Belarus hosts chemical weapons prevention training course for emergency personnel

The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) held a jointly organized international training course for first responders in Russian-speaking countries along with the Belarus government, they announced on Friday.

Eleven countries were represented: Armenia, Bulgaria, Cuba, Georgia, Lithuania, Poland, Russia, Ukraine, Vietnam and the host country, Belarus. A total of 21 participants were present.

The training course focused on protective measures and response and assistance techniques involved in an incident or attack that involves toxic or industrial chemicals and weapons utilizing dangerous substances. Exercises were held in the field and through table-top sessions. Representing each country were members of their respective agencies tasked with the prevention and mitigation of chemical incidents. The course covered topics with respect to the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC).

The 10-day course was held at the Institute for Retraining and Professional Development, in Svetlaya Roshcha, with support from the Belarus Ministry for Emergencies.

The CWC is an international treaty that prohibits the use, development and other proliferation activity relating to chemical arms. As a part of the convention, the OPCW holds regular training courses in areas relating to the convention in all regions of the globe. These course cover a range of topics including emergency response, medical assistance, analytical chemistry practices and implementation.

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Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons

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