On 12 June 2019 ISTC was invited by the EC DEVCO to attend - alongside with STCU and other international organizations – the 7th International Meeting of the National Focal Points of the EU CBRN Risk Mitigation Centres of Excellence Initiative, taking place at La Dolce Hotel in La Hulpe, Belgium.

In her opening remarks Mrs Henriette Geiger, Director, DEVCO B - People and Peace, DG for International Cooperation and Development, European Commission, noted that the EU is strengthening its security policies worldwide. In doing so, DEVCO developed and applies a new risk-based approach, building on the achievements of its flagship Centres of Excellence initiative, uniting 65 countries from Eastern Europe, Africa, Asia and the Middle East. Director Geiger explained that the new methodology, based on confidentiality, becomes more and more relevant against the background of new technological challenges and concerns arising from the reported use of chemical weapons in Syria, or from the climate disorder. On the eve of planning its new financial cycle, the EU plans to increase the investment in security in general, and in South-South collaborative platforms. Director Geiger chose the words: Confidence, Dialogue, Trust Building to describe the CBRN CoE Initiative, while outlining the success stories from the eight Regional Secretariats.

Mrs Bettina Tucci, Director, UNICRI, while greeting the participants, quoted the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres who recently repeated that the European Union is the indispensable partner of the UN in promoting CBRN security and preparedness ‘regionally, locally and internationally.’

Mr Olivier Luyckx, Head of Unit, Security, Nuclear safety, and Mr. Eddie Maier, Deputy Head of Unit and Head of the CBRN Sector, moderated the sessions that ensued, offering the Heads of the eight Regional Secretariats the possibility to present the state of affairs, the priorities and the prospects for the activities of their respective regions. In their interventions several of them thanked the ISTC for the decisive input in the implementation of projects in the Middle East, in Central Asia, and in East and Central Africa, etc.

In the latter region ISTC implements together with a consortium of expert organizations the Project 60: Support to the CBRN ECA CoE in Nuclear Security. At the end of the NFPs forum in Brussels, the Steering Committee of the Project 60 will hold its 5th meeting, which is bound to take important decisions.

The ISTC Executive Director David Cleave and the SPMs Kamen Velichkov and Hendrick Visser attended  the meeting in Brussels. Kazakhstan sent for the first time its observers -Mr. Bakhyt Kutubaev, Ministry of Science and Education, and Mr. Yerbolat Sembayev, Embassy of RK in Belgium.