On 21 June 2023, the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI) conducted its first online training session to reinforce and expand Moroccan officials’ knowledge of chemical weapons and chemical security.
Eight trainees from seven state authorities with different mandates pertaining to preventing, countering, and responding to chemical risks participated in the training. The session looked at how to define chemical weapons and the chemical weapon threat, as well as armament dynamics, both for State and non-State entities. Participants also looked at case studies and received information on the international response to chemical terrorism.
The training was conducted within the framework of the project “ATLAS – Preventing non-state actors from planning and carrying out chemical weapons attacks through intelligence-led operations”.
Mr. Francesco Marelli, Head of the Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) Risk Mitigation and Security Governance Unit at UNICRI officially opened the event, while subject-matter experts from UNICRI led the rest of the training.
The training consisted of frontal lectures as well as opportunities for questions and answers. Overall, the training was productive and contributed to enhancing national capacities to prevent chemical weapons attacks. The participants welcomed UNICRI’s support in providing capacity-building in a niche area – that of undercover operations and intelligence sharing – which will contribute to further maximizing existing capabilities at the national level.
The event was attended by representatives from the General Directorate for National Security, the Royal Armed Forces, the Southern Auxiliary Forces, the Northern Auxiliary Forces, the General Directorate of Research and Documentation, the National Authority for Financial Intelligence, and the General Directorate of Civil Protection.
The next event will be a five-day in-person train-the-trainers course in Rabat, Morocco from 2 to 6 October 2023, where trainees will further increase their knowledge on chemical security, while strengthening their training skills.
About ATLAS: Preventing non-state actors from planning and carrying out chemical weapons attacks through intelligence-led operations.
Atlas is a pilot project which aims to prevent non-state actors from planning and carrying out chemical weapons attacks by developing and implementing training programmes in North Africa. Designed within the framework of the European Union (EU) Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) Centres of Excellence (CoE) Initiative, the ATLAS project is implemented by the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute, in cooperation with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and with the financial support of the United States (U.S.) Department of State (DoS).