• 14 January 2014

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    Category : Opinion

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    FIIAPP and the European Union’s CBRN initiative

    FIIAPP plays one of the most prominent and active roles in the implementation of projects related to this field within the framework of the European Union.

    The European Union’s concern about mitigating CBRN (Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear) risks has triggered the creation of Centres of Excellence (CoE) in the African Atlantic Façade, Central Asia, Central and Eastern Africa, the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council, the Middle East, North Africa, South East Asia and South Eastern Europe, Southern Caucasus, Moldova and Ukraine.

    By the term CBRN, we refer to both possible military uses and material used for civil chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear purposes, including all toxic chemical substances and precursors of toxic chemical substances, biological agents and toxins, in addition to plant and animal pathogens, and radiological and nuclear materials, which could be used for hostile purposes or cause serious damage in the event of an accident or improper handling.

    Accident prevention and the control and inventorying of these types of substances are also covered in the action proposals of the EU and currently have special relevance in the entire Mediterranean basin and the Middle East.

    Concern in this field has been on the rise due to the apparent interest of criminal, terrorist and similar organizations in the use of these materials as weapons.

    FIIAPP plays one of the most prominent and active roles in the implementation of projects related to this field within the framework of the European Union, as demonstrated by the implicit recognition the Commission has given us by awarding us the leadership, or a participatory role as partners, of seven projects financed by the Instrument for Stability.

    Today, the development of actions and activities for the implementation of these projects allows us to be present in Asia, Africa and Europe. Furthermore, at the end of February of this year, another two new projects will be launched: “Strengthening CBRN response capacities and response to related chemical and medical emergencies through strengthening preparedness for CBRN incidents”, to be carried out in Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq, and “Development and consolidation of the Mediterranean Programme for Intervention Epidemiology Training (MediPIET)”.

    Notably, the kick-off meeting of the “Management of hazardous chemical and biological wastes in the African Atlantic Façade region” project, to be held in Rabat in April, will be attended by the ambassadors of the beneficiary countries and member states of the European Union, the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Interior of Morocco, as well as national experts and representatives of international organizations.

    And on the subject of the “Building capacity to identify and respond to threats from chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear substances” project being led by FIIAPPP, it should be noted that assessment visits to all the beneficiary countries (Albania, Cambodia, Iraq, Moldova, Senegal and Tunisia) have already taken place, and training courses are currently being designed for all the stakeholders with materials translated into the national languages of said countries.

    In this way, FIIAPP is reaffirming and consolidating its commitment to collaboration with the EU in the implementation of CBRN actions.

    Miguel de Domingo
    Director of the Security and Justice Area of FIIAPP

    The views and opinions expressed in this blog are the sole responsibility of its author.