Updated: 13-Nov-2003 September 2003

18-19 Sept 2003


Non-proliferation of WMD – New approaches needed for protection of forces and civilians

On 18-19 September 2003, Sweden hosted a major seminar entitled “Non-proliferation of WMD – New approaches needed for protection of forces and civilians”.

The Seminar was organised in the framework of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC). Approximately 70 experts attended.

The Seminar examined a number of key challenges in the area of chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear weapons (CBRN).

Participants examined in depth the defence related response to CBRN risks and threats. Discussion also centred on practical means to improve international cooperation to combat the overall problems of proliferation.

In the emerging conclusions, there was a broad commonality of views in the following areas:

  • To date, low level attacks using CBRN agents have claimed relatively few lives, but there are increasing risks of larger-scale destructive attacks.
  • Risk assessment for environmental industrial hazards (EIH) must be an integral part of reconnaissance missions prior to deployment of forces.
  • Emphasis should be placed on development of key capabilities to include:
    • medical surveillance,
    • analytical laboratories (deployable),
    • medical treatment and equipment to deal with chemical and biological agents,
    • simulation technologies for training purposes.

Participants also agreed the following broad approach:

  • There should be a more focussed work programme within the EAPC which could include:
    • progressive involvement by Partners in Alliance CBRN defence initiatives,
    • increased information exchange and potential Partner participation in the Alliances’ CBRN Defence Battalion,
    • continued EAPC expert-level cooperation within working groups,
    • more frequent EAPC Disarmament Expert meetings, to address the underlying political issues of proliferation,
    • identification of specific partnerships activities to assist some EAPC nations’ development of export control measures and legislation,
    • greater use of EAPC Ministerial statements to take common positions on proliferation trends,
    • preparation of a major EAPC bio simulation exercise,
    • progressive understanding within the EAPC of the risks associated with ballistic missile proliferation, and the role which could be played by missile defence systems.

A more comprehensive report on the Seminar will be available to EAPC nations in the context of regular EAPC consultations on security issues.