Latin American and Caribbean experts demonstrate response capabilities in OPCW exercise

The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and the Government of the Argentine Republic organized an advanced assistance and protection course and exercise for Latin American and Caribbean OPCW Member States. The Spanish-language course was held in Buenos Aires, Argentina from 5 to 10 September.

The training included comprehensive classes and exercises that covered handling toxic chemicals in multiple environments. Participants reinforced their skills and abilities as members of chemical emergency response teams and built upon competencies gained during an earlier training course held in Panama in April 2022. The course ended with a final exercise where participants demonstrated their newly acquired expertise.

During the opening ceremony, Ambassador Gustavo Zlauvinen, Executive Secretary of the Argentine National Authority for the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), reaffirmed Argentina’s commitment to the implementation of Article X of the Convention in the Latin American and Caribbean region. The ceremony was also attended by the Undersecretary of Foreign Policy of the Argentine Republic, Ambassador Claudio Rozencwaig.

Latin American and Caribbean experts demonstrate response capabilities in OPCW exercise

The Technical Secretariat of the OPCW collaborated with the Argentine National Authority and the Federal Firefighting Superintendency of the Argentine Federal Police to develop and deliver the course.

The course was attended by 23 participants from 15 OPCW Member States: Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, and Uruguay.

Latin American and Caribbean experts demonstrate response capabilities in OPCW exercise

Background

Under Article X of the CWC, Member States “have the right to participate in, the fullest possible exchange of equipment, material and scientific and technological information concerning means of protection against chemical weapons.”

As the implementing body for the Chemical Weapons Convention, the OPCW, with its 193 Member States, oversees the global effort 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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