Abu Dhabi: A new CBRN Hub has been established in the United Arab Emirates under the directorship of the Knowledge Group and in partnership with Orbrix Technical and Occupational Skills Training. The Hub will act in close cooperation with the European Union CBRN Centre of Excellence (EU CBRN CoE) Secretariat for the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Region, headed by Brig. Eng. Hussein Al Harthi, Director of the Smart Services and Digital Security at the UAE Ministry of Interior. The Hub was launched on 16 November 2020 during a virtual international meeting.
The Hub will provide a “one-stop shop” for all aspects related to CBRN education, training, exercises and research. By combining a broad spectrum of expertise, knowledge, experience and resources under one roof, including national and international experts, the Hub will provide focused management and prioritization of capabilities development in line with national and regional policies and priorities.
Brig. Eng. Hussein Al Harthi has stated that “the UAE CBRN Training Hub will work in close cooperation with the EU CBRN CoE Initiative, and international organizations such as UNICRI, the IAEA, OPCW, WHO and INTERPOL, to ensure that the training is relevant, adapted to the constantly evolving security threats and in line with up-to-date doctrines, practices and safety standards in the area”.
The UAE CBRN Hub will enhance CBRN preparedness and response by becoming a regional centre for training and research. Working with all relevant stakeholders, the Hub will open its training and educational programmes to the CBRN community in the GCC countries, and eventually to organizations from the entire Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.
H.E. Andrea Matteo Fontana, Ambassador of the European Union to the United Arab Emirates noted that “The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is a reminder that CBRN threats do not know of any borders. Only through positive partnership and collaboration can we best ensure a safer and more secure world. Today’s launch of the UAE CBRN Hub is also the fruit of intensified exchanges and a growing partnership over the last six years between the EU and UAE on CBRN and disaster risk management.”
The EU and the UAE have collaborated since 2014 for the establishment of the CBRN regional Centre of Excellence which aims at strengthening regional and international readiness towards CBRN threats and risks.
The CBRN emergency calls for the cooperation of a very wide spectrum of organizations and requires transborder and international collaboration. The UAE CBRN Hub will promote standardization, consistent high-level preparedness and high-quality response performance through individual, single-organization, multi-disciplinary and regional training and research activities.
The Hub will also perform advisory services, networking, project and plans development at national and regional levels. It will also offer emergency crisis management in the MENA Region, which is key in promoting mutual assistance and a prompt response to the crisis.
In the words of Antonia Marie De Meo, Director of UNICRI: “I would like to extend my gratitude to the Head of the Gulf Cooperation Council Regional Secretariat, Brigadier Engineer Hussein Al Harthi, for his tireless efforts to strengthen the Regional Secretariat, which has had a positive impact at national and regional levels. I would like also to congratulate Ambassador Salem Al Zaabi, Director of the International Security Cooperation Directorate at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, for cultivating the vision of the United Arab Emirates to promote a culture of safety and security across the region. UNICRI’s close partnership with the Gulf countries and the European Union has been well established over the years and is based on our shared objective to build capacity to mitigate CBRN risks. Together we have shown how sharing knowledge and expertise in a complex field such as CBRN can benefit humankind across the globe. In this respect, I would also like to thank the IAEA, OPCW, WHO and INTERPOL, for their partnership and guidance. I look forward to continuing our close and fruitful cooperation.”