Towards Civil Protectionwithout borders
Over 80 participants from governments, local authorities, industry, academia, civil society and media and civil protection exprerts and fire fighters from Belarus, Czech Republiic, Lithuania,Latvia, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Ukraine, European Commission (DG ECHO), UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA), World Health Organisation (WHO), US Defence and Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA), joined Command Post Exercise (CPX) on March 03-04, in Chisinau, Moldova.
CPX was organized within ICCSS led international project EU-CEM-REACT 2, funded by European Union, as a follow-up of the Table Top Exercise (TTX) organized in Minsk, Belarus, in October, 2019. CPX successfully tested procedures to request and offer international assistance as a result of major chemical man-made and natural disasters happening simultaneously in Belarus, Moldova and Ukraine, within European Union Civil Protection Mechanism (UCPM). The relevant procedures of UN OCHA, WHO International Health Regulations (IHR), and of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) on provision of assistance were also tested.
CPX promoted EU, its values, with an emphasis on UCPM. CPX highlighted the cooperation between Belarus, Moldova and Ukraine to mitigate chemical and environmental disasters within UCPM. CPX demonstrated and promoted growing capacities of Moldova in civil protection and its inter-operability with international partners.
Ms. Mariana Grama, State Secretary of Minister of Internal Affairs and General Mihail Harabagiu, Chief of General Inspectorate for Emergency Situations of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Moldova (IGSU), host of the CPX, highlighted the importance of the EU-CHEM-REACT program and the CPX to develop national procedures in civil protection. They stressed readiness of Moldova to further the cooperation with the EU and neighbouring countries to reduce chemical threats and cooperate in meeting emergencies based on the UCPM.
The Moldova hosts presented the concept of the national and regional civil protection centre which will train fire fighters, develop national volunteer fire service and offer chemical safety and security solutions in agriculture, transportation and storage of chemicals. ICCSS was requested to coordinate international fundraising efforts and provide technical and training exercise capacities for the proposed centre.
As it was stressed by Amb. Krzysztof Paturej, head of ICCSS and leader of EU-CHEM-REACT 2 program, the CPX confirmed a growing preparedness of countries of Eastern Europe to cooperate and use UCPM in major emergencies. He noted the importance of EU-CHEM-REACT program to promote and test UCPM outside the EU. He further stressed the importance of using the capacities of Eastern European countries to increase the UCPM capabilities.
The CPX will be continued with Filed Exercise in Lviv, Ukraine on 15-16 September, 2020, as the core activity within EU-CHEM-REACT 2 project, to evaluate progress made in responding to major chemical and natural emergencies, test UCPM in practice and internation cooperation.