Addressing the threat of dual-use chemicals in Iraq

The use of chemical materials for malicious and terrorist purposes is a risk that all national authorities, which oversee the use, storage and transfer of such substances, need to address.

The first step towards establishing a national strategy to address the threat of chemical materials of dual use for Iraq has started with a preparatory meeting on "Strengthening the National Capacities of Iraq in addressing the Threat of Chemical Materials of Dual-use for Terrorism Purposes", organized by the UNODC Terrorism Prevention Branch (UNODC/TPB) within the Programme of Strengthening the Legal Regime in Iraq with generous funding from the Government of Japan.

The meeting took place in Beirut from 12 to 15 August 2017. It brought together representatives from the Iraqi Ministries of Justice, Health, Environment and Interior, National Security Advisory, National Monitoring Directorate, and Customs along with international experts from INTERPOL, UNODC/TPB, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and the World Customs Organization (WCO- Security Program).

The meeting started with an overview of the international legal framework related to the use of chemical materials for terrorism purposes and the role of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq in helping to control chemical materials of dual-use to prevent their misuse for terrorism purposes. It also discussed the role of OPCW and WCO in assisting Member States in the implementation of an effective national strategy,  good practices on monitoring and controlling cross-border movement of chemical materials of dual-use, and the role of INTERPOL's tools and services in monitoring and controlling chemical materials of dual-use.

The Iraqi participants also shared their national experience on monitoring and controlling chemical materials of dual-use in Iraq and provided a list of materials of dual-use and existing relevant legislation as well as ordinances. 

The workshop was followed by a study visit of the Iraqi participants to the headquarters of the participating organizations and paved the way to develop a new national strategy that is capable of controlling chemical materials of dual-use and adhering to international standards and norms.