Latin American countries participate in chemical emergency response training

The government of Argentina and the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) co-sponsored an emergency response course from May 19-24 in Buenos Aires.

The third Advanced Regional Assistance-and-Protection Course on Chemical Emergency Response for State Parties in Latin America and the Caribbean (GRULAC) saw 35 specialists from 19 countries participate. Advanced instruction was provided in the use of self-contained breathing apparatuses and rescue and decontamination techniques.

The course also included emergency planning training for incidents involving chemical agents used in an attack and toxic industrial chemicals.

The training was part of an offer made by the Argentinian government under Article X of the Chemical Weapons Convention, and was the second stage of the Assistance-and-Protection project for GRULAC in 2014. The final stage of the training cycle will be held in Brazil in August of this year.

GRULAC is a non-binding U.N. regional group made up of 33 member states, and one of five such regional groups.

OPCW is the implementing body of the Chemical Weapons Convention and was founded in 1997. The convention currently has 190 member states, which collaborate to eliminate chemical weapons. OPCW is run by an executive council made up of 41 members elected to two-year terms.