Thursday, May 28, 2015

OSCE helps Albania dispose of highly toxic chemicals

TIRANA, 27 May 2015 - One hundred sixteen tonnes of hazardous chemicals will be shipped out of Albania from today for safe destruction thanks to a project run by the OSCE Presence in Albania, with the financial support of several OSCE participating States.

Before the project got underway, the chemicals were being stored near inhabited areas in their severely damaged packaging, putting both people’s lives and the environment at risk. In 2013, the chemicals were repackaged according to international safety standards and moved to a secure location for storage near Tirana.

“This project exemplifies the mutual trust and effective co-operation between the Albanian authorities and the OSCE Presence,” OSCE Secretary General Lamberto Zannier said at a ceremony marking the start of the shipping and destruction phase of the project, organized today at the storage premises.

“With OSCE support, Albania has made impressive progress on demilitarization in recent years. I encourage Albania to continue its efforts to tackle the challenge of unexploded military ordnance and become a regional centre of excellence on demilitarization processes,” he added.

Albanian Defence Minister Mimi Kodheli said that this project is an important first step toward the ultimate goal of safely destroying all surplus hazardous chemicals in Albania.

The Head of the OSCE Presence in Albania, Ambassador Florian Raunig, as well as ambassadors and representatives of the Czech Republic, Turkey, Germany, Austria and Norway, countries which financially supported the project, attended the ceremony.

The OSCE Presence has been assisting Albania in its efforts to safely destroy surplus conventional ammunition and dangerous toxic chemicals since 2008. The OSCE Presence has already helped to dispose of 60 tonnes of a toxic rocket fuel component known as mélange and 120 tonnes of dichloromethane, and provided equipment for the destruction of surplus ammunition.


1 comment:

  1. Some 116 tons of dangerous chemicals were gathered in the suburbs of Tirana on Wednesday in order to be transported for destruction out of Albania...

    OSCE Secretary General Lamberto Zannier said that the organization will provide assistance to Albania in the destruction of chemical materials.

    Albanian Defense Minister Mimi Kodheli said that these materials are dangerous not only for the environment, but for the people as well. She said that if they are not destroyed, they can be used by criminal groups.

    These chemical substances collected from military facilities across the country, were safely packed and gathered in Qafe-Molla at the end of 2013, in the framework of a project of OSCE, according to Albanian Daily News.


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