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Reinforcing chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) risks mitigation capacities in Rwanda

Meeting with the CBRN stakeholders

Kigali -



Funded by the European Union

A meeting with the Rwandan Chemical Biological Radiological Nuclear (CBRN) stakeholders took place in Kigali on 21 July 2016, within the framework of the European Union (EU) CBRN Centres of Excellence (CoE) Initiative. The meeting was organised by the Ministry of Defence in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation with the support of the CoE Regional Secretariat for Eastern and Central Africa.

The Republic of Rwanda officially joined the CoE Initiative in March 2016 through an exchange of letters between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation and the European External Action Service. This important step followed the nomination of Major Munygabe from the Ministry of Defence in February 2016 as its National Focal Point.

The opening remarks were delivered by Mr. Ondrej Simek, Head of Political Section and a.i. Chargé d'affaires of the Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of Rwanda and Mr. Stephen Rodriques, the Country Director of the United Nations Development Programme in Rwanda. The workshop was officially opened by the Hon. Minister of Defence, General James Kabarebe.

The EU Delegation Representative, Mr. Simek, commended Rwanda’s efforts to establish its National CBRN Team which would lead to the reinforcement of national CBRN capacities, through a better coordination of activities and the creation of a national vision to address CBRN risks. Mr. Simek reiterated the importance of working together towards common standards of prevention, preparedness and response to ensure a better world. He further emphasized the importance of the political endorsement to the Initiative. While the Initiative is by definition of a technical nature and relies on the professionalism and experience of high-level experts it is important to note that without the political endorsement, the work done will not be as beneficial as it should be for the country and for the region. Mr. Simek invited the decision makers to ensure that the National CBRN Team of Rwanda, once established and operational, will have all the necessary support and means to work and reach the important goals that the Initiative proposes.

The UNDP Country Director, Mr. Rodriques, mentioned that the threats posed by CBRN weapons and materials are at the top of the international security agenda, as stated by the United Nations General Assembly Resolution 66/282 (2012) reviewing the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy. It is also becoming increasingly evident that an effective strategy to mitigate CBRN risks of criminal, accidental or natural origin requires a high level of collaboration and coordination between different national agencies and among countries and international and regional organizations. On behalf of the United Nations family Mr. Rodriques expressed gratitude for the support and commitment of the Rwandan authorities, in particular the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation and the Ministry of Defence, and for the hard work of the National Focal Point and his team.

The meeting provided an opportunity for the participants to learn more about the capacity building activities which are available through the CBRN CoE programme, current state of CBRN activities in Rwanda, the roles of the National Focal Point and of the National Team. Tools, such as the CBRN CoE secure portal, the Needs Assessment Questionnaire and the National Action Plan were also presented, as well as the projects implemented in the Eastern and Central Africa region.

The meeting was attended by representatives of the following national agencies: the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources; the Ministry of Defence; the Ministry of Disaster Management and Refugee Affairs; the Ministry of Education; the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation; the Ministry of Health; the Rwanda Biomedical Centre; the Ministry of Infrastructure; the Ministry of Internal Affairs; the Ministry of Natural Resources; the National Commission of Science and Technology; the National Industrial Research and Development Agency; the Private Sector Federation; the Rwanda Environment Management Authority; the Rwanda National Police; the Rwanda Revenue Authority; the Rwanda Standards Board; and the University of Rwanda, College of Science and Technology.

The EU CBRN CoE Risk Mitigation Initiative involves 53 countries in 8 regions of the world, is funded by the European Union and is jointly implemented by the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI) and the European Commission Joint Research Centre (JRC). The initiative has been developed with the technical support of relevant international and regional organizations, the EU Member States and other stakeholders, through coherent and effective cooperation at the national, regional and international level. The EU CBRN CoE Risk Mitigation Initiative aims at strengthening regional security and safety by sharing good practices and capabilities, by developing guidelines, by identifying and deploying resources to respond to the needs identified by partner countries and by supporting the development of national CBRN policies.

For more information:

CBRN Centres of Excellence website:

European Commission, Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace website (see section about "Stable Situations"):