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Opening of the Regional Secretariat for the African Atlantic Façade

European Union’s Centres of Excellence (CoE) Initiative: Tackling chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) risks together

Opening of the Regional Secretariat for the African Atlantic Façade

Brussels/Rabat. On 19 March 2013, representatives of the European Union, the Kingdom of Morocco, the United Nations and a dozen partner countries united in Rabat to inaugurate the Regional Secretariat for the African Atlantic Façade (AAF) in Rabat within the frame of the Centres of Excellence (CoE) Initiative of the European Union.

The official opening took place in Morocco’s Civil Protection Office in Rabat and was introduced by Morocco’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, S.E.M. Youssef Amrani  and his Director for International Organisations, Mr. Azzedine Farhane, followed by the EU Ambassador in Morocco, S.E.M. Eneko Landaburu, and the UN representative, Mr. Aloys Kamuragiye (UNICEF).

Ambassador Landaburu underlined the importance of the CoE initiative in terms of contributing to multilateral cooperation between the EU and African Façade countries in a globalised world facing common chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) threats with cross border dimensions such as terrorism, accidents and natural disasters: » Global security concerns all European Union and African countries and we must urgently work closely together to tackle them. »

The introduction was followed by the signature of the Protocol for the Establishment of the CoE regional secretariat in Rabat between Morocco and the UN.

After the official opening, a technical Round Table started and continued until 20th March with participants from Morocco, Mauritania, Senegal, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Gabon, Togo, Benin, Liberia, Ghana and Tunisia. During the Round Table, the objectives of the EU driven and EU funded CoE Initiative, its mechanisms and respective responsibilities were further clarified.  

The CoE Initiative aims at more than funding projects related to malevolent, natural and accidental CBRN threats. It contributes to share information between EU and the CoE regions, to define, support and facilitate the regional coordination while avoiding duplication with existing activities carried out by local, national and International Organisations already active in the Region. EU’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) and UNICRI provide technical and organisational support to EU’s DG for Development and Cooperation (DEVCO) to implement the initiative in the regions.

The Round Table allowed to identify , it was agreed to start with CBRN wastes as most important common denominator of needs and proposals expressed by the partner countries of the Initiative in the region of the Atlantic African façade, covering security (thefts, crime, terrorism), health (contaminations) and environmental threats.

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Last update: 10/04/2013 | Top