Published On: Tue, Jul 9th, 2013

CARICOM Officials to receive training to respond to CBRNE emergency

UNBRIDGETOWN, Barbados – INTERPOL and the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA) will be hosting a two-day workshop from Wednesday, July 10 to Thursday, July 11, which will enable the Member States within the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) to develop capabilities to respond to a national or regional emergency related to the accidental or deliberate use of chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear or explosive (CBRNE) materials.

The workshop, which will be convened in Kingston, Jamaica, will bring together several senior officials representing law enforcement agencies in the region, as well as policy personnel from ministries of foreign affairs and the national security from CARICOM member states. The objective of this initiative is to acquaint security planners and law enforcement with best practices and related methodologies integral to the development and implementation of national emergency response systems to strategic threats and to acquaint them with the critical infrastructure needed to develop adequate national and regional response capacities.

O’Neil Hamilton, the coordinator of a joint CARICOM-United Nations programme aimed at preventing the transshipment, transit or export of CBRNE materials and related technology within the region, has described the workshop as “an important initiative which serves to deepen cooperation between the international community and CARICOM states in facing non-traditional security and potential public health challenges. This also broadens our focus and capability beyond responding to natural disasters to also include events that are of an unconventional nature, resulting from an accident or deliberate action.”

The workshop also represents an expanded engagement between INTERPOL, the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs and CARICOM member states to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction within the Caribbean and to adequately equip regional first responders with the necessary training and expertise to effectively deal with the aftermath of a national catastrophe, particularly resulting from exposure to chemical biological or radiological agents.

In addition to delegations from CARICOM Member States, the meeting will also be attended by Dr. Gabriele Kraatz-Wadsack, Chief of the Weapons of Mass Destruction Branch of the United Nations.

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