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Laos Benefits from EU-funded Chemical Risk Mitigation Initiative

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Laos is benefiting a regional project known as Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) Centres of Excellence (CoE) Risk Mitigation Initiative which is funded by the European Union.

The third, and last, in a series of workshops was held in Vientiane form October 5-7 focused on finalisation of the National Action Plan to mitigate chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear risks.

The three-day workshop was part of the EU-funded CBRN Risk Mitigation Centres of Excellence Initiative and gathered together representatives from governmental entities, as well as representatives from the EU and the United Nations.

During the opening, the representative of the EU Delegation in Laos Mr. Kalakate Xaythanith congratulated the government for the advancements made in developing this important National Action Plan.

“The CBRN CoE Initiative is a global initiative articulated around eight Regional Secretariats, the one for South-East Asia being hosted by the Philippine government. South-East Asia is a very active region with the 10 ASEAN member countries participating on a bilateral basis in the initiative,” he said.

Mr. Kalakate emphasised the significance of the CBRN National Action Plan which was only as good as its implementation: When it is implemented Laos will be prepared to face incidents like a spreading of the Zika virus, transport accidents involving chemical fertiliser for agriculture or even radiological and nuclear threats in other countries like the one resulting from the incident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan in 2011.

“If Laos needs further support for the implementation of its CBRN National Action Plan, the EU CBRN Centres of Excellence Initiative stands ready to provide this support,” he said.

The United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI) Regional Coordinator for South East Asia, Mr. Harro Wittermans, underlined the potential of the document produced during the series of workshops in guiding the allocation of available resources and in engaging regional and international partners to jointly address CBRN risks.

The overall purpose of the National Action Plan is to articulate a national vision for CBRN risk mitigation and to identify priorities for building capacity in this area. It also facilitates the identification and implementation of projects and ensures that capacity building is part of a coordinated and sustainable approach. Its development is based on a voluntary and bottom-up approach entirely led by countries who decide which information to include in the NAP and how it will be used.

The EU CBRN Centres of Excellence Risk Mitigation Initiative is funded by the European Union and jointly implemented by the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI) and the European Commission Joint Research Centre (JRC).

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. The initiative involves 55 partner countries in 8 regions of the world.

 

Source: Vientiane Times