Panel Discussions - Thursday, November 10, 2011
New CTITF Report on Biological and Chemical Threats Launched at IPI
“The governments of the world are facing a very daunting challenge in asymmetric warfare,” said Robert Orr, Assistant Secretary-General for Policy Coordination and Strategic Planning and Chair of the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force (CTITF) at an event at IPI on November 10th. “The threat of terrorism in one that is very real; it affects everyone around the globe, and those asymmetries are really something that we can only address through broad international cooperation.”
The event marked the official launch of a report by the multi-agency UN Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force entitled “Interagency Coordination in the Event of a Terrorist Attacks Using Chemical or Biological Weapons and Materials.” The report is a product of the Task Force Working Group on Preventing and Responding to WMD Terrorist Attacks, which brings together a range of expertise within the United Nations and international system on chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear issues.
Panelists stressed the value of the report, which, for the first time, analyzed at the international level the potential of the UN and international organizations to respond to biological and chemical terrorism, identifying ways to strengthen these capacities.
The first report of the working group, launched in August 2010, focused on nuclear and radiological security, a sector that is overseen by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA); panelists observed there is no equivalent agency overseeing biological and chemical threats. So for this report, the working group collated the knowledge of a number of different actors in this area, including the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW); Interpol; the World Health Organization; and the World Organization for Animal Health. The working group also engaged with governments, private industries, and NGOs to gain their insights on chemical and biological security.
The findings of the report highlight the need for an interagency mechanism to ensure effective operational coordination and information sharing on chemical and biological threats. As the lead of the working group, Krzysztof Paturej of OPCW, noted, the UN has proven to be an effective platform for relevant actors, and the UN should now follow up with implementation of the report’s recommendations. He said that informal discussions had been held with a number of member states seeking to strengthen national biological and chemical security.
The report was considered an important step towards the implementation of the 2006 UN Global Counter Terrorism Strategy, which invites the United Nations to improve interagency coordination in responding to WMD terrorist attacks.
Opening remarks were offered by Ambassador Witold Sobków of Poland. The event was chaired by Warren Hoge, IPI’s Senior Adviser for External Relations.
Watch video of event:
The Global Observatory
Nelson Mandela: Man and Awesome Phenomenon
A former member of the South African Parliament reflects on Mandela's warmth and generosity.
Ordinary Fears, Extraordinary Man: The Legacy of Nelson Mandela
As a young South African diplomat during the apartheid-to-democracy transition, Cedric de Coning witnessed the humility and power of a flawed statesman.
Key Global Events to Watch in December
A list of key upcoming meetings and events with implications for global affairs.
Top 10 Issues to Watch in 2013: The Multilateral Arena
Ten key issues that are likely to impact global affairs in international peace, security, and development.
The Global Observatory, produced by IPI, provides timely analysis on peace and security issues, interviews with leading policymakers, interactive maps, and more.
December 02, 2013
Latin America Focus of Fourth ''Being a Peacekeeper'' Event
On December 2-3, IPI brought together 24 representatives from eleven Latin American countries with senior officials from the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations and the Department of Field Support to discuss the current state—as well as the future—of Latin American military and police contributions to UN peacekeeping operations.
November 28, 2013
Energy and Security in the Arctic: A New “Frozen” Conflict?
Is the Arctic a “region of cooperation,” or will competition for its potentially rich energy resources lead to conflict in the high north? This was the main question addressed during an expert workshop held in The Hague on November 28th by the International Peace Institute together with the International Gas Union and the Clingendael International Energy Programme.
November 22, 2013
Can Technology Play a Role in Drafting a Constitution?
The effects that new technologies can have on constitutional processes was the topic of this November 22nd IPI roundtable discussion. Approximately five new constitutions are written around the world every year, and their legitimacy is increasingly influenced by a new level of public participation in their drafting, not merely by a plebiscite on the final text. As rapidly advancing technology changes the way that governments and citizens interact, what role are new technologies playing in constitutions?