On 12-16 July the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI) held a five-days train-the-trainers session on preventing radiological and nuclear trafficking within the scope of the project “CONTACT – Black Sea – Enhancing capacities to prevent the trafficking of radiological and nuclear material in the Black Sea region”. The session took place in the State Security Services of Georgia (SSSG) Training Center and aimed at enhancing the capacities of Georgian nuclear security practitioners in charge of responding to illicit trafficking of radiological and nuclear materials. The organization of the event was facilitated by the Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) National Focal Point Ms. Diana Tsutskiridze from SSSG.
Overall, 10 practitioners from various Georgian governmental agencies participated in the training, including officers from the Patrol Police, the Border Police, the Forensic Criminalistic Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Operative-Technical Agency of the SSSG, the Special Operations Department, the Counterintelligence Department and the Counter-Terrorism Department of SSSG.
The training consisted of both theoretical discussions and practical exercises to give trainees a comprehensive view of the subject-matter. The aim of the training was to enhance knowledge of radioactive and nuclear materials subject to potential smuggling operations; detection equipment and principles; planning and conducting intelligence/law enforcement operations and radiological crime scene investigation. In addition, the training aimed to enhance the participants’ skills to teach their colleagues and share with them their knowledge.
“The train-the-trainers session conducted in Tbilisi in the framework of the CONTACT-Black Sea project, brought together a great set of experts and trainees, who made this five-day training a real success story. Subject matter lectures, discussions on methodology of the training and practical activities merged in a professional way, created a fruitful learning environment. On the other hand, participants enjoyed exchanging information and discussing details in person, after the Covid pandemic lockdowns.
“I am absolutely certain that representatives of the State Security Service and Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia will take this knowledge to the next level and further strengthen country’s capabilities in fighting nuclear and radiological trafficking. In addition, being committed to gender equality, the State Security Service focused on maintaining a gender balance among trainees and encouraged participation of female officers,” said Ms. Diana Tsutskiridze, CBRN National Focal Point.
“I extend my gratitude to all Georgian governmental agencies facilitating the organization of this training and to SSSG for hosting the event. I would also like to thank the team of trainers whose commitment and expertise was essential to the successful outcome of the training,” said Mr. Francesco Marelli, Head of UNICRI’s CBRN Risk Mitigation and Security Governance Programme.
On the 1st of June 2020, UNICRI officially launched the project “CONTACT – Black Sea – Enhancing capacities to prevent the trafficking of radiological and nuclear material in the Black Sea region”. The CONTACT - Black Sea project aims at enhancing capacities of security and law enforcement officials in Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine to prevent and counter trafficking of radiological and nuclear (RN) material and at fostering regional cooperation and exchange of information on RN trafficking-related incidents. The project is implemented by UNICRI and is jointly funded by the United Kingdom Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (UK BEIS), the Norwegian Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority (DSA) and the United States Defence Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA). The national train-the-trainers session in Georgia is the first of the three planned training sessions in Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine.