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Countering WMD threats in the maritime environment

NATO - North Atlantic Treaty Organisation

20 Mar. 2012 – 22 Mar. 2012

2012 International Partners' Outreach Event

NATO places a high priority on preventing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and defending against chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) threats.

The 2009 Comprehensive Strategic-Level Policy for Preventing the Proliferation of WMD and Defending Against CBRN Threats identified that NATO will work actively to prevent the proliferation of WMD by State and non-State actors, to protect the Alliance from WMD threats should prevention fail, and be prepared for recovery efforts should the Alliance suffer a WMD attack or CBRN event.

As part of Allied overall efforts against proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD), NATO will conduct the 2012 International Partners’ Outreach Event of the NATO Committee on Proliferation in Defence format. The event will consist of an Industries Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) Defence Exhibition, entitled “Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) Threats in the Maritime Environment - Development of Technologies and Modelling of Risks” and of a NATO Science for Peace and Security (SPS) Advanced Research Workshop on the same topic. These two events will be organised back-to-back and will take place in Riga, Latvia from 20th to 22nd March 2012.

Many experts from NATO member states, the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC), Mediterranean Dialogue and Istanbul Cooperation Initiative participating states, partners such as Australia, Japan, the Republic of Korea, New Zealand and Singapore, as well as representatives from the International Maritime Organisation, the European Commission, the European Union Military Staff, and the Helsinki Commission, are expected to participate.

The already existing WMD threats and the potential proliferation of WMD-related materials by sea can pose a serious danger to populations, the environment, and NATO maritime Exercises. Countering WMD proliferation by sea requires developing Allied and partner capabilities related to a diverse range of tasks, including support for Maritime Situational Awareness; maritime interdiction; and locating, identifying, and securing illicit CBRN material transiting at sea. Moreover, potential dangers can already be found in the depths of the world’s oceans, namely, sea-dumped chemical weapons. That is why a scientific-military discussion is of crucial importance. Further development of surveillance systems and of the monitoring and controlling of maritime cargo is a field where science plays an important role, and a workshop where scientists and representatives from military and civil institutions could come together and discuss the possible future developments of our non-proliferation efforts is therefore needed.

The aim of the event is to exchange views and share best practices on CBRN Defence and Maritime capability development. This event will give scientists, defence experts and industries’ representatives an excellent opportunity to meet, discuss and make contacts. The industries’ exhibition's agenda will focus on these areas, but will not be limited to Maritime Surveillance and Monitoring and Controlling Maritime Cargo; Maritime Situational Awareness; Identifying WMD threats in the Maritime Environment; Countering WMD proliferation by sea; CBRN threats in maritime environment; and/or subjects related to the above-mentioned subjects.

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