Within the framework of the European Union Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Risk Mitigation Centres of Excellence (EU CBRN CoE) Initiative, the 16th Round-Table Meeting (RTM) for Central Asia took place in Brussels on 17 May 2022. The event was held on the margins of the 8th International meeting of the National Focal Points (NFPs) of the EU CBRN CoE – involving 8 regions in the world – and taking place once a year in Brussels. This was the first in-person International National Focal Points meeting since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Round-Table Meeting for the Central Asian region brought together more than 20 participants including CBRN NFPs from four partner countries: the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the Republic of Tajikistan and the Republic of Uzbekistan. The event was also attended by representatives of the EC Joint Research Centre (JRC), the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI) and other organisations.
The meeting was an opportunity to discuss the latest activities, engagements with partners, priorities, and way forward in 2022 for Central Asia. Potential areas of collaboration in the region and future programming were also discussed along with the outcomes of EU CBRN CoE Project 65 “Strengthening Chemical and Biological Waste Management in Central Asia Countries for Improved Security and Safety Risk Mitigation (CABICHEM)”, and other relevant CBRN activities in the partner countries of the region.
A number of bilateral meetings were held between the National Focal Points of the Central Asian region and Ms. Natalie Pauwels, Head of EC FPI’s Stability and Peace Unit, and Mr. Francesco Marelli, Head of UNICRI’s CBRN Risk Mitigation and Security Governance Programme, to discuss current challenges and opportunities within countries.
The EU CBRN CoE Initiative is led by the European Commission’s Service for Foreign Policy Instruments (FPI), in close coordination with the European External Action Service (EEAS). The European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC) provides technical support to Partner Countries, while the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI) ensures a coherent and effective national, regional and international cooperation. Other relevant International and/or Regional Organisations and experts also contribute to the Initiative, which represents the EU’s largest civilian external security programme. The initiative involves more than 60 countries in eight regions of the world.