Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Uganda Government has asked States Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention to consider establishing an academy in Uganda to build local and regional capacity in handling chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear-related affairs.
The appeal was contained in a statement delivered on Nov.23 by Pius Bigirimana, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development at the ongoing fourth special session of the conference of states parties to review the operation of the chemical weapons convention.
The high level conference kicked off last week and runs until today – Nov.30, at The Hague, Netherlands. Bigirimana noted that the academy would be an elevation of the Africa technical support programme through which African countries, including Uganda, are benefiting from the exchange of knowledge, provision of equipment and related technologies.
Uganda has been hosting the regional operational trainings under the Convention, with the latest training having taken place from 24thOctober – 1stNovember, 2018 in Jinja.
A total of 36 participants from Burundi, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda and Uganda were trained as a pool of experts to conduct downward trainings and first responders to toxic chemical emergencies in the region.
Bigirimana said the programme had continued to infuse the necessary skills and capacity building within the implementation of the Convention.
“My delegation (therefore) requests for support from State Parties in order to realise the idea of the academy and centre of excellence being established in Uganda.” Bigirimana said.
Uganda ratified the chemical weapons convention in 2001, after which, the Gender Ministry was appointed National Authority for domestication of the convention. Although Uganda does not possess, produce or have stockpiles of chemical weapons, several of the chemicals used in local industries are a great threat to the population and require skilled handling.