Geneva, 4 December 2014.
Funded by the European Union
On 5 December 2014 from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm at the Palais des Nations in Geneva (Room XXV), the Permanent Mission of Italy to the Conference of Disarmament in Geneva, in cooperation with the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI), organizes the side event to the Biological Weapons Convention Meeting of State Parties entitled: “National Action Plans and sharing best practice: an innovative networking approach to mitigate biological risks”.
The threat posed by virus epidemics, with the correlative need to implement harmonized bio safety and bio security measures worldwide, is at the top of international security agenda and calls for the strengthening of international cooperation. A successful example of such cooperation in this field is the European Union Chemical Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Risk Mitigation Centres of Excellence Initiative (EU CBRN CoE). The Initiative has established a framework that facilitates cooperation and coordination between all levels of governments and international partners such as the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on their Destruction (short name “Biological Weapons Convention - BWC) and its Implementation Support Unit (ISU), as well as the International Atomic Energy Agency, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, the 1540 Committee and the World Health Organization.
The network has currently involved around 48 partners countries grouped in eight regions, namely: the African Atlantic Façade; Central Asia; Eastern and Central Africa; the Gulf Cooperation Countries; the Middle East; North Africa; South East Asia; and, South East Europe, Southern Caucasus, Moldova and Ukraine.
Within the initiative Algeria, Georgia, Jordan, Kenya, Morocco, the Philippines, the United Arab Emirates, and Uzbekistan have taken the leadership in hosting Regional Secretariats in charge of coordinating activities at the regional level.
A very important result achieved is the development of countries’ National Actions Plans for CBRN risk mitigation. The CBRN National Action Plan is an essential instrument to identify country’s priorities and areas where capacities need to be enhanced and, in doing so, it provides the basis for the development of targeted projects and facilitates synergies between different response activities and suitable international donors. Another important result of this EU initiative is the transfer of strategic and technical expertise, knowledge and good practices. To date, more than 40 projects have been developed within the initiative, many involving multiple different regions.
With respect to the threats related to biological materials, Partner Countries have given a specific priority to the bio-security and bio-safety measures in place at the national level, as well as the management of epidemics – with a clear and prevailing interest in the management of virus epidemics such as Ebola.
Within this framework Italy has played a key role by providing expertise and knowledge in the assessment of needs and reinforcement of capabilities, with several Italian institutions providing guidance and training on biotechnology dual use, biological waste, and bio-safety/ bio-security/ bio-risk management.
The EU CBRN CoE Initiative is funded by the European Commission and implemented in cooperation with the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI) and the European Commission Joint Research Center (JRC). The European External Action Service is also involved in the follow-up of the initiative. The initiative is developed with the technical support of relevant international and regional organisations, the EU Member States and other stakeholders, through coherent and effective cooperation at the national, regional and international level.
For more information:
CBRN Centres of Excellence website:
European Commission, Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace website: