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The Final Regional Conference under the framework of Project 46 of the European Union Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Risk Mitigation Centres of Excellence Initiative (EU CBRN CoE) is being held from 3 to 5 July at the Crowne Plaza Hotel Vientiane.

The event brings together around 70 CBRN experts and decision-makers from Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand and Viet Nam and includes presentations from representatives from the EU, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and Australia.

The conference focuses on regional collaboration and sustainability of capabilities built through the CBRN CoE to mitigate the risks related to CBRN materials. During the formal opening, Mr Kamphet VONGDALA, Director General, Planning and Cooperation Department, Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST), Lao PDR, underlined the importance of international co-operation in planning for and dealing with a deliberate or accidental release of CBRN materials. He also expressed his gratitude to the EU for the financial and technical support provided to date to the South-East Asia region through remarkable experts who have delivered a range of training courses and capability development workshops.

The CBRN CoE Project 46 was initiated in July 2015 and launched with a formal kick-off meeting held in Metro Manila, Philippines, in September of that year. The project consortium consists of FIIAPP (International and Ibero-American Foundation for Administration and Public Policies) based in Madrid, Spain, FORMIT (Foundation for Technology Migration and Research) based in Rome, Italy and L. SACCO (Fatebenefratelli Sacco Hospital) based in Milan, Italy. Jointly, they have been providing teams of experts to work with emergency responders, bio-safety and security personnel, as well as policymakers to improve the awareness of and the capacity to deal with CBRN risks.

The CBRN Risk Mitigation Centres of Excellence are an initiative of the European Union (EU), funded and implemented by the European Commission through its international cooperation Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace (IcSP) in close coordination with the European External Action Service (EEAS). The United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI) and other relevant International/Regional Organisations and regional experts provide their capacity to ensure coherent and effective national, regional and international cooperation. The initiative currently involves 60 partner countries across 8 regions of the world.

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