ICTA acts on global stage to assist in capacity building and policy development

ICTA acts on global stage to assist in capacity building and policy development

Since the General Assembly last November in San Antonio (US), ICTA has been actively involved in international policy making and contributed to capacity building for less developed countries. Below you find a brief summary of these activities. For more elaborate reports, please contact the ICTA secretariat.

India Chemical Council Industry Outlook Conference (February 2018)
During this meeting in Mumbai, Robert Stuyt (ICTA) gave a presentation on the changing norms for safe transportation of chemicals. Main topics included the UN Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods and the view of the chemical distribution sector on sustainability and RC/ RD. The ICTA presentation followed immediately after a presentation by ICCA on the same topic area. Both associations have a shared view on sustainability and the positive role the chemical sector can play here. During the conference Mr. Stuyt had a lunch meeting with Mr. Ravi Kapoor, chairman of the ICC. They discussed the opportunities for increased involvement of the ICC with the chemical distribution sector and ICTA, for instance through a joint Memorandum of Understanding or mutual commitment to the Nicer Globe initiative.

UNODC and Iraq Chemical Weapons National Authority meeting (January 2018)
UNODC organised a meeting with the Iraq Chemical Weapons National Authority and several relevant Iraqi government departments on developing their national strategy around implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention. Experts were present from UNODC Counter Terror, World Customs, OPCW and Interpol. Peter Newport (CBA) attended to represent our sector. Most chemicals in Iraq are imported, with the large land border creating challenges for a country emerging from war zone status. Currently there is no trade body representing distributors in Iraq. Mr. Newport has conveyed the necessity of private sector engagement and encouraged the government representatives to seek engagement with the private sector.

Sound Chemicals and Waste Management Beyond 2020 stakeholder meeting (January 2018)
On behalf of ICTA Mr. Peter Steinbach (VCH) attended the second multi-stakeholder multi-sectorial conference on Sound Chemicals and Waste Management beyond 2020. Several design options for the post 2020 framework were discussed.

Pakistan Chemical Weapons National Authority event (February 2018)
During an event in Islamabad hosted by the Pakistan Chemical Weapons National Authority, Peter Newport (CBA) gave several presentations covering chemical security for Pakistani chemical manufacturers, government officials and chemical distributors. Amongst others, the ICTA Voluntary Agreement on Substances Subject to Controls (see here) was discussed.

Meeting with SAICM-secretariat (December 2017)
The governance framework for Sound Chemicals and Waste Management beyond 2020 is currently being discussed. In this process Germany takes a leading role. In order to clarify the important role of the chemical distribution sector, a meeting took place between Gertrud Sahler (Director General of the Federal Environment Ministry and President of the SAICM Bureau), Edgar Nordmann (NRC and ICTA President) and Peter Steinbach (VCH).
Mr. Nordmann explained the activities of the chemical distribution sector and ICTA and Mr. Steinbach summarized the involvement of ICTA in the SAICM-process. Then the meeting participants discussed key issues, such as the limited involvement of chemical distributors in developing countries and the lack of GHS implementation in developing countries. Peter Steinbach suggested to provide public financial resources to make expert knowledge from the chemical distribution sector available for the SAICM process.

UNODC Iraqi Government Chemical Security study tour (October 2017)
Peter Newport (CBA) gave a presentation at an event organised by UN ODC focused on chemical security in Iraq. Several security initiatives by industry were discussed, including RC/ RD, know-your-customer schemes  and security procedures. Another important topic was transport security.

G7 Global Partnership meeting (November 2017)
On behalf of ICTA, Peter Newport (CBA) has attended the fall meeting of the G7 Global Partnership Against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction. The G7 initiative aims to prevent terrorists from acquiring weapons and materials of mass destruction. ICTA’s engagement and contributions to the discussions were acknowledged by the president of the G7 GP Chemical Sub-Working Group.

During the meeting the topic of cyber security was dealt with for the first time. It was highlighted that the issue is also a worry for chemical facilities and that industrial control systems have susceptibilities. The US indicated that cyber security is a serious asymmetric threat vector, emphasizing that there are many actors preparing cyber-attacks and they are only a key stroke away. The US Department of Home Security shares information with the private sector and has developed an implementation guidance for the chemical sector, which includes a section on cyber security (see here). To mitigate the risks, the EU has created Centres of Excellence in a €220m project (see here).

There was also much attention for the ways in which African countries are actively engaging in chemical risks. OPCW emphasised it has been working in Africa for 10 years, but resources and equipment are limited. For instance, OPCW has 52 signatories in Africa, but 20 have no legislation.
Assistance is needed to develop legislation, protective measures, response and integrated chemicals management.

OPCW has decided that non-state actors are in scope of the Chemical Weapons Convention. OPCW will therefore start to develop capabilities to deal with these non-state actors in respect of toxic chemicals and chemical weapons. ICTA pointed out that the chemical threat from an industry perspective goes beyond just toxics and chemical weapons and also include improvised explosives (UNIDIR) and illicit drugs precursors (UNODC), all of which needs coordination.

One ICTA direct company member was also present at the meeting and raised the issue of establishing an uniform Global Chemical Security Standard to protect its facilities. Current legislation and standards range globally from non-existent to highly regulated. ICTA’s Voluntary Agreement on Substances Subject to Controls could be a good starting point for a more uniform approach.

On suspicious activities, companies (including chemical distributors) cooperate with governments by reporting suspicious transactions and vetting personnel. There was a call to globalize standards such as know-your-customer. Interpol has a project to develop the capacity of countries to identify the risk posed by chemical precursors and to connect almost 200 police forces globally to enable information exchange. Through CBA the chemical distribution sector is involved in making this project a success.

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