After the successful meetings with authorities of Lao PDR, UNICRI continued its in-country missions to CONTACT Southeast Asia’s partner countries by traveling to Phnom Penh, capital of the Kingdom of Cambodia. Within this context and in the framework of the CONTACT SEA project, on 21-22 March 2022, UNICRI held a 2-day workshop with Cambodian authorities in charge of combating illicit trafficking of radiological and nuclear (RN) material.
The workshop involved representatives from the Ministry of Interior; Ministry of Mines and Energy; the Secretariat of National Counter-Terrorism Committee; the General Department of Customs and Excise; the national focal point of the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism; the national chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) Defence Expert within the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN); and the General Secretariat of the National Authority for the Prohibition of Chemical, Nuclear, Biological and Radiological Weapons.
The structure of the workshop with Cambodian authorities mirrored the one designed for the meeting with Lao PDR’s stakeholders. Also in this context, the event represented the opportunity for UNICRI officials to provide an overview of CONTACT SEA project and its different phases of implementation; and to present the training curriculum specifically developed for security, law enforcement and nuclear regulatory authority staff on intelligence-led operations to thwart RN trafficking attempts. During the bilateral meetings, UNICRI and participating national authorities also reviewed and moved towards the finalization of the Kingdom of Cambodia’s CONTACT Country Report, which sets forth the state’s current needs and priorities in preventing and detecting RN trafficking.
Cambodian agencies and, particularly, the nominated experts who will undergo the different stages of the training process, expressed strong interest for the project, showing appreciation for its innovative approach. They also emphasized the need for continuous and sustainable support in the medium term to strengthen capacity-building in the area of RN trafficking.
CONTACT – Southeast Asia aims at enhancing capacities of nuclear security stakeholders in Cambodia, Lao PDR, Philippines, and Viet Nam to devise and carry out operations to thwart radiological and nuclear (RN) trafficking attempts, as well as to foster regional cooperation and communication among the four partner countries. The project is funded by Global Affairs Canada’s Weapons Threat Reduction Program.