THE HAGUE, Netherlands—27 July 2022— The Technical Secretariat of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), in collaboration with the Peruvian National Council for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (CONAPAQ), organised a seminar for experts and professionals from Latin America and the Caribbean to enhance their skills and knowledge to improve chemical safety and security in the region. The seminar was held in Lima, Peru, from 12 to 14 July 2022.
The seminar was aimed at promoting international cooperation in the peaceful uses of chemistry and an integrated approach to the prevention of chemical incidents. Participants shared their experiences and exchanged best practices to enhance regional capabilities.
The workshop included briefings on national experiences in chemical safety management, disaster risk reduction in chemical industry, and chemical threat mitigation strategies.
In his opening remarks, Ambassador Paul Duclos Parodi, Director General for Multilateral and Global Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Peru and President of CONAPAQ, commended the OPCW for its organisation of the workshop and for its achievements in promoting the peaceful uses of chemistry and in preventing chemical incidents.
Mr Cristian Caprari, Health and Safety Manager at the Italian Customs and Monopolies Agency, presented the European Union (EU) legal framework in the field of chemical safety and security. He also provided a briefing on the Major Accident Reporting System (eMARS) database, an EU platform which facilitates the exchange of lessons learned from past chemical accidents. The presentation raised an opportunity for participants to compare the chemical safety and security legal frameworks of Europe and the region of Latin America and the Caribbean and to highlight the needs and the main challenges in the two regions.
The programme was tailored to enhance awareness and understanding of participants, including chemists, scientists, engineers, representatives of National Authority and industries on advancing chemical safety and security management, with particular focus on chemical safety and related best practices.
Major chemical accidents and the causes behind them were highlighted by international chemical safety and security expert, Mr Rohan Perera. Participants gained key insights into these incidents and gained the knowledge required to build comprehensive strategies to prevent similar events from happening again in the future.
The seminar was attended by 36 participants from 10 OPCW Member States: Argentina, Bahamas, Brazil, Chile, Cuba, Guatemala, Panama, Peru, Saint Kitts and Nevis, and Uruguay.
The OPCW Chemical Safety and Security Programme was launched in 2009 and has since then become a leading forum for the exchange and development of expertise in chemical management.
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.