Within the framework of the European Union’s (EU) Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear (CBRN) Centres of Excellence (CoE) Initiative (EU CBRN CoE), 64 partner countries cooperate to mitigate the CBRN risks of criminal, accidental or natural origin. The EU CBRN CoE global initiative represents the EU’s largest civilian external security programme, which is funded and implemented by the European Union as part of its goal to promote peace, stability and conflict prevention.
Azerbaijan is one of the Partner Countries of the EU CBRN CoE Initiative since its membership started in 2017. Geographically, Azerbaijan belongs the South East and Eastern Europe (SEEE) region and receives its services along with 9 other countries from the respective Regional Secretariat located in Tbilisi. After the official nomination of the CBRN National Focal Point (NFP) of Azerbaijan from the Ministry of Emergency Situations, we experience active participation in different regional projects and activities of this global initiative.
In order to further strengthen our cooperation with Azerbaijan, the SEEE Regional Secretariat organized a coordination visit to Baku. The main objective of this visit was to schedule a few bilateral meetings with important national stakeholders and members of the National Ad-Hoc CBRN Advisory Group members, discuss about planning the CBRN Needs Assessment Questionnaire (NAQ) and National Action Plan (NAP) workshops, promote other tools and services offered by the EU CBRN CoE Initiative. The visit also gave an excellent opportunity to meet with the representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Emergency Situations, the General Prosecutor’s Office, and the European Union’s Delegation in Azerbaijan and organize a brief information session.
The coordination workshop was attended by twenty-two members of the National Ad-Hoc CBRN Advisory Group, which consists of the government officials and other national stakeholders invited by the CBRN NFP and consisted of the following government bodies of Azerbaijan: the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Defense, the General Prosecutor’s Office, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources, the Ministry of Agriculture, the State Customs Committee, the State Border Service, the Food Safety Agency, the Administration of the Regional Medical Divisions (TABIB), the Ministry of Emergency Situations (MES) and its structural components: Civil Defense Troops (MES), “Isotope” Special Facility (MES), State Agency for Regulation of Nuclear & Radiological Activity (MES), Department on Elimination of Consequences of Emergencies (MES), and the Medical Emergency Service (MES).
The workshop was coordinated by the CBRN National Focal Point of Azerbaijan and organized by the Regional Secretariat of South East and Eastern Europe (SEEE) region. As a result of the workshop, the National Ad-Hoc CBRN Advisory Group received copies of the NAQ in different languages, agreed to disseminate it to relevant national stakeholders and fill out for the purpose of organizing the NAQ workshop by the end of this year. The ultimate objective is to start the development of the CBRN National Action Plan of Azerbaijan in close coordination with all members of the National Ad-Hoc CBRN Advisory Group.