emergency preparedness in all geographic regions.”

The Head of the OPCW’s Assistance and Protection Branch underlined: “Sustainable capacity building is key to building strong regional response capabilities against chemical incidents. By expanding the number of national instructors, OPCW Member States will be better prepared to respond should the worst occur.”

The course was aimed at fire and rescue instructors, first responders, and military chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) specialists, who train and routinely share expertise with colleagues in their national institutions. Participants enhanced their knowledge of chemical warfare agents, theoretical aspects of detection, identification, sampling, and individual protection, as well as decontamination and treatment techniques used during chemical incidents. Additionally, the course covered teaching strategies for instructors. 

Since December 2021 the OPCW’s emergency response ‘train-the-trainer’ programmes have resulted in 33 instructors being trained. The programme will be conducted again in April 2022 for other OPCW Member States.

This online course was attended by 14 participants representing the following 12 OPCW Member States: Angola, Armenia, Bangladesh, Brazil, Italy, Iraq, Nigeria, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, Senegal, Spain, and Ukraine.  


OPCW ‘train-the-trainer’ event supports sustainable national capacity building efforts


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 99% 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.

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