22 May 2009
Press Release

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

EXPERTS to attend TRAINING COURSE on investigation of CHEMICAL,

BIOLOGICAL, toxin WEAPONS use, in umeĊ, SWEDEN, 25 mAY-5 JUNE

A training course for experts available to the United Nations Secretary-General for investigations of the alleged use of chemical, biological and toxin weapons will be held in Umeċ, Sweden, from 25 May to 5 June.

Funded by the Government of Sweden, the course is organized by the European Chemical, Biological, Radioactive, Nuclear and Explosive (CBRNE) Centre at the University of Umeċ, with the support and cooperation of the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs.

In 2006, the General Assembly encouraged the Secretary-General to update the roster of experts and laboratories, as well as the technical guidelines and procedures available to him for the timely and efficient investigation of alleged chemical, biological and toxin weapons use.  The Office for Disarmament Affairs, which maintains the roster, has updated it over the past couple of years and it currently lists more than 200 experts and 40 analytical laboratories nominated by 41 Member States.

Endorsed by General Assembly resolution A/Res/45/57C of 1990, the technical guidelines and procedures for the timely and efficient investigation of reported possible use of chemical and bacteriological (biological) or toxin (chemical, biological or toxin) weapons stipulate that “any interested Member State may designate to the Secretary-General relevant specialized training or courses available to qualified experts in support of their possible role on his behalf in carrying out investigations of possible use of CBT agents, including exchange of information and expertise, in order to facilitate achievement of a common basis of understanding and operation”.

The training course in Umeċ is the first to be offered by a Member State for experts on the Secretary-General’s roster.

For further information, contact:  Gabriele Kraatz-Wadsack at tel.:  1 212 963 3633.

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For information media • not an official record