Health July 18, 2023 | 9:02 am

Dominican Republic prepares scientists in biosafety and biosecurity to prevent proliferation of biological weapons

Santo Domingo.- Scientists and laboratory personnel in the Dominican Republic are participating in a biosafety and biosecurity course aimed at strengthening their capacities and raising awareness about preventing the proliferation of biological weapons and their delivery systems. The course, coordinated by the Organization of American States (OAS) and the Inter-American Committee Against Terrorism (CICTE), is being held with the support of the Ministry of Defense. It focuses on UN Security Council Resolution 1540 and the Biological Weapons Convention.

During the course’s opening, Ambassador Aracelia Azuara emphasized the importance of proper and safe handling of biological components to protect lives and the need for strong scientific networks with well-trained technical personnel. She also mentioned the uncertainties surrounding the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic and the concern over potential biological weapons.

Brigadier General Francisco Ovalle Pichardo, the national contact point for Resolution 1540, highlighted the evolving nature of warfare, including hybrid conflicts and media-based wars facilitated by social networks. He reaffirmed the Dominican Republic’s commitment to security, peace, and the agreements under the Biological Weapons Convention.

José Antonio Matos, Vice Minister of the Ministry of Public Health, and Enya Daniela Ramírez Castillo of CICTE stressed the importance of increasing knowledge and training high-level officials to prevent and control biological weapons, ensuring a safer country.

The course also covers crisis management exercises for biological accidents, the treatment of epidemics like H1N1, and a comprehensive review of Resolution 1540 based on the events of 2016. The aim is to strengthen capabilities and promote a safer environment in the face of biological threats.

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