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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
09THEHAGUE706 2009-11-20 14:45:00 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy The Hague
Cable title:  

CWC: ARTICLE X ASSISTANCE AND PROTECTION WORKSHOP

Tags:   PARM PREL OPCW CWC 
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TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3496
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RHEBAAA/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
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STATE FOR ISN/CB, VCI/CCA
SECDEF FOR OSD/GSA/CN,CP>
JOINT STAFF FOR DD PMA-A FOR WTC
COMMERCE FOR BIS (BROWN, DENYER AND CRISTOFARO)
NSC FOR LUTES
WINPAC FOR WALTER

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PARM PREL OPCW CWC
SUBJECT: CWC: ARTICLE X ASSISTANCE AND PROTECTION WORKSHOP
IN DOHA

This is CWC-68-09



1. (U) Delrep attended the Eleventh Annual Workshop
on Coordination of Article X Assistance and
Protection held November 1-3 in Doha, Qatar. The
workshop was co-sponsored by the OPCW Technical
Secretariat (TS) and the Qatari National Committee
for the Prohibition of Weapons, Qatar's CWC
National Authority. Approximately 50 participants
attended, half of whom came from various Qatari
security and emergency response agencies. The
other half came from 23 countries, six of whom were
national delegates from The Hague and the remaining
were representatives of national authorities from
capitals. The UN also sent an official from its
logistics department. Del has sent ISN/CB by email
a copy of the complete participant list.



2. (U) The TS Assistance and Protection Branch
provided most of the briefings on a broad overview
of the status of implementation of Article X. The
workshop was thus geared toward substance/policy
discussion and not practical training for first
responders. The emphasis in the briefings was on
the need to develop national/regional capacities
because the TS does not have the capacity to
respond to every incident of a chemical weapons
(CW) attack in a timely fashion. Using its own
Assistance, Coordination and Assessment Team (ACAT)
as an example, the OPCW's only fly-away rapid
response resource, the TS would ideally like to
develop a network of regional response teams that
can better serve the needs of States Parties in
times of a real crisis.



3. (U) Each participating country was given the
opportunity to make a national presentation on its
protective program and current efforts to assist
other States Parties in protecting against a CW
attack. Eleven countries made national
presentations: China, Iran, the Czech Republic,
Serbia, Switzerland, India, the UK, Colombia, Peru,
Sierra Leone and Mexico. Copies of those national
presentations which were made available, as well as
all of the TS briefings have been sent separately
to ISN/CB.



4. (SBU) China sent a representative from its
Ministry of National Defense, Senior Colonel Tang
Cheng, who previously worked in the TS Verification
Division. Tang provided a detailed briefing,
including slides with pictures, on China's
defensive and assistance programs. Iran sent its
most junior delegate from The Hague, Ali
Gholampour, who delivered a verbal presentation
without slides on Iran's Article X programs. While
Iran had given initial priority to equipping its
armed forces with defensive equipment against a CW
attack, Gholampour said recent efforts have shifted
to providing the civilian population with
humanitarian/medical assistance in case of a CW
attack. Gholampour noted the shift in focus was
due to the very real threat of a CW attack in
Iran's "dangerous neighborhood" and its own
experience as a previous target. Iran is
developing a research institute on responding to CW
attacks and has begun to incorporate CW awareness
in its school system. Gholampour ended his
presentation with the reminder that Iran's proposal
to establish an international victim's network
Qto establish an international victim's network
remains under consideration by the OPCW policy-
making organs; Delrep intervened to oppose such a
network. (Del Comment: Overall, Gholampour was
far more constructive than he acts during
consultations and meetings in The Hague. End
Comment.)



5. (SBU) It was made clear to Delrep throughout the
conference, by both TS officials and participants
from Latin America, that the U.S. is doing far more
under Article X than we are given credit for in the
OPCW. Delrep learned that the U.S. has been
providing general assistance in the CBRN/hazmat
protective field to Caribbean and South American
countries; however, the U.S. has not claimed credit
for such assistance under Article X. Specifically,
TS officials told Delrep that the U.S. had provided
hazmat trailers to Caribbean countries. These
trailers have been extremely useful in training
first responders in the region, and the TS
officials asked Delrep if the U.S. can provide more
such trailers. Additionally, the Mexican
representative told Delrep about CBRN first
response training provided by the U.S. in Mexico in
mid-October. During its national presentation,
Peru also thanked the U.S. for its assistance. As
long as any U.S. assistance includes some aspect of
protection against a CW attack, TS officials
indicated that the U.S. should be claiming credit
for providing Article X assistance so that the TS
can include it in its annual report.



6. (SBU) In one of its presentations, the TS
indicated that it plans to conduct technical visits
to verify offers of assistance (made under Article
X paragraph 7) from the following countries: the
U.S., Germany, India, Moldova, Pakistan and the UK.
The TS conducted its first such visit in 2007 to
China. After the presentation, the TS official
approached Delrep privately and said that the U.S.
should expect to receive a written formal request
from the Assistance and Protection Branch sometime
in early 2010. While acknowledging that the U.S.
offer is broad and general in scope, the TS
official maintained that the TS still wishes to
visit to physically verify the items being
considered for offer. The TS official noted the
success of a visit in 2008 to Australia, which has
a broad offer for Article X assistance similar to
that of the United States. The TS has conducted 19
such technical visits to date and is trying to
avoid using the term "inspection" to describe such
visits.



7. (U) The TS Office of Special Projects announced
its intention to host a table-top exercise on
chemical safety and security with Poland in May or
June 2010. The exercise plans to simulate an
attack on a chemical plant by a non-state actor;
more information on the exercise will be released
prior to the Conference of the States Parties (CSP)
in The Hague. The goal of the exercise is to help
reduce the risks of toxic chemicals being used by
terrorists, to develop national response
capacities, and to improve coordination efforts
with other entities, such as the European Union
(EU).



8. (U) SMITH SENDS.

GALLAGHER