OPCW hosts second regional assistance and protection course for Latin America, Caribbean
The program was hosted in San Jose, Costa Rica, and was organized by both the OPCW and the Costa Rican National Authority to the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) and the National Fire Fighter Academy.
The OPCW reports that 27 participants representing 15 countries were in attendance for the five-day course.
The main focus of the training course was the proper use of personal protection equipment and techniques for the containment and decontamination of an area affected by a chemical attack or incident. The course also focused on facilitating usage of incident command system techniques and to foster coordination improvements among first response personnel. Instructors from St. Kitts and Nevis, Argentina and Guatemala also provided instruction through the Instructor Exchange Program.
Among the countries represented were Barbados, Argentina, Dominica, El Salvador, Ecuador, Guatemala, Grenada, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Paraguay, Uruguay, St. Kitts and Nevis and hosting country Costa Rica.
The OPCW acts as the international enforcement entity of the CWC, which prohibits the use, development, stockpile of chemical weapons and other related activity. The OPCW hosts training for all global regions for state parties and focuses on emergency preparedness and medical response, analytical chemistry techniques, implementation activity and other subject areas. The OPCW also takes part in fact-finding missions to determine the validity of chemical abuse reports or CWC violations.