Training courses for 31 new Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) inspectors have been held at the Joint Services Centre in Civitavecchia. The courses were conducted under the guidance of OPCW instructors and in collaboration with the personnel of the Joint Services Technical Logistics Centre (CeTLI-NBC) and the National Authority for chemical weapons, which answers to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA). The courses have given the new inspectors the knowledge and skills they need to perform their role safely.
On completion of their training, in which theoretical courses alternate with on-the-ground training, the new recruits will be joining a corps of about 180 international inspectors. They will be deployed by the OPWC in inspection operations envisaged by the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC). The CWC has been in force since 1997 and is one of the pillars on which is based the system of disarmament and the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
Based in The Hague, the OPCW has 188 member countries. It oversees the implementation of the Convention, promotes international cooperation and provides assistance and protection for all member states that are victims of the threat of or aggression from chemical weapons.
Italy has been an OPCW member since 1997 and has had a seat on the Executive Council, the Organisation’s decision-making body (which has just 41 members), since it was set up. The training courses at the Civitavecchia centre, which started in 1998, are considered a key element of Italy’s cooperation with the OPCW and are greatly appreciated by its leaders.