On October 27th and 28th 2021, a UNICRI Team held a virtual meeting to discuss and consult with the Cambodian authorities responsible for preventing the trafficking of radiological and nuclear (RN) material. The meeting was conducted within the framework of the project “CONTACT – Enhancing capacities to prevent the trafficking of radiological and nuclear material in the Southeast Asia”.
Over the course of the two days, UNICRI experts met with 13 Cambodian ministries and agencies, in charge of countering RN trafficking, to discuss issues such as legal and regulatory framework, inter-agency coordination mechanisms, available assets (equipment, human resources, expertise), regional cooperation, as well as priorities and future actions. Representatives from the following agencies attended the meeting: the General Secretariat of National Authority for the Prohibition of Chemical, Nuclear, Biological and Radiological Weapons; the Ministry of Interior; the Ministry of Mines and Energy; the Secretariat of National Counter Terrorism Committee; the General Department of Customs and Excise; and the Ministry of Health.
The Priority Identification Mission is one of the cornerstones of the initial phase of the CONTACT project and aimed at identifying points of strength and capabilities through discussions with National Focal Points and nuclear security stakeholders. The virtual meeting was comprised of plenary sessions with all relevant ministries, as well as bilateral meetings with government officers to address priority areas and specific needs.
This very productive consultation represented a step forward in the identification of common goals and actions to strengthen international and regional cooperation, share knowledge, and enhance capacities to prevent the illicit trafficking of RN material.
CONTACT – Southeast Asia aims at enhancing capacities of nuclear security stakeholders in Cambodia, Lao PDR, Philippines, and Viet Nam to devise and carry out operations in order to thwart radiological and nuclear (RN) trafficking attempts, as well as to foster regional cooperation and communication among the four partner countries. The project is funded by Global Affairs Canada’s Weapons Threat Reduction Program.