Newly EU-funded project on biosafety and biosecurity kicks-off regionally in Central Asia
On 2 – 3 February 2017 the regional kick-off meeting of the EU-funded CBRN Centres of Excellence project 53 (P53), worth 5 million euros, was conducted in Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic. The event was co-organized by the International Science and Technology Center (ISTC) and the EU Chemical Biological Radiological and Nuclear Centres of Excellence Initiative (CBRN CoE). The meeting aim was to provide a platform to discuss regional aspects of P53 by experts from the participating countries: Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, Kyrgyz Republic, Mongolia, Republic of Tajikistan, and Republic of Uzbekistan. In addition to representatives from participating countries, European Union, UNICRI, ISTC and the EU team of Experts, there were representatives from World Health Organization, International Federation of Biosafety Organizations, and the US Center of Disease Control
The objective of this project, denominated P53, is to provide specialized training on bio-safety and bio-security in Central Asian countries and to strengthen the relevant national legal framework. In this respect, it will help participating countries to fulfil their international obligations to harmonize national bio-safety and bio-security legal frameworks with the World Health Organisation’s International Health Regulation (WHO IHR), Biological Weapons Convention (BWC), and Codex Alimentarius food safety laws. Furthermore, P53 aims to assist raising local bio-safety and bio-security training to international standards, while stimulating regional cooperation on relevant issues.
The project was conceived and funded within the framework of the EU CBRN CoE (www.cbrn-coe.eu) initiative. The CoE currently covers 8 regions and 54 partner countries. The EU CBRN CoE Secretariat for Central Asia is based in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. It works in partnership with countries to encourage local ownership of CBRN action plans, policies and joint preparation of regional project proposals.
The ISTC, implementer of P53, has funded and managed several hundred projects in Central Asia over the past 20 years. Technical expertise for the implementation of P53 is provided by a UK-led consortium (SCJS) of international legislative experts (VERTIC), and bio-safety and bio-security training experts (PHE, RIVM).