The Italian “Health Safety Environmental Research Association Rome” (HESAR) conducted for the very first time a science focused CBRNe Conference – SICC 2017. The conference took place in Rome from 22nd – 24th May 2017. Just a preliminary remark: The “e” in “CBRNe” abbreviates “explosives” (Improvised Explosive Devices). However, “CBRNe” is not a NATO recognized abbreviation. HESAR cooperates closely with the well-known University of Rome “Tor Vergata”. Main areas of cooperation are environmental protection as well as occupational health and safety. The cooperation with „Tor Vergata“ originates in the Universities‘ master studies on CBRN Defence.
HESAR subdivided the conference into two parts – into plenary sessions and panel sessions. Ten panels were headline in accordance with the five enabling components of CBRN Defence and the lines of capability development („DOTMLPFI“). In addition, an industrial exhibition (among others BRUKER, CRISTANINI, …) and a poster competition took place. Approximately 350 guest speakers and participants, military and civilian, academic and industrial represented more than 39 nations and about eleven elf International Organisations.
Colonel (G.S.) Volker QUANTE, Deputy COE Director, chaired a panel on “CBRNE CENTRES OF EXCELLENCE – COE”. Lieutenant Colonel Bernd ALLERT attended as representative of the conferences’ International Scientific Committee.
The quality of the presentations reaches from excellent to not so excellent. However, some of the briefing will be proven as very useful for those involved in the NATO Defence Planning Process (NDPP) or the development of CBRN Defence capabilities. There is no doubt that the conference offered an opportunity to establish and maintain valuable networks.
The conference served also as an appropriate platform to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) and the foundation of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). For that reason, a special round table discussion took place. Distinguished speaker were among others H.E. Ambassador Ahmet ÜZÜMCÜ, Director General OPCW, and H.E. Ambassador Sergey BATSANOV, former Chairperson of the CWC Negotiating Committee.
There is no doubt, the highlight of the conference was Ambassador Ahmet Üzümcüs presentation. He highlighted, that currently more than 95 percent of the known chemical agents had been destroyed. Additionally, he stated that the OPCW shifts its focus from the destruction of chemical agents to the prevention of their re-introduction.
As a kind of after action review, HESAR has already published video clips and photos at their website (https://www.sicc2017.com/); participants have gotten access to most of the presentations and posters.
Social Dinner (first row Mrs. Karin Quante, Colonel V. Quante; second row LtCol B. Allert
H.E. Ambassador Ahmet Üzümzü, Director General OPCW
Text: LtCol Bernd Allert, Joint CBRN Defence COE