Delegates from the Republic of Kenya and UNICRI met in Geneva on 30 November 2022 on the side lines of the Ninth Review Conference of the Biological Weapons Convention to discuss new areas of cooperation in chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) risk mitigation.
The meeting was chaired by the Director General of Kenya’s National Commission for Science, Technology and Innovation, Prof. Walter Oyawa and discussed two new areas of cooperation.
The first area of cooperation is to reinforce the capabilities of Kenya and neighbouring countries to disrupt and respond to chemical or biological weapons (CBW) attacks by non-state actors, with a specific focus on intelligence-led operations and investigations. The cooperation would entail developing and implementing training curricula for law enforcement and state security, while fostering interagency and regional cooperation.
The second area of cooperation is to curtail CBRN disinformation. The Republic of Kenya and UNICRI agreed on the importance of addressing the problem of CBRN disinformation on media and social media. False information and conspiracy theories on CBRN risks, such as exposure to toxic chemicals, infectious disease outbreaks or theft of radioactive material, can cause confusion and mistrust in governments and jeopardize the public health response in case of emergency. UNICRI offered to provide support to strengthen the capacity of governments and civil society to anticipate, detect and respond to disinformation.
The Government of Kenya and UNICRI have a long-standing co-operation in CBRN risk mitigation.