Al-Ali stresses importance of educating young people about dangers of WMD

The National Committee for the Prohibition of Weapons (NCPW) has marked the fifth anniversary of Doha Regional Centre for Training on the Conventions on Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD).

It also outlined its role since inception in December 2012 in capacity-building at the national, regional and international levels, promoting international peace and security and implementing disarmament conventions.

At a press conference held to review the Centre's achievements, NCPW chairman Staff Major General (Pilot) Nasser bin Mohamed al-Ali said the integrated legislative system for the prohibition of weapons in Qatar has contributed significantly to the spread of peace and security in the country.

In this context he referred to Law No 16 of 2013 on chemical weapons and the draft of implementing regulations to develop integrated system through the issuance of chemical licences and Law No 4 of 2016 on biological weapons.

Highlighting the importance of raising awareness and educating young people about the dangers of WMD, he said Qatar is completely free of extremist 'ideologies' because of its great role and broad steps in educating young people by co-operating with the Ministry of Education Higher Education, Qatar University and Education City universities, involving students in the official delegations of the committee to major international conferences and forums on disarmament and organising training and awareness-raising workshops and developing research awards in the areas of WMD agreements and risk awareness.

Seven workshops were held to raise awareness about the WMD conventions, in which more than 3,200 students from different schools and universities in the country participated, al-Ali said.

Annual prizes for students in conducting scientific research and designing awareness posters on weapons of mass destruction (nuclear, chemical, biological) and internationally prohibited weapons were also created, al-Ali said.

This, he said, made Qatar one of the leading countries that introduced this experiment at the regional and international levels in addition to including some of the topics of WMD proposed by the committee in the secondary school curriculum for the academic year 2016/2017.

The NCPW chairman underlined the role of the Doha Regional Centre for Training of the Conventions on Weapons of Mass Destruction as it trained more than 39 state parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention, noting that the Centre had held 27 training programmes in collaboration with the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons in the areas of assistance and protection, annual declarations of chemicals, and chemical safety and security management.

It also contributed to the training of the GCC countries, including the siege countries who attended workshops and seminars that increased their practical capabilities.

Boycotting the Doha Regional Centre despite Qatar's willingness to host them, these countries have lost the opportunity to participate in the development of their staff within the Centre, which is the first of its kind in the Middle East and specialised in training on WMD-related conventions and qualifying national, regional and Asian cadre in the field of preparedness for any chemical, nuclear or biological emergencies, he stressed.

Al-Ali pointed out that the number of participants increased as more Asian and African countries participated in its activities.

On regional and international activities, al-Ali highlighted the Centre's co-operation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organisation since the establishment of the Committee in 2004 and Qatar's commitment to timing and transparency in their annual declarations on chemicals listed in the Chemical Weapons Convention, in addition to holding 27 events in co-operation with the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and attracting the best experts in the world to give lectures.

He also hailed Qatar's winning of IAEA board of governors membership for the second consecutive year.

The press conference was attended by Vice-Chairman of the National Committee for the Prohibition of Weapons Brigadier (Air) Hassan Saleh al-Nesf, and representatives of its members.

The Committee includes representatives from the General Secretariat of the Council of Ministers, the ministries of interior, municipality and environment, public health, energy and industry and the General Customs Authority.

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