Within the framework of the European Union Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Centres of Excellence (EU CBRN CoE) Initiative, the 11th Round-table meeting for Central Asia took place in Tashkent on 11–12 November 2019. The round-table meeting was organized by the CBRN CoE Regional Secretariat for Central Asia in close cooperation with the European Commission Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development (DG DEVCO) and the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI).
The meeting was attended by the National Focal Points and the representatives of the partner countries of the Region, namely the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Mongolia, the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and the Republic of Uzbekistan. Representatives of the Republic of Kazakhstan took part in the meeting as observers. Members of the National CBRN Team from the Republic of Uzbekistan also participated at the round-table meeting. Among the participants there were representatives from other relevant entities such as the Team leader of Project 65 Strengthening chemical and biological waste management in Central Asia countries for improved security and safety risk mitigation (CABICHEM) and the Independent consultant on Health Security and CBRN.
The 11th Round-table meeting was structured in two sessions. The first, which was a plenary session, featured presentations from partner countries regarding their priorities in CBRN risk mitigation, the needs assessments, the legislative reforms, the activities carried out and the development and implementation of their National Action Plans. Partner countries reviewed the activities implemented in the Region in particular the conference Bridging the Gaps, organized by the EU CBRN CoE and the Biosafety Association of Central Asia and the Caucuses (BACAC) and the training activities conducted within the framework of the Innovative project on awareness raising. Furthermore, the progresses achieved through the Project 65 were discussed. This project is being implemented in Central Asia within the framework of the EU CBRN CoE initiative.
The second part of the meeting started with a presentation focusing on the different type of threats to food and water. The presentation aimed at enhancing knowledge and evaluating the relevance of a project on food security for the Central Asia region. In order to facilitate participants’ interactions, the Regional Secretariat for Central Asia introduced a new effective format during the meeting named the World Café. The meeting provided the opportunity to gain new insights on regional priorities related to food security, major events CRBN security and the enhancement of regional cooperation and communication. In this regard, a great deal of attention was devoted to the development of the Regional Action Plan with a main focus on the implementation of the UN Security Council Resolution 1540 that deals with prevention of non-state actors from acquiring nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons, their means of delivery, and related materials.
The meeting concluded with a discussion on the next steps to be taken by the Regional Secretariat in the near future.
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 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 level. The initiative involves over 60 countries in 8 regions of the world.