Malawi commended for its strong involvement in the CBRN Risk Mitigation Centres of Excellence Initiative

The Representative of the European Union (EU) Delegation to Malawi, Fabrice Basile, has commended Malawi for its active involvement in the Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) Centres of Excellence Initiative which is supported by the EU.

Basile said Malawi is committed and its involvement is tremendous and can be evidenced by two recent key events. The first was the Sixth International Meeting of CBRN National Focal Points, which was held in Brussels from 18 to 21 June 2018, where Malawi played an active role. The second event was the hosting by Malawi of the First CBRN Emergency Response Planning workshop in Lilongwe from 7 to 8 June 2018, with the participation of the National Focal Point of Ghana.

He was speaking at Umodzi Park Hotel in Lilongwe on Tuesday 17th July, 2018, during the Official opening of the 1st Malawi CBRN National Action Plan (NAP) Workshop organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation in collaboration with the EU CBRN Regional Secretariat based in Nairobi Kenya.

"Malawi's active involvement in the CBRN Centres of Excellence Initiative is both important and commendable in view of the emerging CBRN threats, which countries around the world are facing," Basile said.

Malawi is taking steady and strong action on CBRN Risk Mitigation and management under the Centres of Excellence Initiative. The CBRN Needs Assessment Questionnaire (NAQ) was completed at the end of last year. Since this time, the National CBRN Team has been working on drafting and providing inputs for the country's CBRN National Action Plan (NAP).

In her remarks as the Guest of Honour during the opening of the Workshop, the Director of Administration in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Ms. Veronica Chidothe reiterated Government's gratitude to the European Union Delegation and the EU CBRN Regional Secretariat for the technical and financial support that made the workshop possible.

"Government has taken note of the mutation of the regional and global CBRN risk profile largely in the chemicals sector. The emerging threat from Dual Use materials whereby good inventor intentions are being transformed into harmful outcomes is a common concern for us all. The trend of global CBRN incidents and attacks also inform that Chemical attacks and use of CBRN agents are no longer considered a taboo. This is a grave risk for global security. Malawi Government is, therefore, committed to the CBRN risk mitigation initiatives, as well as, the global disarmament and non-proliferation agenda,"Chidothe said.

The purpose of the workshop was to help bring the NAP process forward and for the NAP to outline clearly prioritized actions that are required to address the needs identified in the NAQ and it ran for three days from 17 to 19 July, 2018.

The Malawi CBRN National Team is coordinated by Mr. Francis Mponda – Ag Director of Political Affairs in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and the Republic of Malawi CBRN CoE Initiative National Focal Point (NFP).

It is expected that the NAP process will be completed within the year and presented to Government for approval. It shall form the basis for Government and stakeholder concerted efforts in mitigating CBRN risks while promoting CBRN opportunities for national development.

The CBRN National Team comprise stakeholders from the academia, public and private sectors of the economy.

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