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The 4th Reference Group Meeting on CBRN Emergency Preparedness – Preparedness for CBRN (chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear) disasters –

2015/10/22


Keynote speech

Keynote speech

For five days starting from September 7, 2015, the 4th Reference Group Meeting on CBRN Preparedness was held in Berlin, Germany. The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) adopted a resolution on “preparedness to respond to the humanitarian consequences of nuclear accidents” at the 18th General Assembly in November 2011, which was held after the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami and the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident (Fukushima Daiichi accident) occurred in March 2011. Following the resolution, the group meeting was established by Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (RCRC Societies) which are related to response to nuclear disasters. The venues of the past meetings (Reference Group Meeting on Nuclear & Radiological Emergency Preparedness) were Vienna (1st), Geneva (2nd) and Fukushima (3rd) where the group member Societies shared their knowledge and findings. Through this process, the Nuclear and Radiological Emergency Preparedness and Response Guidelines (IFRC Guidelines) have been developed.


Q&A

Q&A

The meeting in Berlin was joined by about 30 participants from 15 RCRC Societies, the IFRC, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the German government. At the meeting, the final draft of the IFRC Guidelines developed from what was discussed at the previous meeting in Fukushima was confirmed, information about the capabilities and the country’s legislative preparations for responding to nuclear disasters was shared by each National Society, and their preparedness efforts were reported. In addition, the group member National Societies renewed the recognition of the necessity for expanding the response scope to threats from biological and chemical substances following the outbreak of Ebola in West African nations and the chemical explosions in China. Each National Society’s capabilities and training content to respond to such threats were also shared.

The following specific developments after the previous meeting which took place in Fukushima were reported:


Report by the Pakistan Red Crescent Society

Report by the Pakistan Red Crescent Society

As the best practice, a report was made by the Pakistan Red Crescent Society. Soon after they returned from the previous meeting held in Fukushima last year, the Red Crescent Society reached out to the Pakistani government and cooperated with other NGOs and then established preparedness arrangements for nuclear disasters. They said at the meeting, “Physically being there in Fukushima and seeing the affected area awakened us. We recognized the importance and urgency of preparedness for nuclear disasters.” Their remarks gave a renewed significance to the 3rd Reference Group Meeting that was held in Fukushima and the importance of continuing to disseminate the situations of the affected areas to the world.

The discussions made at the meeting in Berlin will be shared with participants in the IFRC General Assembly scheduled for December of this year at a side event of the General Assembly. The participants will come from around the world. The use and dissemination of the IFRC Guidelines will be promoted in the countries of RCRC Societies.