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Misuse of toxic chemicals and chemical terrorism pose a grave threat to international peace and security, especially in the Middle East, where it was recently confirmed use of industrial chemicals as chemical weapons in Syria and as means of terror in other countries, including Iraq. It poses a fundamental challenge to the international community and security and the development of the region.
Experience has shown that no country or industry is immune to terrorism, and that no country or industry can effectively deal with proliferation or terrorism alone. Therefore, cooperation between all the related stakeholders including the governments, the industries, scientific institutions, and international partners with an increased role played by the industries providing protective solutions and know-how, are important element to the efforts to address this global threat.
The ICCSS led has Middle East chem-bio and environmental security process in cooperation with the Jordan stakeholders, coordinated by Jordan Armed Forces (JAF). The process started from the project on enhancing Chemical Security for the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and the Region Development of Chemical Safety and Security Confidence Building Measures for the Middle East (Jordan project), successfully implemented in 2018-2019.
The Middle East chem-bio process includes three stages:
1) To assist Jordan to introduce sound national system potential for chemical safety and security to prevent, reduce and mitigate chem-bio threats; and to provide assistance in the development of Jordan as a regional training and exercises in chem-bio safety and security. Jordan will be developed as a regional hub for chemical safety and security.
The priority is the development of the Joint CBRN Training Facility in Amman as a regional centre for chemical safety and security.
2) To assist countries of the region, based on Jordan template, to develop and introduce national potential for chemical security and to provide assistance in the implementation of international efforts to counter CW proliferation and terrorism and/or misuse of toxic chemicals
The priority is the development and conduct of national gap analysis and introduction of national chemical security regulatory frameworks.
3) To introduce chemical safety and security confidence building measures for the Middle East, as a foundation for enhancing chemical safety and security culture in the whole chain of activities in chemical and energy carrier activities, including development, production, transportation, transit, storage, use and disposal of chemicals. The highest priority is the raising regional chemical and environmental security awareness.
The priority is to initiate international training/exercise activities, including Table Top (TTX) and Field Exercises (FsX) – as the Middle East CHEM-REACT (to follow the model of EU-CHEM-REACT: www.ecr.iccss.eu, where the elements of confidence building measures could be discussed.
Enhancing Chemical Security for the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and the Region Development of Chemical Safety and Security Confidence Building Measures for the Middle East
Jordan, being under continued chemical threat, has developed relevant experience in mitigating these threats of chemical weapons. Jordan has introduced effective international cooperation in these regards. Although Jordan develops CBRN management security activities within the frameworks of national, bilateral and international projects, those efforts may occur not comprehensive due to a multi-faceted and multi stakeholder nature of chemical security threats.
The project, financed by US Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA), has been conducted as a public-private initiative, by the Jordan Armed Forces (JAF) as initiator and the national coordinator and ICCSS as the and the international coordinator. There was a broad international support and participation in the project develop and implementation.
The leading activities within the project included 2 chemical security seminars in Warsaw, Poland, on 19-23 September, 2018, and in Amman, Jordan on 09-11.04.2019. Both Seminars were accompanied by series of trainings, study tours and exchanges.
The project implementation confirmed that weaponizing toxic chemicals and chemical terrorism pose grave threats to international peace and security, especially in the Middle East, where recent use of industrial chemicals as chemical weapons in Syria and as means of terror in Iraq has been confirmed, posing a fundamental challenge to the peace, security and development of the region and of the international community. A rapid increase of chemical activities (development, production, transport, storage and use of chemicals and energy carriers), combined with unstable situation in some countries, and low level of regulatory measures, increase threat of misuse of chemicals.
The project offered an inclusive and integrated approach by developing a group of national leaders and international supporters. Chemical security gaps and areas of improvement were identified. A series of trainings and exercises were conducted. A roadmap with plan of action and project proposals to introduce national chemical safety and security regulatory framework was created. A set of confidence chemical security building measures was developed to be promoted in the region among all the stakeholders.
The Jordan project core conclusion was the vision to promote Jordan as a regional hub for chemical safety and security and the development of the Joint CBRN Training Facility in Amman as a regional centre for chemical safety and security.
Jordan Project Deliverables
1. Gap analysis Conclusions on chemical security in Jordan;
2. Road map on chemical safety and security in Jordan and the Middle East region;
3. Training Framework which included a Model Training Course on chemical safety and security;
4. Table Top Exercise (TTX) template
5. Concept of the chemical safety and security confidence building measures for the Middle East.
Amman-Warsaw international Seminar on chemical security in Jordan and the Middle East held in Amman on 9-11.04.2019, concluded 2018 2019 Jordan project implementation .
SEMINAR PARTICIPANTS; Over 100 participants from Algeria, Canada, Egypt, Iraq, Japan, Jordan, Libya, Moldova, Poland, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Ukraine, Yemen, United States, international organizations, including European Union, United Nations, WHO, World Customs Organization (WCO), OSCE, industry associations and experts from around the world.
The Seminar program provided for a thorough consideration of the Jordan project outcomes and agreed on a set of concrete Milestones and Deliverables to enhance the development of the Middle East chem-bio and environmental security process.
1. Strengthen cooperation and sustainable synergies among relevant Jordan and international stakeholders to enhance chemical security in Jordan and in the region and reduce the chemical threats
2. Exercise, including a model table Top Exercise on Enhancing secure movement of chemicals through borders among the Middle East Countries, and promote information and expertise exchanges by direct cooperation between the relevant stakeholders, including the governments, the related industries, and international partners;
3. Consider and agree on the gap analysis and areas for improvement and a training program on chemical security in Jordan
4. Consider the ways and means of moving the Jordan experience and lessons learned on chemical security towards the regional dimension
1. Visits to relevant central institutions and field missions.
2. Background training course on chemical safety and security.
3. Presentations on national and international best practices and capacity building measures.
4. Bilateral discussions and exchanges.
SEMINAR DISCUSSIONS AND CONCLUSIONS
The Seminar participants agreed that no country or industry is immune to terrorism, and that no country or industry can effectively deal with chemical proliferation or terrorism alone. They confirmed the importance for the countries of the region to cooperate to enhance chemical safety and security nationally and regionally.
The participants agreed that chemical security shall be a core element in the renovation of the system of chemical non-proliferation and moving OPCW from disarmament to reducing chemical threat.
The Amman-Warsaw international Seminar participants confirmed a need to develop national and regional measures to support traditional disarmament and non-proliferation measures (including via OPCW and UN SCR 1540 /2004). They stressed that chemical security should become a priority for the international community. The participants highly valued growing role of UN Counter Terrorism Committee (CTC) to enhance national efforts against WMD Terrorism.
They agreed that the active cooperation on chemical security could assist to renovate the OPCW and the system of chemical non-proliferation. OPCW should move towards an agency to reduce chemical threat, and play a role of the global hub for reducing chemical threat.
The participants conformed support for the GP efforts to enhance chemical security worldwide. They stressed the usefulness of the development of CFATS as the international best practices, to be applied globally.
They further confirmed an interest in developing measures to reduce threats to production, transport storage and use of chemicals and energy carriers. They noted that the success of the Jordan project was based on the development of a core group of Jordan representatives, which brought all the relevant institutions. The project enabled to collect all the relevant information about the national capacities in CBRN, with an emphasis on chemical assets, including personnel. The project gathered a broad national support for introducing chemical security.
There was a strong support for the ICCSS efforts to develop and introduce chemical security in the Middle Eat as part of the CHEMSS process (global chemical safety security process). The ICCSS was invited to visit Iraq, Libya, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, to promote the development of the integrated chemical safety and security. The ICCSS was further invited to seek international support and funding for the process development and implementation.
1. Establishment of international network to assist Jordan to enhance chemical security and promote it throughout the region
2. Devlopment of tools, including through gap anlaysis and concrete recommendations and background training course, to sustain the process of enhancing chemical secuirty in Jordan and spreading within the Middle East and North Africa
3. Devlopment of an inventory of issues and questions to be addressedto ensure a practical and result oriented approach towards enhancing chemical safety and security in Jordan and the region
The participants welcome the results of the pilot project on the development of chemical safety and security in Jordan, coordinated by ICCSS and funded by US. The Seminar outcomes included:
1) a unique gap analysis on chemical security in Jordan, to be used as a template for the region.
2) road map on chemical safety and security in Jordan and the Middle East region;
3) Training Framework which included a Model Training Course on chemical safety and security;
4) Table Top Exercise (TTX) template, which in combination of Field Exercises (FX) will develop exercise program: Middle East CHEM-REACT – to assist in preventing and preparing for misuse of toxic chemicals.
5) Concept of the chemical safety and security confidence building measures for the Middle East.
Although individual countries in the Middle East develop management security activities within the frameworks of national, bilateral and international projects, those efforts may occur not comprehensive due to a multi-faceted and multi stakeholder nature of chemical security threats. The issues such as sealing the borders, chemicals in transit emergency response to road accidents, management of chemicals, chemicals in education, trade control, all require organized and coordinated effort and material assistance, in tailoring legal regulations and adapting chemical security best practices.
The Middle East must act collectively through its governments, industries, academia, civil society, media, in coordination with international organizations to respond to the urgency of the situation by implementation of all the relevant treaties and conventions, including the Chemical Weapons Convention, UN Security council Resolution 1540 (2004), World Health Organization regulations and industry measures.
Acknowledging that safety and security measures have the common aim of protecting human life, health, and the environment, we agree that there is a need for a coherent and synergistic approach at national and international levels in this regard and introduction of chemical safety and security culture. This culture facilitates implementation and management of safety and security prerequisites, including bilateral and multilateral cooperation.
All stakeholders, governments, regulatory bodies, industry, academia, non-governmental organizations, and the media, are encouraged to fully commit to enhancing chemical safety and security culture and to maintain robust communication and coordination of activities at national and international levels.
The regional cooperation to enhance chemical safety and security could include the following general considerations, goals, guidelines, principles, and the development of chemical safety and security culture
Content of Chemical Safety and Security Confidence Building Measures for the Middle East:
I. General considerations
1. A comprehensive approach toward promoting chemical safety and security goes beyond chemical plants and shall include introduction of safety and security culture and its promotion to all relevant stakeholders. The stakeholders include governments and relevant national agencies; industries, including chemical associations and private industries; laboratories; regional and international organizations involved in the international safety and security and peaceful application of chemistry; and civil society, including academia, non-governmental organizations, independent experts, and media.
II. General goals
1. To promote chemical safety and security by:
a. bringing the issue to the agenda of national policies,
b. improving efficiency in capacity-building and exchanging information on best practices with regard to chemical safety and security,
c. building and improving national and international coordination of chemical safety and security actors,
d. promoting application of research outcomes in assessing impacts on the environment and public health, and
e. building awareness-raising programs for the public and for policy makers on issues relevant to chemical safety and security;
III. General guidelines
1. To seek a comprehensive and synergistic approach among all relevant international treaties and agreements (including the Chemical Weapons Convention, and the Basel, Minimata, Rotterdam, Stockholm, and other relevant conventions) for capacity-building that develops chemical safety and security in all areas pertaining to chemicals and wastes;
IV. General Principles of enhancing chemical safety and security
1. To focus on enhancing awareness and best practices through training, seminars, workshops, and other education processes in broad areas of chemical security and safety issues;
2. To strengthen international cooperation to promote a chemical safety and security culture globally. These efforts should also engage researchers from academia and private industry;
3. To promote implementation of the World Health Organization (WHO) International Health Regulations (IHR 2000) to improve global abilities to detect, assess, report, and respond to health events of international concern;
V. Development of chemical safety and security culture
1. Chemical safety and security culture could be considered as an assembly of beliefs, attitudes, and patterns of behavior which will strengthen and/or complement physical security, procedures, and legislation, in their mission to achieve intended security goals.
2. In the age of globalized and diversified communications, codes of conduct, ethics, and other similar sources of individual voluntary commitments are becoming increasingly effective tools of culture promotion.
The Roadmap develops further the outcomes and deliverables of the successful implementation of a unique project to enhance chemical security in Jordan and the region and promote the development of Chemical Safety and Security Confidence Building Measures for the Middle East.
The proposed Roadmap provides a process of national and international activities conducted in 2020-2022, accompanied with a series of implementation projects financed by international donors, to enable to develop Jordan as the regional hub and the Joint CBRN Training Facility in Amman as a regional centre for chemical safety and security (ChemReg Center), starting from 2020.
The process is composed of COMPLETED ACTIVITIES by April 2019, and 9 Activities within the PREPARATORY PHASE From end 2020 till end 2021 and IMPLEMENTATION PHASE from December 2021.
The basic principle of the proposed strategy is that financing chemical safety and security is not a cost but an investment in national and regional security, economic development and international cooperation.
The core understanding and achievement of the JAF/ICCSS cooperation and the project implementation was the readiness of the Jordan and international partners to promote Jordan as a regional hub for chemical safety and security and the development of the Joint CBRN Training Facility in Amman as a regional centre for chemical safety and security. The vision is to combine a major Jordan potential gathered in CBRN areas and develop new capabilities to be offered for the different regional and international stakeholders to enhance their safety and security in the whole chain of activities in chemicals and energy carriers.
1. A network of participants and supporters from Jordan and international partners was established to to develop chemical security in Jordan, to promote Jordan as a regional hub for chemical safety and security and to develop the Joint CBRN Training Facility in Amman as a regional centre for chemical safety and security.
2. A national gap analysis with inventory of issues/questions was made to to ensure a practical and result oriented approach in introducing chemcial secuirty in Jordan and promote in the region;
3. Concept of training and background courses established.
4. Working Document on chemical security confidence building measures in the Middle East developed.
5. A draft Working document on regional road map for chemical safety and security initiated.