Proceedings of the Bilateral Side Meeting with the Delegation of the Republic of Kenya during the Preparatory Committee Meeting of the Ninth Review Conference of the Biological Weapons Convention
The meeting with a representative of UNICRI, Mr. Francesco Marelli, was chaired by the Chief Executive Officer Dr. Joshua Cheboiwo on behalf of the Head of Delegation, Prof. Walter Oyawa. Dr. Cheboiwo requested members to introduce themselves as they stated the institution they represented. The following members from Kenya were present:
Dr. Joshua K. Cheboiwo- chairperson, CEO Kenya Forest Service Institute; Dr. Roselida Owuor, Deputy Director – State Department of University Education and Research of the Ministry of Education; Dr. Roy Mugiira, Ag. CEO of the National Biosafety Authority; Dr. Evans Amukoye, Director Research and Development of the Kenya Medical Research Institute; Mr. Nicholas Mwikwabe, Head of Biosafety of the Kenya Medical Research Institute; Mr. Willmoth Mokua Onyiego, Head of the CBRN Desk of the Ministry of Internal Security and Coordination; Dr. Jane Nyambura Mugwe, Lecturer at the Laikipia University; and Dr. Mary Onsarigo, Secretary, Senior Analyst of the National Commission for Science Technology and Innovation. While from UNICRI, Mr Francesco Marelli- Head of CBRN Risk Mitigation and Security Governance Unit represented the institution.
The meeting was an opportunity to discuss Kenya’s priorities, which included capacity building on biosecurity for national security agencies. The delegation of Kenya acknowledged that UNICRI has been working closely with Kenya and have a long-standing co-operation. However, most of the projects implemented in the past focused on chemical, radiological and nuclear materials rather than on biological materials. Having identified this gap, Kenya requested assistance from UNICRI.
The representative of UNICRI provided the delegation with an overview of the projects currently implemented by the Institute in different parts of the world. He informed the delegates of the upcoming workshop that will take place from 10th – 12th May 2022 in Nairobi, Kenya. The workshop will focus on the use of authentication technologies and nuclear analytical techniques to counter criminal infiltrations into the legitimate supply chain: the cases of fuel frauds, illegal pesticides, illegal fishing and counterfeit medicines. Mr. Francesco Marelli, invited the delegates to attend the workshop and confirmed that most of the projects implemented in Kenya have been focusing on chemicals, radiological and nuclear materials. Little attention has been paid to the biological component of CBRN risk mitigation and therefore welcomed the idea of working on a proposal that will address issues related to biosecurity at national and regional level for a greater impact, in particular on the cooperation between security services and law enforcement agencies to conduct intelligence-led operations to detect biological terrorism. The Kenyan delegation clarified that, although the National Commission for Science, Tech and Innovation (NACOSTI) will be the national coordinating entity, the security agent will implement the project as agreed by the delegates.