On 2 – 3 November 2017 the 2nd regional meeting of the EU-funded CBRN Centres of Excellence project 53 (P53) was conducted in Tashkent, Republic of Uzbekistan. The meeting provided a platform for discussions on greater regional cooperation between participating countries and with international programs on biosafety and biosecurity issues, such as training of experts, harmonization of legislation, emergency response cooperation.
Delegations from the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, Republic of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Mongolia, Islamic Republic of Pakistan, Republic of Tajikistan, and Republic of Uzbekistan participated in the meeting together with the EU Team of Experts, EU officials, UNICRI, ISTC and representatives of international organizations (OSCE, WHO, OiE, FAO, BACAC, US CDC and DTRA). The meeting was opened by the head of the CoE regional secretariat for Central Asia, Mr. Bakhtiyor Gulyamov, EU delegation representative Mr. Elbek Khodjaev, Acting head of OSCE mission to Uzbekistan, Mr. Hans Ullrich Ihm, and ISTC P53 manager, Mr. Hendrik Visser. Mr. Gulyamov welcomed new P53 participating countries and spoke of his hope for strengthening regional coordination through P53 and the CoE between participating countries.
The objective of P53 (www.coe-project53.istc.int), worth about 6.5 million euros, is to provide specialized training on bio-safety and bio-security in Central Asian countries and to strengthen the relevant national legal framework. 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 55 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.