A global community
The Global Congress is an international network of experts who work together to address the threat of chemical and explosives terrorism.
It is made up of chemical security practitioners from different countries, sectors and institutions who share best practices and explore innovative ways to counter the threats. The collaborative nature of the network drives discussion and joint activities across different areas of expertise.
Launched in 2018, the Global Congress is jointly led by INTERPOL, the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the US Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) and the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). It is implemented in cooperation with the G7 Global Partnership Against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction. The Global Congress receives additional support from Global Affairs Canada and the US Department of State.
Despite in-person events being put on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic, overall membership grew from 172 in 2019 to 330 in 2022, with expanded representation across every region of the world.
Meetings, committees and groups
The annual meeting of the Global Congress is a key platform for this international network to identify tangible solutions to better detect, deter, and disrupt the acquisition or criminal use of chemical and explosives materials.
Each in-person meeting brings together close to 200 experts from more than 70 countries worldwide, with representatives from law enforcement, government, international and regional organizations, academia, the scientific community and industry.
Panel discussions and presentations highlight global challenges and issues, and allow participants to share best practices and mitigation methods, and develop national, regional, and international chemical security practices.
- 2022 Global Congress meeting – Marrakesh, Morocco – Press release
- 2019 Global Congress meeting – Lyon, France– Press release
- 2018 Global Congress meeting – Lyon, France – Press release
Industry Advisory Group
The Industry Advisory Group (IAG) aims to address the needs and challenges faced by the industry sector and ensure stronger representation of the private sector in the Global Congress initiative. Made up of a select number of subject-matter experts, the Industry Advisory Group provides insights and advice on threats, trends, and opportunities for the private sector, as well as for the wider Global Congress network.
Set up in 2022, the Steering Committee acts as a multi-sectoral, multi-national advisory body for Global Congress priorities and activities. Current members represent 10 different sectors and 15 countries.
The Steering Committee has engaged in a series of sector-focused discussions to highlight significant concerns that may affect the wider Global Congress community, as well as to identify opportunities for engaging in cross-sector collaboration to better counter these threats.
The Global Congress network in practice
A number of ongoing initiatives enable Global Congress members to build working relationships and continue their joint engagement in chemical security.
Reacting to the pandemic, Global Congress partners shifted to online engagement during prolonged travel restrictions. A series of webinars brought together close to 700 participants from 67 countries to discuss case studies, sector-specific mitigating strategies and best practices that could improve chemical security worldwide.
- Cyber threats and cybersecurity
In September 2021,international experts from public and private institutions presented cases of business email compromises, online frauds and cyber incidents that have recently had an impact on the chemical sector.
- Multi-Sectoral Approach to New and Persisting Vulnerabilities in the Chemical Security Arena
Across four sessions from January to March 2021, key vulnerabilities in sectors such as storage, transportation, emerging technologies and chemical security investment were addressed.
- Chemical Security in a Pandemic Environment
Over six weeks in August and September 2020, subject matter experts raised awareness of some of the latest issues resulting from the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Expert roster network
A community of expert, chemical security practitioners has been set up under the framework of the Global Congress. The expert roster network bolsters the Global Congress community through a range of information sharing and training and capacity-building mechanisms.
Request for technical assistance
The expert roster network forms the basis of an ongoing matchmaking process with the wider community. Global Congress members can flag knowledge and capacity gaps, which will be aligned to the relevant skillset across the expert roster. This process plays a key role in developing new mechanisms that encourage peer-to-peer learning and capacity building.
GC Global Knowledge Hub
In January 2021, the GC Global Knowledge Hub was officially launched. This online platform serves as a key mechanism to operationalize and leverage the expertise of the Global Congress Network, allowing members to share information and resources, engage in discussions, and access training material and best practice guidance.
Find out more
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For updates on this and other CBRNE initiatives, follow our Twitter account @INTERPOL_CBRNE.