A global community
The Global Congress is an international network of experts who work together to address the threat of chemical and explosives terrorism.
Its members – chemical security practitioners – 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), and 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.
We are seeing a steady increase in the diversion and legitimate purchase of chemical precursors used in explosive devices or chemical weapons in order to cause harm around the world.
The Global Congress plays a vital role in building a chemical security community of practice that crosses borders, sectors and institutions. 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 40 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.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Global Congress was unable to convene in 2020 and the co-implementing partners continue to assess the feasibility of holding an in-person meeting of the Global Congress in late 2021.
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 guidance to the co-implementing partners.
The 2020-21 IAG met for the final virtual meeting in March 2021. The Global Congress is currently seeking new members to be part of the IAG 2021-22, who will assist in further strengthening this global and far-reaching dialogue and gaining additional perspectives on new and persisting issues.
The Global Congress network in practice
The annual event sets a solid foundation from which Global Congress members can build working relationships and continue their joint engagement in chemical security.
The inaugural webinar series organized under the umbrella of the Global Congress took place over six weeks in August and September 2020. Entitled, ‘Chemical Security in a Pandemic Environment’, subject matter experts from a range of sectors raised participants’ awareness of some of the latest issues we are facing as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Owing to its success, a second webinar series was organized between January and March 2021 and focused on ‘A Multi-Sectoral Approach to New and Persisting Vulnerabilities in the Chemical Security Arena’. Across four sessions, key vulnerabilities in sectors such as storage, transportation, emerging technologies and chemical security investment were addressed.
This series 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.
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 matched 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, and is meant to foster communication and information sharing between members.
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