Delegation of the European Union to Ghana

European Union and Ghana jointly tackling CBRN risks

04/04/2019 - 14:59
News stories

On 26 and 27 March 2019, Ghana hosted a regional meeting, funded by the European Union, in order to draw attention to the issue of Chemical, Biological, Radiological & Nuclear (CBRN) threats and risks. The meeting heard examples of recent CBRN incidents, including the case of a chemical plant in Kansas, USA, where on 20 March 2019 several explosions occurred resulting in uncontrolled fires.

Partcipants at the CBRN meeting

Authorities in Kansas were forced to evacuate large numbers of residents living in the vicinity of the plant.  Furthermore, of imminent concern to policy-makers worldwide is the danger of CBRN terrorism, with foreign fighters returning from battlefields in Syria & Iraq and planning to undertake possible attacks in home countries. 

The EU is working actively to prevent CBRN accidents & incidents from happening, paying special attention to countering the use of dangerous CBRN agents for terrorist attacks.  Since 2010, the EU has been working with partner countries worldwide, including with Ghana, to mitigate the threat posed by CBRN risks, to build resilience and respond effectively in case incidents happen. 

Two key objectives of the EU-financed CBRN Centres of Excellence Initiative are to promote a culture of CBRN safety & security and to encourage regional and international co-operation.  CBRN threats do not respect national borders and require countries to share information and work together. 

The two-day meeting in Accra, which brought together national focal points (NFP) from eleven African partner countries, offered an opportunity for exchanges on CBRN issues and to have an in-depth discussion on priorities in the region.         

The EU CBRN Risk Mitigation Centres of Excellence (CoE) Initiative was established in 2010 and offers partner countries around the world technical assistance to work with the EU on mitigating CBRN threats and risks, strengthening overall CBRN preparedness and promoting a culture of safety. 

CBRN threats and risks are regional and trans-national in nature.  Co-operation with partner countries outside the EU, including in Africa, is necessary in order to strengthen international and regional CBRN security. 

Currently,  the CBRN CoE Initiative counts over 60 official partner countries worldwide, in eight geographical regions.  Each CBRN partner country appoints a CBRN national focal point (NFP), who leads activities and represents the partner country vis-a-vis the EU CBRN CoE Initiative. 

Under the CBRN CoE Initiative, assistance is offered to partner countries to identify their CBRN needs and draft CBRN national action plans (NAPs).  The EU subsequently makes available technical assistance and finances projects that address regional priorities. 

The EU CBRN Centres of Excellence (CoE) Initiative is the largest EU external security programme, with an overall budget of EUR240 million for the period 2010 - 2020.  This funding is made available from the EU’s Instrument contributing to Stability & Peace (IcSP).


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