The third meeting of training centres on assistance and protection under Article X of the Chemical Weapons Convention, organised by National Committee for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, in collaboration with the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), through Doha Regional Center for the Training on Weapons of Mass Destruction, started yesterday.
The two-day meeting is held under the patronage of HE the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State for Defence Affairs Dr Khalid bin Mohammed al-Attiyah.
The meeting will include a discussion on the training programmes provided by the Assistance and Protection Branch of the OPCW with the support of states parties, a review of future projects and the development of states’ capacities in the area of assistance and protection against such weapons.
General Secretary of the National Committee for the Prohibition of Weapons, Lt Abdulaziz al-Ahmad said the meeting, which coincides with the 20th anniversary of the chemical Weapons Convention coming into force, is the core for the establishment of an international network of training centres associated with the OPCW under Article X of the chemical Weapons Convention. These will develop the capacity of states parties to respond to chemical incidents, providing an opportunity for field training for participants in the advanced course.
Speaking at the meeting, al-Ahmad highlighted the role of the State of Qatar in the field of maintaining international peace and security and combating terrorism, in addition to its policies that respect international charters and conventions.
He added that the State of Qatar initiated the signing of the chemical Weapons Conventions and ratifying it the same year it came into force in 1997.
The State also is keen on joining the other treaties related to eradicating weapons and aim to achieve peace and stability in the world, al-Ahmad said.
He added that the State of Qatar is an important partner is implementing the convention and is one of the dedication members in cooperation with OPCW, referring to its embracement to Doha Regional Center for the Training of Weapons of Mass Destruction, where the National Committee for the Prohibition of chemical Weapons expanded its activities to cover all the mass destruction weapons.
Al-Ahmad added that the aim of the centre is training all those related in the private and public sectors as well as researchers to heighten their capabilities in the field of effectively implementing weapons of mass destruction conventions.
The centre also aims to establish co-operation with regional and international organisations and states parties to the convention to develop training programmes on a sustainable basis in the areas of chemical assistance, protection, safety and security, he said.
Al-Ahmad said the centre has so far organised more than 50 national and international training and awareness programmes for high school and university students, workers in chemical industries, customs, chemical trade and civil defence companies.
He called on the international community to do more to strengthen national measures and optimise the use of the chemical Weapons Convention and to support the organisation’s efforts to eliminate these weapons and to prevent them from reaching terrorists and proscribed groups.
On his part, Head of the OPCW’s Assistance and Protection Branch, Shawn DeCaluwe, valued the fruitful co-operation of the State of Qatar with the organisation and its efforts in the training field to implement the conventions related to weapons of mass destruction.
He said the meeting seeks to review all the training programmes adopted with a view to enhancing them and maximising their use to states parties of the convention and ensuring smooth training programmes in the future.
He hoped that the Doha meeting would constitute an important starting point in this regard.
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