Countering risks of hazardous materials - Gulf Cooperation Council Countries are invited to join international network
Abu Dhabi, 23 January, 2013 – The EU invited the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries to participate in an international network to prepare for and counter risks resulting from hazardous materials. This invitation was extended during a conference held on 22 January 2013 in Abu Dhabi. The conference was co-hosted by the United Arab Emirates and the European Commission. Representatives from Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Oman and Qatar were present at the meeting.
The meeting was opened by H.E. Ambassador Adam Kulach representing the European Union in the Gulf Region. During his opening statement the Ambassador stressed “the need for high level cooperation to reinforce efforts to respond to risks from chemical and other materials. Such cooperation is important for the Gulf Region, for example to protect industrial installations.” He invited the GCC countries to participate in an international network to exchange experience and best practices among experts.
During this event the European Union officially launched the initiative on risk mitigation in the areas of Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) materials. This programme is being set up in eight different regions worldwide.
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) confirmed their readiness to host a Centre (Regional Secretariat) to facilitate the work in this area. This means that experts will come to Abu Dhabi to discuss issues to increase preparedness and response in the field of CBRN risk mitigation.
The countries were invited to set up a national focal point and a national CBRN risk mitigation team in order to allow them to participate effectively in this international network.
As a next step county to country presentations on the initiative will be held for example in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman and Qatar.
The creation of the CBRN Centres of Excellence (CoE) aims at implementing a coordinated strategy for CBRN risk mitigation at the international, regional and national levels. The origin of the risk can be criminal (proliferation, theft, sabotage and illicit trafficking), accidental (industrial catastrophes, in particular chemical or nuclear, waste treatment and transport) or natural (mainly pandemics). The CBRN CoE initiative supports the reinforcement of the institutional capacity needed to fight against this risk.
The rationale of the initiative is to promote at regional level, a culture of safety and security on chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) domains. This is in the obvious interest of the regions themselves but also of building a stronger EU security architecture.
The CBRN CoE is developed by the European Union through the EU Instrument for Stability (IfS Regulation (EC) No 1717/2006) and it is implemented by the European Commission with the assistance of the UN.
Today, more than sixty countries in eight regions of the world are starting to exchange best practices and confidence building measures among themselves.
More information can be found at:
Website of the CBRN Centres of Excellence – An initiative of the European Union
Website of DG Development and Cooperation – EuropeAid – Instrument for Stability