Poland : MAREK GRZYBOWSKI
It will be a reference center that will coordinate activities related to the detection and disposal of chemical weapons. The problem of dumped combat chemicals and ammunition concerns not only the Baltic and the Mediterranean Sea. We see it on maps developed by scientists from many countries.
The International Center for Chemical Safety and Security (ICCSS) has launched an initiative to establish a dumped chemical weapons disposal center in the Tri-City (Poland). The meeting of about 25 partners took place in the Gdańsk Science and Technology Park of the Pomeranian Special Economic Zone. The organization was provided by the team of the Gospodarka Morska.pl portal with Anna Filipek.
In the service of the fight against weapons and chemical
Amb. Krzysztof PATUREJ, initiator and leader of global chemical safety and security process and founder of the ICCSS. He is a former diplomat in Polish Foreign Service. He served, inter alia, as Permanent Representative of Poland to the Preparatory Commission and the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), Director at the OPCW, and head of Delegation to multilateral events. Amb.
He chaired many international meetings, including, executive and policy-making organs within the UN system, on chemical disarmament and safety and security. He co-organized and chaired first (www.chemss2016.org) in Kielce, Poland, and the second Global Summits on Chemical Safety and Security (www.chemss2017.org), Shanghai, China.
He develops and runs within ICCSS, and in cooperation with government agencies, international organizations and leading, innovative programs on chemical and environmental safety and security. He actively participates in the work of the UN, EU, NATO, OPCW, OSCE, INTERPOL, and represents ICCSS at the G7 Global Partnership.
European Parliament about a chemical weapon in the sea
At the European Parliament, the European Conservatives and Reformists Group (ECR) organized a session on “Maritime security and the blue economy. Unexploded explosions and chemical residues in the sea – in search of durable and economically viable solutions” in November 2021. It was hosted by MEP Anna Fotyga. Then it was pointed out that dumped ammunition was a pan-European problem.
Virginijus Sinkevičius, EU Commissioner for Environment, Seas, and Fisheries said that “in the Mediterranean basin alone, it is estimated that there are over 50,000. tons of conventional and chemical weapons ”.
– We have to carefully assess the threats and take action. It’s not like we haven’t taken action so far, ‘said Virginijus Sinkevičius.
Cdr prof. Tadeusz Kasperek, chairman of the Institute of Chemical Defense of the Naval Academy estimated more than 20 years ago that about 50,000 tons of chemical munitions in the Baltic Sea were dumped.
East of Bornholm there are about 35,000. tons of chemical weapons. The weapon is scattered over a large area at depths from 70 to 105 m. The Gotland area is also contaminated.
Polish initiative, international support
The center has a good chance of being built in a short time. Many countries and ICCSS partners from Poland, Europe, the USA, Canada, and Japan are interested in the disposal of chemicals in the seas. The problem of sunken war chemicals and ammunition is global in nature. Poland has organizational and technical solutions ready. Poland can make a significant contribution.
The creation of an international initiative is therefore fully justified. The necessary documents for the formal organization will be prepared by April 15 this year. A work plan should be drawn up by June.
Sources of financing for the initiative should be available by mid-year, – forecasted Dr. Zdzisław Rapacki, international director of ICCSS. He discussed the plan to establish an international reference center for dumped chemical weapons in Poland on the Bay of Gdańsk.
Chemical ammunition in the sea – Global problem
Ambassador Grzegorz Poznański. The Executive Director, the Council of the Baltic Sea States and the Ambassador Vaidotas Verba from the Lithuanian Embassy to international organizations in Vienna fully supported the initiative.
The center has a good chance of starting in a short time. Many countries and ICCSS partners from Poland, Europe, the USA, Canada, and Japan are interested in the utilization of chemical weapons. The problem of sunken war chemicals and ammunition is global in nature.
Law, finance, organization, promotion
Legal aspects related to the extraction of chemical ammunition were highlighted by lawyer Mateusz Romowicz from Legal Marine, Law & Finance HUB coordinator at the Baltic Sea & Space Cluster.
– We need both international and national regulations and law-making should be the first task of the center being created – said Romowicz.
– Possibilities and sources of financing law-making, organizational activities and organization of mining works – discussed Marek Grzybowski, president of the Baltic Sea and Space Cluster.
– These activities can be subsidies from the European Commission, projects financed from Norwegian or Icelandic funds, as well as Interreg projects implemented in the countries of the Baltic Sea or the North Sea, or the Mediterranean Sea.
Maritime clusters operating in the organization of the European Network of Maritime Clusters can support these projects.
The matter of searching for and utilization of chemical ammunition will also be taken up by the Baltic Sea Journalists Club. The protection of seafarers, fishermen, tourists, the marine environment, and the safety of the coasts is in fact at the heart of maritime journalists.
Pomeranian Action Zone
– The Pomeranian Special Economic Zone is open to the initiative of creating an international reference center in the field of dumped chemical weapons – said Przemysław Sztandera, president of PSEZ.
There is a suggestion to consider locating this center in the Baltic Port of New Technologies in Gdynia. It is a space where many innovative activities are created and developed, innovative projects are created, such as a zero-emission ship production hub or the ICT & AI Hub.
The Baltic Sea is a closed sea. It is a sea that is rarely fed by a large inflow of water from the North Sea. Offshore wind energy is developing rapidly in the Baltic Sea. The safety of people and equipment will be important at the time of installation of the wind turbines.
The same or similar problems exist all over the world. So, the idea of the International Center for Chemical Safety and Security is timely. Ambassador Krzysztof Paturej’s initiative to make the project international is timely and will meet with wide international interest. So it’s time to act.