Risks associated with the Chemical, Biological Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) materials may have a very devastating and far-reaching negative consequences, if countries do not address and mitigate them properly. This wide spectrum of CBRN risks include safety and security concerns to population and industry, environmental hazards, institutional and infrastructure considerations. For this reason, the subject of CBRN risk assessment and mitigation is an important component of national security of our partner countries.
Ten countries of the South East and Eastern Europe (SEEE) region within the framework of the European Union Chemical, Biological Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) Centres of Excellence Initiative (EU CBRN CoE), have identified the CBRN risk and threat assessment as one of the top regional priorities to be included in the agenda in the coming years. The CBRN risk and threat assessment was touched upon during the regional National Focal Points Round Table Meetings as well as during many bilateral meetings with relevant stakeholders.
In order to address the regional needs, the SEEE Regional Secretariat initiated an internal discussion with the European Commission (Joint Research Centre and Service for Foreign Policy Instruments) and the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI). The consultation aims to explore different possibilities and options to be offered to partner countries. Upon building up the risk assessment capabilities in the SEEE region, it was agreed to adopt a very comprehensive approach in addressing the beneficiary countries needs in a structural and integral manner.
The comprehensive package of the CBRN Risk assessment and management will start with a generic training session on Risk Management, using the widely recognized guidance number 31000:2009 of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). ISO 31000:2009 provides principles and guidelines on risk management. This basic training will allow trainees from beneficiary partner countries to lay the foundation of their understanding about the concepts and the principles of risk management; get themselves acquainted with relevant methodologies to describe, prioritize and develop effective controls to manage risks; and use appropriate terminologies in this field.
Two separate identical training sessions on Risk Management (ISO 31000:2009) were conducted for participants from the Balkan and East Europe regions on 14 and 21 July 2021 respectively. In order to facilitate their comprehension, the Regional Secretariat in close coordination with the staff of the EU CBRN CoE Project P53, provided simultaneous interpretation in Albanian, Serbo-Croatian and Russian along with the communication platform. Fifty-four nominated trainees from nine countries of the SEEE region coming from different CBRN safety and security sectors attended two separate training sessions funded by the Joint Research Centre.
The second step in this direction will be preparation and delivery of the CBRN Risk Assessment generic regional training for the same participants who attended the first training session. Organizers of this training session plan to schedule two separate identical training sessions in the autumn of this year. During the second training session participants will learn about the CBRN risk assessment framework and its principles; the selection of the risk assessment techniques; and the national and regional risk assessment. Some practical exercise scenarios will be integrated to the CBRN risk assessment generic regional training.
After receiving two basic regional training sessions on Risk Management (ISO 31000:2009) and CBRN Risk Assessment, countries of the SEEE region will have the possibility to request some additional national training related to their specific priorities. This training can be a country specific capacity building activity tailored to address their needs in CBRN Risks and Threat Assessment. The Regional Secretariat, in cooperation with its On-Site Technical Assistance and the European Joint Research Centre, will continue exploring this third step aimed at enhancing the CBRN Risk and Threat Assessment in the SEEE region.