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Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Risk Mitigation
News article23 January 2024Service for Foreign Policy Instruments, Joint Research Centre2 min read

Paving the way for the National Action Plan in Iraq

Iraq flag
© butenkow, Adobe Stock


The Republic of Iraq joined the EU CBRN Centres of Excellence EU CBRN CoE in 2017 as a partner country of the Initiative’s Regional Secretariat for the Middle East and has taken part to several capacity building projects on CBRN risk mitigation and emergency planning funded by the European Commission under the Neighborhood and Development Cooperation Instrument (NDICI). Despite the rapid economic growth and development Iraq has experienced over the past decade, the recent attacks from Daesh, climate disasters and the COVID-19 pandemic have revealed the urgent need for consolidating biosafety and biosecurity, societal resilience and protection of critical infrastructures.

National Self-Assessment on existing CBRN capabilities

National experts from several ministries and agencies covering all the chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear domains made a self-assessment of the current preparedness and response capabilities in case of an event resulting from a CBRN hazard. The methodology for identifying needs and gaps in the national overall preparedness consisted of the completion of the need assessment questionnaire (CBRN Questionnaire) to establish the status of the risk mitigating factors such as enforcement of legislation, national prevention policies, detection equipment of chemical, biological, radioactive  and nuclear material, best practices and standard operating procedures for transport of dangerous goods, border and/or customs control and strategic trade control.

Permanent Secretariat for CBRN capacity development

From an organisational point of view, great progress has been made with the establishment of a Iraqi Permanent Secretariat for CBRN capacity development with representatives from all relevant institutions including regulatory and monitoring authorities. The Permanent Secretariat coordinates and supports the implementation of the CBRN legislation underpinning the international conventions and treaties and its objective is to make optimum use of the assistance of the European Union and other donors to address national needs and priorities.

Building up the National Action Plan

Based on the national self-assessment of CRN capabilities, the Iraqi’s CBRN National Team organized a dedicated workshop on 15-16 January 2024 to define the main actions of the CBRN National Action Plan. The meeting was facilitated by the EU Joint Research Centre and the On-Site Assistance experts of the CBRN CoE initiative. The national experts put forward a list of 28 far-fetched actions with 17 marked as high priority, including the establishment of a national CBRN training centre, improving safety and security of CBRN transport, procurement of security equipment, disposal of radioactive waste, more CBRN exercises to test national response, among others.

The strategic National Action Plan document will shortly be submitted for approval to the Iraqi Government, demonstrating Iraq's dedication to addressing CBRN threats with a comprehensive and government-endorsed strategy.


Publication date
23 January 2024
Service for Foreign Policy Instruments | Joint Research Centre
CBRN areas
  • Bio-safety/bio-security
  • Border control and monitoring
  • Crisis management
  • Denying support for misuse and terrorism
  • First response
  • Illicit trafficking
  • Import/export control
  • Investigation and prosecution
  • Legal framework
  • Post incident recovery
  • Protection of material/facilities
  • Public and infrastructure protection
  • Public health impact mitigation
  • Safeguarding information diffusion
  • Safety and security
  • Transit and trans-shipment control
  • Waste management
CBRN categories
  • Chemical
  • Biological
  • Radiological
  • Nuclear
CoE Region
  • MIE - Middle East