The Hague, 23 February 2015. The United Nations Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force (CTITF) Working Group on Preventing and Responding to Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) Terrorist Attacks (the Working Group), held a two day workshop on “Effective Inter-Agency Interoperability and Coordinated Communication in Case of Chemical and/or Biological Attacks”. The workshop was hosted by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), in The Hague, The Netherlands on 19-20 February 2015.
The workshop, which was opened by the Director-General of the OPCW, Ambassador Ahmet Uzumcu, serves as the follow-up to the Working Group’s 2011 Report entitled “Interagency Coordination in the Event of a Nuclear or Radiological Terrorist Attack: Current Status, Future Prospects.” UNICRI is a full member of the CTITF and a co-author of the above UN report.
UNICRI substantially contributed to workshop in The Hague, which aimed at examining existing mechanisms in each of the entities of the Working Group, as well as at assessing interagency mechanisms in the context of the preparedness for, prevention of, and response to terrorist attacks involving the use of chemical or biological weapons and materials. During the workshop, opportunities for strengthening coordination were also identified, as well as new opportunities to enhance prevention and incident response with regard to such attacks.
The Working Group is one of the groups mandated to organize specific activities of the CTITF to support the implementation of the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy. The CTITF was established by the Secretary-General in 2005 to ensure the coordination and coherence of United Nations system-wide counter-terrorism efforts. It now consists of 31 entities from the United Nations system and other international organizations.