Press release

Capacity Building workshop held in Seychelles to Respond to threats of CBRN

May 22, 2015

The Division of Disaster and Risk Management (DRDM), in collaboration with the European Union (EU) Chemical Biological Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) Centres of Excellence, and the Foreign Affairs Department, have come together this week for a Capacity Building and Raising Awareness Workshop, to Identify and Respond to Threats of Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) Materials in the Sub-Saharan African Region, from the period of Tuesday 19th and Friday 22nd May 2015, at the Sheikh Khalifa Diagnostic Centre Training Room in the Victoria Hospital.

Seychelles is party to all the major CBRN related Conventions, including the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on their Destruction, the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction, and the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. Seychelles joined the CBRN Centres of Excellence Initiative on 16th October 2014, in an effort to reduce the risks and potential harm that can be caused by CBRN materials and to promote conformity to international standards in the use of CBRN materials.

As a country which fully supports efforts to reduce the risks and potential harm caused by CBRN materials, and which actively promotes the adherence to internationally accepted norms and principles regulating the proper use of such materials. The concept of CBRN material management and mitigation is relatively new to the Seychelles. As such, The Foreign Affairs Department and the DRDM have lobbied hard for this introductory workshop to take place this year with the relevant stakeholders.

The workshop has been primarily facilitated by Ms. Alicia Mignone, a scientist and researcher and National Focal Point for the CBRN Centres of Excellence initiative of the EU, along with a team of six experts in the relevant fields of matters related to CBRN. This initiative, also known as Project 13, is a two year project that has been extended to 2015 by the CBRN Centre of Excellence, in an effort to raise awareness on the issue in the region, and to assist countries in strengthening national and regional interagency cooperation to boost emergency preparedness. Once this introductory training session is concluded, the DRDM will continue to work with the assistance of the CBRN Centres for Excellence to develop a National CBRN Action Plan, which will form the basis for a framework to boost cooperation between the necessary local, regional and international organisations concerned, and to act as a standard operating mechanism with clear strategies for CBRN risk mitigation strategies and post crisis management practices.

Participants in attendance are representing the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Environment and Energy, the Seychelles Police Force, the Seychelles Revenue Commission, the Seychelles Agricultural Authority, Seychelles People’s Defense Forces and Seychelles Civil Aviation Authority among others.

This initiative is set to provide assistance in all of the aforementioned avenues through a synchronized national and international coordination approach, in order to uphold socio-economic development as a whole in Seychelles.