CHEMSS 2016 – an active development of global chemical safety and security

Chaired by Amb. Krzysztof Paturej (President of the ICCSS), the Global Chemical Safety and Security Summit was the first global gathering of stakeholders and shareholders from all sectors of chemical world: the industry, governmental agencies, academia, civil society, non-governmental organizations, independent experts. Chemss2016 and Targi Kielce have gathered over 400 participants from 47 (mainly developing) countries. The largest delegations at Chemss2016 were from China, the USA, Ukraine and Poland. Mateusz Morawiecki, Deputy Prime Minister of Poland, has sent a special address to the Chemss2016 participants in which he emphasized the importance of chemical safety and security in the spheres of international and national security, economic development, environmental protection and international cooperation.

The Global Chemical Safety and Security Summit CHEMSS 2016 acquainted governmental agencies, international organizations, representatives of the industry, the civil defense and first respondents as well as chemical users with the best practices, capacity building and programs enhancing chemical safety and security. This was achieved through numerous sessions, trainings and workshops, case study analyses and development of global chemical safety and security policies as well as through sharing of best practices. The Summit’s agenda included 25 themed sessions and two additional events, Seminar on Integrated Impact Assessment, and the Forum on Cybersecurity and Reliability of Industrial Control Systems led by Poland and the US; practical presentations of the Polish national agendas and the work of companies in response to crises and chemical threat prevention, as well as demonstrations of modern technological solutions and equipment aimed at ensuring chemical and ecological safety and security.

There were concrete arrangements and  agreements achieved during Chemss2016 which build a broad environment for the development of chemical and ecological safety and security on the local, national, regional and global level.

The Summit Declaration on the development of international cooperation to increase chemical safety and security (declaration) was adopted at the Chemss2016 Final Session, chaired by. Mr. Dr. Andrzej Jagusiewicz, ICCSS Director for Eco-development and international relations and co-chaired by Mr. David Wulf, Director at US Department of Homeland Security. It is the first document of this kind in the world, which links process safety with measures against misuse of chemicals and environmental protection and stresses the need for development of a global chemical safety and security culture. The Declaration also endorses the role of ICCSS as an international leader in chemical safety and security.

Chemss2016 participants stressed the importance of the UN Security Council Resolution 1540 (2004) for the development of chemical safety and security as an important element of security on the national and international level.

Chemss2016 participants stressed the role of the Organisation for the Prohibition of  Chemical Weapons (OPCW) as the platform for cooperation in reducing chemical threat.

Chemss2016 participants welcomed the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.

During the African Forum participants declared that chemical safety and security is an important element in the economic growth of security in each country and in the region as a whole and expressed readiness to implement legal and organizational measures to increase the security in economic activities. The African Forum highlighted the role of the Kenyan Program for Chemical Safety and Security, implemented by ICCSS and financed by the Government of Norway, as a model solution for enhancing chemical and ecological safety and security in Africa.

The China Dialogue on Developing Polish-Chinese Cooperation in Reducing Chemical Threats and Enhancing Chemical and Ecological Safety and Security, which took place at Technology Park in Pulawy, Poland, resulted in a Joint Communiqué on Expanding Cooperation (communique) between the International Centre for Chemical Safety and Security (ICCSS) and China Petroleum and Chemical Industry Federation (CPCIF). It was agreed that the ICCSS-coordinated “Local Awareness and Responsibility” program will be implemented in China. The Chinese delegation invited Polish and international partners to further cooperation in development of the local chemical security program, with ICCSS as a point of contact. Chinese partners confirmed their strategic partnership in the preparation and conduct of future Chemss Summits.

During the Ukrainian Forum, a Table Top Exercise “Safe Border” led by Ukraine, Poland and the USA, was held. Its focus was on prevention of illegal transfers of chemicals. The main message of the Ukrainian Forum is a commitment for joint cooperation and help in creation of volunteer fire departments in Ukraine as a part of a program for integrated chemical safety and security in Ukraine which is implemented by OBWE and coordinated by the ICCSS.

The session devoted to Innovative Solutions for Disposal of Hazardous Chemicals concluded with an agreement on setting up a permanent forum for sharing experiences on hazardous chemicals and waste disposal. This will include sharing of experience in utilization of explosives and chemical weapons.

During the Forum on Jordan Preparedness against Chemical Threats, representatives of Jordan and the ICCSS made a statement about a joint initiative to prepare a working document about measures to build trust in chemical safety and security in the Middle East.

Forum on Building Local Awareness, Responsibility, Partnerships and Response to Mitigate Chemical Safety and Security Threats Voluntary Programs confirmed that traditional responses to crises are not sufficient to meet new challenges brought about by the rise of chemical accidents and catastrophes regardless of whether they have natural or human-led causes. In order to meet the potential threats related to dealing with hazardous substances one needs to engage all stakeholders at the local level. These include representatives of: the administration, private sector, industry, civil society and mass media. The Forum expressed support and stressed importance of the ICCSS-initiated program “Local Awareness and Responsibility in Chemical Safety and Security”, as a model program for introducing chemical and ecological safety and security at a local level.

The session on Global Partnership Against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction and the meeting of the Chemical Security Sub-Working Group confirmed support of the members of G7 Global Partnership for the development of chemical safety and security on the global scale.

Seminar on Integrated Impact Assessment for new and existing industrial enterprises indicated the role of the Integrated Impact Assessment in the assessment of the extent in which an investment will influence the environment and whether there is a possibility to decrease this impact.

The sessions on Industry Led Programs to Assist First Responders During a Hazmat Incident, Responsible Agriculture for the Safe and Secure Handling of Fertilizers, Regulatory Programs for the Transportation of Chemicals; Voluntary Programs for the Safe and Secure Transportation of Chemicals all presented best national and industrial programs and practices. These will be further developed during the programs devoted to cooperation and sharing of best practices. It should be emphasized that the US Department of Homeland Security played a leading role in the presentation of best national programs and practices. Among the programs on chemical safety and security in industry and transportation of chemicals programs implemented by DOW Chemical Company were most frequently presented.

The Panel Discussion ‘Encyclical Laudato si’ – “Praised be You” – Pope Francis inspiration for Efforts to Secure Chemical and Ecological Safety and Security raised the topic of the engagement of religious leaders and Church representatives in the protection of environment. The session confirmed that the Encyclical serves as an inspiration for practical actions in environmental protection and enhancement of environmental and chemical safety and security.

During the Summit, the Chemical Security Milestone Awards were officially presented. They were funded by the ICCSS and awarded for personal accomplishments in development of chemical safety and security in the world. The Chemical Security Milestone Awards were given in the following categories: Personality (Amb. B. Jenkins, US Department of State), Public Administration (M. Borowski, Head of Technical Inspection Office, Poland), International Organisation (Amb. V. Verba, OBWE in Kiev), Industry (T. Scott, DOW Chemicals), Science (Prof. M. Martellini, Italy), Civil Society (O. Sadovsky, Ukrainian Chemists Union). Special Distinctions were granted to: Amb. K.Mworia from Kenya; D.Wulf, US Department of State; Amb. H.Farajvand from Iran, and A.Mochoń, CEO of Targi Kielce.

Over 50 exhibitors participated in the Fair. They showed latest technical solutions and equipment in the chemical and ecological safety and security. The Chem-Arena Demonstrations, which included speeches and presentations by companies about specific products, were an important element of the Fair. The Exhibitors confirmed support and readiness to join program “Local Awareness and Responsibility in Chemical Safety and Security”, by developing and providing technologies, equipment and trainings in chemical and ecological safety and security.

During the Concluding Plenary Session it was confirmed that the Global Chemical Safety and Security Summit will be organized every year. The location and date of Chemss2017 will be announced soon.

Training for Yemen

The Trainees completed successfully the training and received Diplomas. The training broadened the knowledge and the practical experience of the participants on chemical safety and security through a series of lecture, meetings and practical presentations. 

It has to be stressed that the Yemeni trainees confirmed their knowledge and experience in chemical safety issues and the environment protection. They actively participated in the training activities and shared with their experience.   

The trainees received a holistic overview of the topic on safe and secure management of chemicals. At the same time a number of gaps have in chemical activities in Yemen have been identified. We have also identified several the areas which require improvements:

  1. Lack of comprehensive programme for infrastructure protection; 
  2. Lack of knowledge of the kind of chemical threats presented in Yemen; 
  3. Weakness of the central administration to monitor and control the movement of chemicals;
  4. Lack of the legal, administrative and technical tools to introduce chemical safety and security;
  5. A number of illegal dump sites; 
  6. A lack of synergies between the national approaches with the existing international regulations and capacities in the areas of chemical in Yemen and the sub-region.    

The ICCSS works as a centre of excellence which shares its know-how, and through various partnerships enhance sustainable and continuous improvement of safe and secure chemical culture. The cornerstone of the Centre is that we turn projects having obtained political support into concrete and sustainable outcomes.

The training presented above was the a first step in a long approach potential process to start a full-fledged programme to introduce sustainable and continued chemical security in Yemen. As it was requested and proposed on several occasions by the Yemeni participants they expect that the training would lead to sustainable results and could be continued. We therefore propose to move the Yemeni training to the sustainable programme oriented to a broader group of Yemeni authoritiesWe see the following way forward:. As the training confirmed the ICCSS possesses the required organisational, logistic and substantive capabilities as well as cultural awareness to assist the Yemeni authorities to enhance chemical security.     

NATO training course

1. General information

The NATO Science for Peace and Security Programme (hereinafter “the NATO SPS”) and the Government of Poland wish to inform about the NATO Advanced Training Course on Identification and Neutralization of Chemical Improvised Explosive Devices for promoting the higher level of security for societies all over the world.

The partner institutions involved in the organization of the course are: Military University of Technology, Warsaw, Poland,; Military Institute of Engineer Technology, Poland, , Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry and Petrochemistry of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Kiev, Ukraine,, International Centre for Chemical Safety and Security, Poland and others.

The course is being organized under the NATO Science for Peace and Security Programme, and will be supported jointly by the Government of Poland. It will be held from 26 to 30 May 2014 at the Military Institute of Engineer Technology (WITI), Wrocław, Poland.

The course is meant to train first responders, EOD and antiterrorist unit members, who will be able to use the knowledge and experience gained during the course to their advantage when carrying out their duties. The participant selection procedure will be particularly strict. The countries shall mention the security measures observed when selecting their candidates. A description of these security measures should be included in the application documentation. The organizers shall evaluate of the measures taken in order to meet the acceptable standards and performed by a security expert.

The course is intended for participants with a background in explosive ordinance disposal (EOD), safety engineering, as well as, for the first responders. The course will accommodate up to 22 participants.

The course has been designed using the “train-the-trainer” approach for participants who are in a position and ready to share the knowledge and expertise gained in their home country for the implementation of technologies against terrorist threats involving explosive devices and other terrorist attacks with the use of toxic chemicals.


2. General objectives of the Course

The overarching objective of the ATC is to enhance public security by promoting advanced technologies, methodologies and best practices in preparing the respective governmental agencies to respond to threats posed by chemically filled improvised explosive devices: Chem-IED.
The specific goals revolve around training as a method of collecting and disseminating knowledge. The main goal is to assemble, systematize and adapt the best available expertise, knowledge and teaching techniques relevant to the discussed subject matter and to create a training curriculum. A network of specialists, on the basis of all participants of the course, will become the output of the course. IEDs, filled with hazardous chemicals, including Chemical Warfare Agents (eg. sarin, VX, mustard gas) pose a serious threat to public safety and national and international security, as well as for citizens’ general perception of safety. The course gives the opportunity to build or improve the professional skills of trainees, improve their safety and security procedures, increase national antiterrorist security levels and, as a consequence, enhances the preparedness of the trainees’ home countries in the specified subject area. The course will help in developing security standards that meet international requirements and will improve interoperability and the effectiveness of international cooperation in this area.


3. Security relevance of the Course

The course on chemically loaded improvised explosive devices is intended to cover the different aspects of preparedness and first response to incidents involving the dissemination of harmful substances by means of an improvised explosion. It is a question of time when a group of perpetrators with the necessary knowledge will try to combine improvised explosive devices with a chemical load to enhance the level of fear and chaos. Teaching first responders and other personnel involved in emergency planning about materials and best procedures constitutes a direct action in the field of public security prevention. The course will directly increase the security preparedness and response capacity of the respective state services.


4. Impact of the Advanced Training Course on the security

Due to the scarcity of incidents of the kind, the required expertise and knowledge in preparedness and response to incidents involving Chem-IED, while existent, is not systematized. The ATC on Chem-IED is a first initiative to improve state capacity in responding to Chem-IED incidents. The main expected impact will be on the methodology of courses dealing with a multifaceted threat. The second impact expected from the course is on finding synergy between different fields of expertise involved in Chem-IED. The other impact of the course is on capacity of NATO and partnering countries and on standardization of approach and procedures resulting in enhanced interoperability in case of seeking assistance. The organizers expect a substantial knowledge to be developed in terms of teaching and training methods. Due to the existing experience of the organizers the subject covers chemically loaded devices. It is however expected that the current curriculum can enhance teaching preparedness and the ability to deal with devices constructed according to a similar concept but containing a biological or radiological load.