Within the framework of the European Union’s (EU) Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear (CBRN) Centres of Excellence (CoE) Initiative (EU CBRN CoE), eight Regional Secretariats provide their services and support to 64 Partner Countries in enhancing their CBRN safety and security capabilities. One of such support provided to our constituency is to assist them in their own assessment of needs, gaps and priorities, before drafting their respective CBRN National Action Plans (NAPs).
This process of developing the NAP has been extended to all ten countries of the South East and Eastern Europe (SEEE) region. It starts with the Needs Assessment Questionnaire (NAQ) workshop, which follows the methodology developed by the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC). This event is jointly coordinated by the SEEE Regional Secretariat, the JRC, UNICRI and On-Site Technical Assistance Support.
The NAQ workshop was hosted by the CBRN National Team of Armenia, led by the CBRN National Focal Point (NFP) nominated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) of Armenia. It was held in Yerevan from 15-17 May 2023 and was opened by Mr. Grigori Kocharyan – Head of Department of International Security of the MFA Armenia, and Ms. Maria Papamichail – Political Officer, and Focal Point for Human Rights and CBRN of the EU Delegation in this country.
The workshop saw active participation from twenty-two government officials and other national stakeholders of Armenia, including representatives from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Internal Affairs, Rescue Service, National Security Service, Ministry of Health, Nuclear Regulatory Body (ANRA), Ministry of Territorial Administration and Infrastructure, State Revenue Committee, Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Economy, and Office of the Secretary of the Security Council.
Prior to the NAQ workshop, the CBRN National Team of Armenia, under the coordination of the CBRN National Focal Point Mr. Ara Mkrtchian, collectively completed a questionnaire consisting of 300 questions divided into 9 comprehensive sections. These questions addressed various areas of CBRN safety and security, including legislation and regulations; State CBRN managing authorities; risk mitigation strategy; CBRN prevention measures; detection of CBRN materials; preparedness and response; CBRN recovery measures; sustainability; and strategic trade control.
During the workshop, the pre-filled NAQ was thoroughly discussed to ensure that all members of the CBRN National Team agreed with the country’s approach and could reach a consensus. Technical discussions were facilitated by experts from JRC who supported the CBRN National Team in completing the questions within the aforementioned nine chapters. As a result of the NAQ workshop, the JRC will prepare an initial draft of the CBRN NAP, which will be further refined by the Country to capture priorities and outline immediate actions to mitigate the CBRN risks they are facing.
The results and insights obtained from the NAQ workshop will serve as valuable inputs for the CBRN National Team of Armenia in the development of their National Action Plan and National Strategy. The meeting concluded with a decision to proceed and undertake the necessary steps in this direction.
The EU CBRN CoE is a global Initiative funded and implemented by the European Union as part of its goal to promote peace, stability and conflict prevention.
The aim of the Initiative is to mitigate risks and strengthen an all-hazards security governance in Partner Countries of the EU following a voluntary and demand-driven approach. The EU support is provided to implement a wide range of CBRN risk mitigation activities including needs and risk assessments, national and regional action plans, capacity building activities, legal framework reviews, tabletop and real time (including cross-border) field exercises, inter-regional exchange of best practices and lessons learnt.