New York, 22 June 2012. A Conference on Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) Centres of Excellence (CoE) initiative will take place at the United Nations Headquarters in New York on 22 June 2012.
The Conference is organized by the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI) and the European Commission. The objective of this technical meeting is to brief Member States, international and regional organizations, and civil society organizations on the achievements and current developments of the CoE initiative.
The Centres of Excellence is a European Union Initiative jointly implemented by UNICRI and the European Commission DG Joint Research Centre (JRC). It aims to mitigate the risks related to CBRN material - criminal (proliferation, organized crime, terrorism), natural (pandemics) and accidental (industrial catastrophes) - by promoting coordination, cooperation and coherent national and regional CBRN policies.
The initiative envisages the sharing of CBRN capabilities, best practices and guidelines. Countries participating in the Centres of Excellence initiative benefit from the reinforcement of their CBRN policies and become members of a growing international network of CBRN experts. Mr. Jonathan Lucas, Director of UNICRI, highlights that, “The initiative maximizes existing capacities and supports countries to better address the risks posed by CBRN through the coordination and integration of their actions within a broader network.”
The CoE initiative involves more than 60 countries and has been launched in eight different regions of the world, namely the African Atlantic Façade, Northern Africa, the Middle East, Gulf Cooperation Council countries, East and Central Africa, Southern Caucasus/South East Europe/Moldova/Ukraine, Central Asia and Southeast Asia.
Representatives of countries participating in the CoE, the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force (UN-CTITF), the United Nations Security Council 1540 Committee, the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA), the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), the Implementation Support Unit (ISU) for the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC), the World Health Organization (WHO), INTERPOL, and the major stakeholders involved have been invited to the Conference to share their experience on CBRN-related issues. Member States and regional organizations have also been invited to participate in the technical meeting and share their experiences.
Press briefing on the Conference on Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear risks mitigation
United Nations Webcast