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EU-CHEM-REACT 2 Table Top Exercise kick-off in Minsk

Over 100 partners and experts representing central and local authorities, industry, academia, civil society and media,  from Belarus, Czech Republic, Moldova, Poland, Ukraine, EU, Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), UN OCHA, gathered on 29 October, 2019 in Minsk, at Minsk University of Civil Protection (http://oic@ucp.by), to  to verify preparedness to local, national and international response to man-made and natural chemical and ecological disasters. During  two day activities the participants  of EU-CHEM-REACT 2 Table Top Exercise (TTX) will test their interoperability, in training mood, with the European Union Civil Protection Mechanism (UCPM) and support of and cooperation with the international partners, including from EU, UN OCHA and OPCW.

The TTX will be continued on 30 October, at International Rescuers Training Centre (http://rescuetraining.ucp.by), near Minsk, with field activities, to demonstrate the capacities and preparedness of Belarus teams and cooperation with international volunteers. The capacities of the Polish volunteer fire fighters will be presented and promoted within the EU Mechanism.

The TTX is attended  gen. Vladimir Vashchenko Belarus Minister Emergencies and international guests, including Mr. Albrecht Broemme, President by German Federal Agency For Technical Relief, gen. Mihail Harabagiu, head of Moldova Fire Service, senior officials in civil protection and volunteer fire service from Lithuania and Poland, including gen. Wieslaw Lesniakiewicz, Vice-President of Polish Volunteer Fire Service Association, and members of Diplomatic Corps in Minsk.

TTX is a first major activity within EU-CHEM-REACT 2 program (www.ecr.iccss.eu), funded by the EU and coordinated internationally by by the International Centre for Chemical Safety and Security (ICCSS), www.iccss.eu. The TTX main task was to consider in practice ways and means to improve national chemical security  regulatory framework development.  Program will be continued with the Control Post Exercise (CPX) in Moldova, in February 2020, and Field Exercise (FsX) in Ukraine, in September 2020, as core event to evaluate progress made in responding to chemical safety and security incidents and misuse of toxic chemicals.

As it was stressed by Amb. Krzysztof Paturej, head of ICCSS and leader of EU-CHEM-REACT 2 program, the TTX, to be followed by incoming exercises, promotes the EU and its values. EU-CHEM-REACT 2 strengthens high level of response within the Union Civil Protection Mechanism (UCPM). He highlighted that the  program is an example of regional cooperation to reduce chemical threats. It is a first cooperation activity among partners from the Eastern Partnership and Three Sees Initiative to prevent, prepare for, and respond to chemical and environmental emergencies.

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