Chemical weapons in the spotlight
Durban recently hosted a seminar on Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), which focused on chemical safety and security management. The seminar’s main objective was to increase knowledge and capacity in the African region with regard to Article XI of the Chemical Weapons Convention – with specific focus on chemical safety and security.
Delegates from 20 African countries participated in the seminar. Topics covered areas such as: the need for international cooperation programmes; the state of the management of chemicals in Africa; issues surrounding chemical safety and security; modern approaches to chemical safety; the management of chemical processes and the management of change.
Delegates were given the opportunity to discuss and share information on the trends and current status of chemical safety and security management in their respective countries. They were also taken on a tour of two chemical production sites, where information was shared on how each operation deals with the management of chemical safety and security.
The Chemical and Allied Industries’ Association (CAIA) was also present and discussed the Responsible Care initiative and its benefits. The Association feels that this successful seminar opened the door for further networking opportunities and capacity-building ventures, which will involve both the OPCW and CAIA.
The seminar was well attended by the Chemical Weapons Convention’s African State Parties and plans were made to improve safety and security management on the continent through multilateral engagements.