THE HAGUE, Netherlands—16 January 2023—Experts from nine African countries strengthened their knowledge in sampling and analysis in a highly contaminated environment during a specialist training programme in Algiers, Algeria held from 18 to 21 December 2022.
The event was organised by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in partnership with the National Institute of Criminalistics and Criminology of the National Gendarmerie, Ministry of National Defence, Algeria. Training participants learned about procedures for sampling and analysis of toxic chemicals, evidence collection and chain of custody techniques.
In his opening statement, General Bourremana Sid Ahmed, Chief of Staff at the Gendarmerie Nationale, remarked: “Algeria fully supports OPCW’s endeavours to make the world a safer place. We appreciate OPCW’s work in enhancing the assistance and protection capabilities in Member States. We pledge to continue supporting OPCW’s efforts to strengthen international cooperation to further build chemical emergency response capacities in Member States.”
The Permanent Representative of the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria to the OPCW, H.E Ambassador Salima Abdelhak, stated: “This training demonstrates Algeria’s willingness to enhance South-South cooperation and its full readiness to benefit African countries by contributing to strengthening the capabilities of African experts in the field of assistance and protection against chemical weapons under Article X of the Convention. Such activities will, without doubt, contribute to the implementation of the Convention on our continent.”
The training was attended by 22 representatives from nine OPCW Member States in Africa: Algeria, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Nigeria, Senegal, 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 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.
The OPCW International Cooperation and Assistance Division provides specialised and technical assistance to Member States to help them meet their obligations under the Convention through a wide range of capacity building activities.
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- Photos from the event
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