Within the framework of the European Union Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Centres of Excellence Initiative (EU CBRN CoE), the Regional Secretariat for Central Asia (CA) and South East and Eastern Europe (SEEE) conducted a series of joint inter-regional activities, aimed to enhance cooperation between the two neighbouring regions, strengthen coordination, and share experiences. During the mission to Georgia from 3 to 6 May 2022, the Regional Secretariat for Central Asia representatives held meetings with the South-East and Eastern Europe Regional Secretariat, and with national and local public health and educational institutions. In addition, On-Site Assistance (OSA) Experts of the two regions conducted a series of seminars and lectures for schools and universities of Georgia as part of the Innovative Project on Awareness Raising implemented within the framework of the EU CBRN CoE Initiative.
The interregional exchange visit started with the meeting at the Regional Secretariat for South East and Eastern Europe to discuss possible collaboration between the two regions; activities planned; thematic sessions of the upcoming 8th International National Focal Points’ Meeting; topics to be addressed during the Conference of the Biosafety Association for Central Asia and the Caucasus; and interregional events to be held. The possibility of organizing the Exchange of Good Practices Visit and other important issues were also discussed. The meeting was followed by the lecture at the Tbilisi State University, where OSA Experts of the CA and SEEE regions, Dr. Lela Bakanidze and Mr. Jumber Mamasakhlisi, shared their experience with the students in the CBRN Safety and Security areas. The students expressed great interest in the subject matter and actively participated in the lecture.
During this mission the representatives of the two secretariats visited the Adjara Division of the National Center for Disease Control and Public Health in Batumi (NCDC), where they held a meeting with the management of the Center and had a guided tour to the laboratory. At the Batumi State University, Dr. Lela Bakanidze also delivered a lecture on CBRN safety and security issues which generated enthusiasm among students. The representatives of the university expressed their strong interest in the CBRN CoE Initiative and about possible ways to cooperate.
On the last day of the mission, the representatives of the secretariats visited school #1 of Tbilisi, where the OSA Experts from both regions delivered a lecture to schoolchildren about CBRN safety and security aspects. The mission concluded with the visit to the R. Lugar Center to get acquainted with the work of the Center and its facilities. The representatives of the secretariats had a meeting with the management of the R. Lugar Center on further cooperation with peer institutions from the Central Asia region, particularly with the M.Aikimbayev Center in Kazakhstan.
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 Centre (JRC). The European External Action Service is also involved in the follow-up to the initiative. The initiative is developed with the technical support of relevant international and regional organizations, the EU Member States, and other stakeholders, through coherent and effective cooperation at the national, regional and international level. The initiative involves over 60 countries in eight regions of the world.