Director-General Addresses Symposium on Protection Against Toxic Substances in Singapore

Tuesday, 04 December 2012

A screenshot of the Director-General's Keynote. View the address here:

Ambassador Ahmet Üzümcü, the OPCW Director-General, delivered the keynote address via a video message to the Seventh Singapore International Symposium on Protection against Toxic Substances (SISPAT), which was held on 4 December 2012 in conjunction with the International Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Explosives Operations Conference.

In his address [PDF - 26 KB], Director-General Üzümcü described the work of the SISPAT participants as driven by the desire to make people and society safe from the negative or unintended effects of toxic substances. In this regard he said the spirit of the Chemical Weapons Convention remains firmly rooted in preventing the use of any toxic chemicals from causing harm, which he called a “fundamental ethical norm” that will likely gain greater prominence in the OPCW’s future work.

“Developing national protection capacity through international cooperation is the core objective that underpins the OPCW’s response to a risk of chemical attack,” the Director-General said. “In order to maintain preparedness to respond to such threats, we will continue to develop the ability for rapid and coordinated responses at the national, regional, and international levels as outlined by Article X of the Convention.”

The Director-General noted that the OPCW maintains cooperative links with a variety of international organizations that may potentially be involved in an emergency response operation, in order to ensure that assistance is rendered in a cost-effective and coordinated manner. These organisations include the Euro Atlantic Disaster Response Coordination Centre of NATO, the Implementation Support Unit of the Biological Weapons Convention, the International Committee of the Red Cross, the UN Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, and the World Health Organization, inter alia.

The SISPAT symposium serves as an integrated forum for prominent scientists, engineers, medical practitioners, military planners and other professionals from the government, academic and industrial sectors. The symposium is a platform for sharing the latest developments in operations and incidents, emerging protective technologies and measures against CBRN threats.

Categories: Asia, Outreach

For further information, please contact OPCW Public Affairs. +31 (0) 70 416 3242, | ORGANISATION FOR THE PROHIBITION OF CHEMICAL WEAPONS, Johan de Wittlaan 32, 2517 JR The Hague, The Netherlands

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