A Side event to the 63rd General Conference of the IAEA, entitled “EU Contribution to international security regime- Advances in nuclear security in CoE Region East and Central Africa (ECA)” took place on 18th September 2019. The Side event was organised to highlight the EC’s efforts to enhance nuclear security internationally, while showcasing the project “P-60-Support for Central and Easter Africa in Nuclear Security”, that is being implemented within the EC DEVCO’s Instrument contributing to Peace and Security through the CBRN Centres of Excellence (CoE) Risk Mitigation Initiative. An international audience of about 60 persons, with interest in RN security, attended.
The Side event was opened by Mr. Jacek Bylica, EU’s Special Envoy for Disarmament and Non-proliferation, and moderated by Mr Kamen Velichkov of the International Science and Technology centre (ISTC), based in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan. In his opening speech, Mr Bylica stressed the importance of nuclear security for the peace and prosperity worldwide. He accentuated the EC’s high contribution to global security efforts including the support to the IAEA in this regard. The IAEA’s Director for nuclear security, Mr. Raja Abdul Aziz Raja Adnan introduced the IAEA activities, with EC DEVCO’s Mr Olivier Luyckx and EC JRC’s Mr Said Abousahl reviewing the CBRN CoE Initiative’s scope and achievements and its technical basis, respectively. AFCONE’s Executive Secretary Messaoud Baalioumer provided an African perspective on the matters in scrutiny.
The key feature of the Side event was the review of the activities of the CoE project P 60, presented by Mr. Bojan Tomic, Principal Consultant, and Mr. Nicolas Delaunay, Team Leader, from the lead contractor, ENCO of Vienna, Austria. Specific activities of the project, which among other encompasses numerous desktop and field exercises, training events including “Train the trainers”, but also technical advices on e.g. protection of RN material including radiation sources and stores of radioactive waste, were highlighted. Results of the project, with specific emphasis on the sustainability were discussed. Partner countries from the ECA regions stressed the achievements through Case studies of the improvements in nuclear security. The contributions of DRC, Tanzania, Burundi, Zambia and Kenya were noted with high interest. The impact of the project on the regional level for the CoE region Eastern and Central Africa was presented by Mr Joseph Maina, the Head of the CoE Regional secretariat in Nairobi.
The event was concluded with remarks by Mr. David Cleave, Executive Director of the ISTC, of which the EU is a major State Party.
The Side event highlighted the challenges nuclear and radiological security still poses, in particular in the fast developing countries in the ECA region. It emphasised the contribution the EC is making to address those specific challenges. By presenting the achievements of the project P 60 from the perspective of the end users in Partner countries, the participants comprehended how the novel approach to the implementation of P 60, where sustainability is the highest priority, is leading to tangible and lasting results in this important area.