A group of customs officials in Thailand this week became the first to go through a two-day workshop on identifying smuggled WMD materials and equipment, the U.S. National Nuclear Security Administration announced (see GSN, Oct. 19, 2004).
The U.S. nuclear agency and the Royal Thai Government since 2009 have been preparing the program designed to support nonproliferation activities by Thai customs personnel. The Pilot Weapons of Mass Destruction Commodity Identification Training workshop was offered on Wednesday and Thursday at the Royal Thai Academy.
Future courses in the Southeast Asian state are expected to be led largely by Thai officials.
“Our work with Thailand to detect illicit WMD commodity transfers is an important example of NNSA’s collaboration with international partners to respond to shared nuclear security threats,” NNSA Deputy Administrator Anne Harrington said in provided comments. “Investing in programs like NNSA’s Commodity Identification Training is a key part of President Obama’s nuclear security agenda and the global effort to prevent nuclear smuggling and keep proliferators from obtaining the sensitive material, equipment, and technology needed to acquire weapons of mass destruction.”
In excess of 15,000 customs and export control staffers around the world have received training since 2001 on identifying the illicit movement of WMD materials through the NNSA International Nonproliferation Export Control Program and related efforts by the United States and partner nations (U.S. National Nuclear Security Administration release, Oct. 20).