Within the framework of the European Union (EU)-financed Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) Centres of Excellence (CoE) Initiative, a round table meeting for the Eastern and Central Africa National Focal Points was organised in Nairobi from 20-23 February. The round-table was followed by the kick-off meeting of the new CBRN CoE Project entitled 'Support to the CBRN CoE for Central & Eastern Africa in Nuclear Security'. The CBRN round table meeting was organized in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kenya.
“The regional round-table meeting in Nairobi marks an important moment” said Mr Bruno Pozzi, Deputy Head of the European Union to Kenya. “The Central and Eastern 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.
The event in Nairobi brought together the CBRN national focal points (NFPs) from the eleven partner countries in the Central & Eastern Africa region, namely Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Malawi, Kenya, Rwanda, Seychelles, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia. The meeting was an opportunity for NFPs and other experts from the region to share the latest developments related to the national CBRN risk mitigation actions.
New priority areas resulting from the countries’ Needs Assessment Questionnaires, National CBRN Action Plans, and the priorities identified by NFPs were discussed. National Focal Points of Kenya, Uganda, and the DRC presented the priorities in CBRN risk mitigation identified in their National Action Plans.
During the opening of the new project on nuclear security, experts on radiological and nuclear (RN) issues shared information about 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. The EU has entrusted implementation of the project to the International Science and Technology Centre (ISTC), which is headquartered in Astana. The ISTC will work with the eleven CBRN partner countries in the Central & Eastern Africa region, using Nairobi as an operational base.
For more information:
CBRN Centres of Excellence website: http://www.cbrn-coe.eu/
European Commission, Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace website:
EU Delegation to Kenya, Jean-Pierre Bardoul, EU CBRN focal point for Central & Eastern Africa; email: firstname.lastname@example.org