Nairobi, 23 February 2017.
Funded by the European Union
Launching of a new project on Nuclear Security
Fairmont The Norfolk Hotel- Nairobi, Republic of Kenya
20-23 February 2017
Within the framework of the European Union Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Centres of Excellence (EU CBRN CoE) initiative, a round table meeting for the Eastern and Central Africa National Focal Points took place in Nairobi from 20-23 February, followed by an opening of the CoE Project Support to the EU CBRN ECA CoE in Nuclear Security. The round table meeting was organized in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kenya, the host country to the Eastern and Central Africa CBRN CoE Regional Secretariat, and the International Science and Technology Centre.
“The regional round-table meeting in Nairobi marks an important moment” said Mr Bruno Pozzi, Deputy Head of the European Union to Kenya. “The Eastern and Central Africa region looks back at achievements to date, among which are the CBRN National Action Plans (NAPs) that have been produced” he noted, adding that “security is an important item on the agenda and the CBRN Centre of Excellence initiative - as the EU's first security project in third countries- features prominently on the agenda.”
The EU CBRN CoE Initiative seeks to boost cooperation at national, regional and international levels, and to develop a common and coherent CBRN risk mitigation policy. The main objective is to facilitate regional cooperation in order to enhance CBRN capabilities by creating a network of regional initiatives.
“It is becoming increasingly evident that an effective strategy to mitigate CBRN risks of criminal, accidental or natural origin requires a high level of collaboration and coordination - both between different national agencies and among countries and international and regional organizations,” said Mrs Sahle-Work Zewde, Director-General of the United Nations Office at Nairobi (UNON).
Ambassador Christopher Chika, Director, Asia and Australasia, on behalf of Ambassador Monika Juma, Principal Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, reiterated the commitment of the Government of Kenya to host the CBRN Center of Excellence for Eastern and Central Africa and to work closely with the governments in the region. He stated: “The significance of the CBRN CoE Initiative is more profound today given the complex national security threats that we all face”.
The event in Nairobi brought together representatives and experts from eleven partner countries in the region, namely Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Malawi, Kenya, Rwanda, Seychelles, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia. Representatives from the European Commission Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development (DG-DEVCO), the European Commission Joint Research Centre (JRC), the European Union Delegation to Kenya, the International Science and Technology Centre, the United Nations Office in Nairobi, UNICRI and AESA On-Site Technical Assistance (OSA) attended the meeting.
The meeting was an opportunity for the National Focal Points and experts from the region to share the latest developments related to the national CBRN risk mitigation actions, including implementation of current and future projects, identification of regional priorities and establishment of co-operation, as well as the ongoing mapping of CBRN critical assets, activities and available expertise.
New priority areas resulting from the countries’ Needs Assessment Questionnaires, National CBRN Action Plans, and the priorities identified by National Focal Points, and their National CBRN Teams were discussed. This meeting also served as starting point for the development of several focused project proposals reflecting the most urgent needs of all countries in the region.
National Focal Points of Kenya, Uganda, and the DRC presented the priorities in CBRN risk mitigation identified in their National Action Plans to the embassies of EU Member States and other important donors in the region, in a match-making attempt.
During the meeting, one day session addressed the issue of falsified medicines. Experts from a variety of institutions in the region such as Ministries of Health, Customs, Health care agencies, Food and Drugs authorities, Biomedical centres, Institutes for Medicine Research, and Medicines Regulatory Authorities discussed the designing and implementation of a regional project on Combatting Falsified Medicines in Eastern and Central Africa.
During the opening of the new project on nuclear safety and security on the 23 February, experts on radiological and nuclear (RN) issues from state institutions and research communities of eleven African countries shared information about existing legal frameworks, institutional mechanisms and national policies on nuclear safety and security. The need for specialized training, field exercises, and equipment to better respond to RN risks was highlighted by the experts. Ways and means to address efficiently the challenges of managing radioactive waste, of using RN sources in mining, gas and oil industries, and of ensuring safe trans-border transportation of RN materials were discussed as well. The project will be implemented by the International Science and Technology Center (ISTC) Headquartered in Astana, with over 20 years of experience of working on CBRN issues.
The EU CBRN CoE Initiative is funded by the European Commission and implemented in cooperation with the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI) and the European Commission Joint Research Center (JRC). The European External Action Service is also involved in the follow-up of the initiative. The initiative is developed with the technical support of relevant international and regional organisations, the EU Member States and other stakeholders, through coherent and effective cooperation at the national, regional and international level. The initiative involves 56 countries in 8 regions of the world
For more information:
CBRN Centres of Excellence website: http://www.cbrn-coe.eu/
European Commission, Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace website: http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/fpi/what-we-do/instrument_contributing_to_stability_and_peace_en.htm
UNICRI CBRN Risk Mitigation and Security Governance Programme: http://www.unicri.it/topics/cbrn/