The International Technology Advisory Board Meeting (ITAB), 17 March 2016, The Hague

The International Technology Advisory Board (ITAB) on Sea-Dumped Weapons was established to serve as the focal point for the exchange of information, expertise, knowledge and know-how between different potential stakeholders, such as Governments, commissions, conventions, communities, organizations, scientific experts, and industry. The International Technology Advisory Board has replaced the International Scientific Advisory Board on Sea-Dumped Chemical Weapons as we have moved forward from a position of science and new knowledge, to one of action. The main mission of the Advisory Board is to provide platforms for networking, information-sharing, evaluation of emerging technologies suitable for underwater munitions clearance, and raising awareness on legacy of underwater munitions.

ITAB meeting

On 17 March 2016, in the IDUM head-office in The Hague, the ITAB committee held its next meeting. Many important issues have been reviewed during the brief but informative one-hour discussion. During the meeting, the members were updated about the current, ongoing, and the upcoming IDUM activities. Three ITAB members (later that number was confirmed to be five) are appearing on the panel for CW’s at the Centre for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia. It is an honor for our organization that three (later that number was confirmed to be five) members are filling the total of seven the expert panel. Later was confirmed that five out of seven experts were represented by the ITAB.

Five ITAB members were selected by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia to appear from 4 to 8 April 2016 to develop a new board for CDC: Experts Panel on Underwater Munitions (EPUM) that will write a report for the US, and it will included chemical and conventional munitions sites, and all underwater munitions sites outside of the US waters. The munitions will be cleaned-up in the future based on Human Health and Environment. The Chairperson of the IDUM, Mr. Terrance Long, is leading the report writing with CDC.

“The purpose of this panel is to assess the potential risk posed by ocean dumped munitions, particularly chemical munitions.  This panel is in conjunction with the U.S. Army’s plans and current programs for mitigation, prevention, and control of chemical agent hazards from this material.  This panel will provide individual recommendations and observations with regards to risk, proposed or current activities and programs, and identify any corrective actions or other mitigation measures based on each member’s expertise.”

Some ITAB members were present in person, and many of them could join the meeting through Skype, as the organization is proud to say that ITAB members are a diverse group of experts representing different areas of expertise represented by many countries and even continents.

The working of the ITAB committee is in continues progress.