Latin American, Caribbean states discuss chemical weapons response plans

A workshop to coordinate a timely and effective response plan to chemical weapons attacks was attended by officials from states in Latin America and the Caribbean in Buenos Aires from Oct. 15 to 17.

The workshop was attended by 17 representatives from 13 states. It was organized by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and Argentina's National Authority.

Attendees focused on collaboration efforts through the OPCW to prevent and respond to chemical weapons attacks in the region, as outlined by Article X of the Chemical Weapons Convention.

Article X calls for state officials to facilitate open exchanges that discuss the best investments in equipment and resources, response plans and technological advances that can be used to protect against chemical weapon attacks.

Article X also details the amount of assistance and protection that will be allotted to protect states against chemical weapons through OPCW. Examples of assistance and protection include detection and protective equipment, alarms, decontamination resources and medical treatment.

The workshop emphasized methods to bring about improved communication between states throughout the region. In addition, representatives discussed ways to ensure timely, effective emergency responses to chemical weapons threats or other incidences that involve toxic industrial materials.

Representatives from Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru and Uruguay attended the workshop.