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Philippines experts benefit from a pre-course on radiation and nuclear security fundamentals

 

UNICRI held a virtual pre-course on Radiation and Nuclear (RN) Security Fundamentals for experts responsible for countering radiological and nuclear trafficking in the Republic of the Philippines, from 13 to 15 September 2022.

The pre-course aimed to enhance the national experts’ baseline knowledge of the fundamentals of nuclear security and radiation-related topics, in preparation for the project’s key capacity building activities.

Altogether 15 experts from different security agencies in the country were trained. These included the National Intelligence Co-ordinating Agency, the Philippine Army, the Bureau of Customs, the Anti-Terrorism Council – Program Management Center, the Philippine Police, the Armed Forces, the Philippine Navy, the Philippine Ports Authority, the Coastguard, the Airforce, and the Philippine Nuclear Research Institute.

The participants’ diverse technical backgrounds such as intelligence sharing, law enforcement, investigations, border security, radiological and nuclear safety, disaster management and recovery, enriched discussions during the course.

Captain Irvin Hibaler, CBRN Operations and Coordinating Officer at the Anti-Terrorism Council – Program Management Center (ATC-PMC), facilitated the organization of the event.

This is the first step in a series of capacity-building activities that will be conducted under the umbrella of the CONTACT project’s second work package focused on national trainings. It will be followed by a tailored train-the-trainer session scheduled for October 2022.

The course was conducted within the framework of the project CONTACT – Enhancing capacities to prevent the trafficking of radiological and nuclear material in Southeast Asia – funded by Global Affairs Canada. Similar training took place in Cambodia and Lao People’s Democratic Republic in May.

CONTACT is the first initiative in Southeast Asia on intelligence-led operations to counter RN illicit trafficking. Previous international projects have focused on the provision and use of radiation detection equipment to identify illicit trafficking. However, the human factor is of equal importance, as most successful seizures of radiological and nuclear materials were attributable to soundly planned and executed intelligence operations.

Within the framework of CONTACT, UNICRI works with countries in Southeast Asia to share good practices and reinforce capabilities to effectively plan intelligence and law enforcement operations, as well as exchange information at the national, regional and international levels.

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