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EU CBRN Risk Mitigation Centres of Excellence: establishment of the Regional Secretariat in North Africa and the Sahel

Algiers -



Funded by the European Union

Signature of the Memorandum of Understanding between UNICRI and the Government of Algeria

The Government of Algeria and officials from the European Union and the United Nations launched the North Africa and the Sahel Regional Secretariat of the European Union Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Risk Mitigation Centres of Excellence Initiative (EU CBRN CoE) in Algiers today.

The event is part of a global initiative funded by the European Union which is implemented by the European Commission and the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI). 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 aims to mitigate chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear risks of criminal, accidental or natural origin by promoting improved and coordinated policies. It does so by sharing good practices, capabilities and guidelines and responding to the member states’ specific needs.

The Official signing ceremony the Memorandum of Understanding between the Algerian Government and UNICRI for the CBRN Centres of Excellence Regional Secretariat took place at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The event was hosted by the Secretary General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Mr. Senouci Bereksi and by Ms. Cindy Smith, Director of UNICRI.

"The initiative has now entered a new phase. The participating countries are invited as a next step to carry out a needs assessment and to continue round table discussions to find solutions for issues of common concern. EU expertise will be made available to facilitate the discussions,” stated Dirk Buda, Chargee d’Affaires a.i. of the EU Delegation in Algeria.

Within the Initiative, the Regional Secretariats play a major role by ensuring cooperation and coordination with partner countries through their National Focal Points and by facilitating the implementation of projects in the region.

The Initiative involves more than 50 countries and has been launched in 8 different regions of the world: African Atlantic Façade; Central Asia; Eastern and Central Africa; Gulf Cooperation Council Countries; Middle East; North Africa and Sahel; South East Asia; South East and Eastern Europe.

In North Africa and the Sahel, besides Algeria, Burkina Faso, Libya, Morocco, Niger and Tunisia have joined the Initiative. Other potential partner countries in the region have shown interest in joining the Initiative and it is expected that this major step towards the opening of the Regional Secretariat will boost participation in this region in the near future.

In North Africa and the Sahel region, partner countries are currently working on the development of regional projects and assessments of needs and CBRN National Action Plans for each country involved.

During the ceremony the Director of UNICRI, Cindy Smith said: “Today our strengths and weaknesses are globalized, we all are connected and sharing the same ideal concept of frontiers with respect to risks. International cooperation in the field of CBRN risks mitigation is crucial and must improve considering the hazards these materials imply are not containable within the frontiers of a single country. We all are aware that in this area no country can advance and play safe in isolation.”

For more information:

CBRN Centres of Excellence website:

European Commission, Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace website:

European Union Delegation to Algeria: