EU CBRN CoE Initiative: 9th Virtual Meeting of the Heads of Regional Secretariats takes place
14:50 / 2021-11-25

On November 22, 2021, the 9th virtual meeting of the Heads of the Secretariat of the EU CBRN CoE Initiative was held within the framework of the EU Centres of Excellence on Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Risk Mitigation (EU CBRN CoE) Initiative.

According to the Press Service of the State Committee on Industrial Safety of the Republic of Uzbekistan, the participants of the meeting discussed both strategic and organizational aspects of the EU CBRN CoE Initiative.

This is the second meeting of the heads of secretariats that took place online in connection with the situation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The meeting was opened by Ms. Natalie Pauwels, Head of Unit at the European Commission Service for Foreign Policy Instruments (FPI EC), and Mr. Leif Villadsen, Deputy Director of UNICRI.

At the meeting, the participants discussed the results of the preparatory meeting of the heads of the secretariats, which took place on November 9-10, 2021 in Turin, Italy. The Interregional Roadmap for 2022 was also presented at the meeting. This strategic document reflects the priorities and actions for further development and strengthening the sustainability of the Initiative in all 62 partner countries. The Heads of the Regional Secretariats had the opportunity to briefly talk about the activities and work carried out in their regions, as well as express their views on the Interregional Roadmap for 2022.

The Head of the Regional Secretariat for Central Asia, Mr. Bakhtiyor Gulyamov, presented information on the work and achievements of the Regional Secretariat for Central Asia since the previous 8th annual meeting of the Heads of the Secretariats. Mr. Gulyamov spoke about the activities and progress achieved by the partner countries and the Central Asian region in general in 2021. He also mentioned the plans of the Regional Secretariat for Central Asia for 2022. Mr. Gulyamov noted that within the framework of the interregional cooperation with the Regional Secretariat for Southeast and Eastern Europe, it is planned to conduct several events to raise awareness of CBRN incident prevention, preparedness and response. Within the framework of cooperation with the Central Asia Rule of Law Programme, the Regional Secretariat for Central Asia is also discussing the issue of conducting integrated courses with the participation of partner countries, which will help to strengthen the capacity of law enforcement agencies, security services and civil defense in terms of information exchange and response to terrorist threats related to CBRN materials, including dual-use materials, in the Central Asian region. Mr. Gulyamov emphasized that in 2022 it is planned to continue work on the coordination of the CBRN Regional Risk Action Plan with partner countries in the region. In 2022, the Secretariat of the CBRN Centres of Excellence in Central Asia will pay much attention to the discussion of ideas for new projects, their development and promotion.

At the meeting, leading experts from four regions presented information on ongoing capacity-building activities and plans for the future, as well as shared their successful experiences.

Ms. Anaïs Joerger, Project Officer of the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission, presented information on the trainings on risk assessment in the regions.

Ms. Joanneke Balfoort, Director for Security and Defence Policy at the European External Action Service closed the meeting, thanking everyone for their efforts in implementing the Initiative and for their active participation in the meeting.

The EU CBRN CoE Initiative is funded by the European Union and implemented in cooperation with the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI) and the European Commission Joint Research Centre (JRC). The European External Action Service is also involved in the follow-up to the initiative. The initiative is developed with the technical support of relevant international and regional organizations, the EU Member States, and other stakeholders, through coherent and effective cooperation at the national, regional and international levels. The initiative involves over 60 countries in eight regions of the world.