Opening of the Regional Secretariat for South East Asia
Within the framework of the European Union (EU) Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear Risk Mitigation Centres of Excellence (CBRN CoE) Initiative, representatives of the Government of the Philippines, EU, the United Nations (UN), the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), as well as the representatives of several other countries, convened on 6 March 2013 at the Malacagñang Palace in Manila for the official opening of the CBRN CoE Regional Secretariat for South East Asia.
Launched in 2010, the CBRN CoE is an initiative of the EU implemented jointly by the European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC) and the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI), under the aegis of the EU Institutions. The Initiative aims to mitigate CBRN risks of criminal, accidental or natural origin by promoting a coherent policy, improving coordination and preparedness at national and regional levels and by offering a comprehensive approach covering legal, scientific, enforcement and technical issues. It addresses regional CBRN needs through tailored projects and aims at strengthening policies, institutional capacity building at both regional and national levels as well as a regional culture of safety and security.
The Initiative involves over 60 countries in 8 different regions of the world with Regional Secretariat being established in each region, namely: African Atlantic Façade; Central Asia; Eastern and Central Africa; Gulf Cooperation Council Countries; Middle East; North Africa; South East Asia; South East Europe, Southern Caucasus, Moldova and Ukraine. The Regional Secretariats ensure cooperation and coordination with partner countries and are responsible for supporting them with the identification of needs, the formulation and implementation of regional project proposals and the development of national action plans.
As a result of the on-going activities of CBRN CoE for South East Asia, 20 projects – addressing countries’ needs - will be launched in 2013.
The Official Opening of the Regional Secretariat for South East Asia included the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of the Philippines and UNICRI and a Joint Statement by the Philippines' Department of Foreign Affairs and the European Union Delegation to the Philippines. A live demonstration of the CBRN risk mitigation action was performed by the Special Rescue Unit (SRU) of the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) of the Philippines.