OPCW holds first meeting of training centers to protect against chemical weapons

A group of state parties with the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons recently attended the first meeting of training centers for assistance and protection under article X of the Chemical Weapons Convention.

The meeting, which took place in Spiez, Switzerland, between July 9 and July 11, acted as a forum for discussion among OPCW state parties that provide training in the area of chemical weapons in cooperation with the OPCW. There were 13 state parties present and actively participating in the discussions, including Ukraine, Switzerland, Slovak Republic, Serbia, Qatar, Poland, Pakistan, Finland, Czech Republic, China, Brazil, Belarus and Argentina.

The meeting gave national experts in assistance and protection training a chance to review relevant OPCW activities conducted in recent years. The experts discussed the harmonization of training related to article X and the further development of regional CWC assistance and protection centers. The meeting helped the participants determine the nature and scope of the training provided by each of the national centers.

Mathias Halter, the head of the Swiss Arms Control and Disarmament Policy, said the meeting was a positive step towards cooperation between state parties in the area of assistance and protection. Halter said future cooperation would be needed to make sure the training center program is a success.