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Pass Chemical Weapons Bill to Prevent Terrorism

The Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology & Innovation (MESTI) has appealed to government to enact the Chemical Weapon Convention (CWC) bill to regulate and monitor the unscrupulous use of chemicals for terrorism.

Speaking in an interview with THE PUBLISHER, the Deputy Director of the Ministry, Kwamena Essilfie Quaison, said sensitizing industries and regulatory agencies to build the capacity of personnel in the various institutions so they can play their roles in protecting the nation against chemical weapons will be a bold step towards empowering the nation’s security.

According to him, one effective way to sensitize the public is to organize a national programme to bring all stakeholders on board for a unanimous decision to get a sustainable National Protection Programme.

“Once we are able to generate a national protection programme then we tend to spell out roles and responsibilities for the various stakeholders… and everyone will be expected to perform their roles and functions to be able to help us respond to membership as a state party”, he said.

Mr. Quaison stated further that since Ghana became a member twenty years ago, a lot of measures were put in place for the convention to reach the local level. He noted that one of the measures taken was to look at the emergency response dimension in terms of chemical incidences due to an accident or attack, and opined that when the CWC bill is passed, the authority will know how to deploy the necessary resources.

“There are various products manufactured in Ghana that have dual purposes. You may have a particular chemical that serves a pharmaceutical or cosmetic purpose, but the same chemical can be used in some other way as a chemical weapon so the issue of dual use has come up”, the deputy director revealed.

According to him, banning the importation of chemicals can affect ‘trade aspirations” of the country as well as human resources. He suggested that the right procedures to monitor and deal with the unscrupulous usage of chemicals must be implemented to assist the police and other securities in handling such issues.

Ghana became a state party in 1997 when she joined the Chemical Weapon Convention on July 9 of that year.

One major necessity for the CWC bill is to properly deal with offenders who use chemicals for dangerous purposes. Perpetrators are not dealt with appropriately because the law does not give detailed measures of how to deal with them. The Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) is the governing body of the CWC.

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