News

VERTIC involved in EU project acknowledged as part of the EU-ASEAN response to COVID-19

Funded by the European Union A project involving VERTIC’s National Implementation Measures (NIM) team has been officially recognised as part of the EU-ASEAN response to the global COVID-19 pandemic. On 27 April 2020, the EU published a press release and fact sheet detailing the collaborative response between the EU and ASEAN to tackle the pandemic. The fact sheet includes European Union Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Risk Mitigation Centres of Excellence (EU CBRN CoE) Project 81 ‘BIOSEC-Enhanced Biosecurity in South East Asia’ in which VERTIC’s NIM Programme has been involved since November 2019. Project 81 is an example of ongoing work to improve biosecurity and pandemic response in the region of South East Asia. The NIM team is leading Work Package 2 of Project 81 to ‘Review national legislation and guidelines in compliance with relevant international obligations in the area of biosecurity and contribute to their effective enforcement’. Under this work package, NIM is providing legislative assistance in relation to the Biological Weapons Convention, the International Health Regulations and other international instruments related to biosecurity. The project is being delivered in partnership with and supporting current activities in Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Viet Nam. VERTIC forms part of a pan-European consortium led by Sustainable Criminal Justice Solutions Europe (SCJS, Belgium) and including Public Health England (PHE), the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), Mahidol Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Unit (MORU), ASST Fatebenefratelli Sacco and the European CBRNE Center Umeå […]

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VERTIC Staff Working Remotely: COVID-19

VERTIC’s office is currently closed in accordance with United Kingdom government measures in response to Covid-19, and to protect our staff and visitors. All VERTIC staff are working remotely, and are available by email and video conference. VERTIC outreach continues through its digital channels: website, social media and email. VERTIC staff send our well wishes to all at this time. See NHS advice here.  

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Project on biosafety and biosecurity in Mali concludes

In December 2019 VERTIC’s National Implementation Measures team completed their work alongside the International Federation of Biosafety Associations (IFBA) and the Malian Association for Biosafety and Biosecurity (MABB) on a project funded by Global Affairs Canada to strengthen biosafety and biosecurity in Mali.

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VERTIC attends the Chemical Weapons Convention’s 24th Conference of States Parties

VERTIC participated in the 24th Conference of States Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention this week. The Convention’s States Parties gather in The Hague, the Netherlands every year for this conference to oversee the implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention, promote the Convention’s objectives, and review compliance with the treaty.

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VERTIC at the Moscow Non-Proliferation Conference

On November 7-9 Researcher Elena Gai took part in the Moscow Non-Proliferation Conference. Every two years the Conference gathers hundreds of experts and officials from government, international organisations and NGOs to tackle the most pressing challenges in the non-proliferation field. The Conference featured presentations on the future of the non-proliferation regime and the priorities of Russia’s arms control policy, the de-nuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula and the JCPOA.    

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New Opportunity: Executive Director

After 10 years our Executive Director has stepped down. A new Executive Director will work closely with the Board and the senior management team to ensure the organisation can continue to evolve in the current climate and is fit for purpose. VERTIC seeks an individual with outstanding leadership, management and communication skills. This is a great opportunity to lead the critical work and mission of VERTIC in a wider international relations context. Please see here for details.

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VERTIC hosts tabletop exercise on UN Secretary General Mechanism investigations of alleged biological weapons use

On 31 October – 1 November 2019, VERTIC ran a table-top exercise on investigations of alleged use of biological weapons under the UN Secretary General Mechanism (UNSGM). The exercise aimed at identifying practical challenges that a deployed UNSGM investigation team may face, and explore possible strategies to mitigate and overcome them. In particular, the exercise focused on cooperation, coordination and communication issues between the UNSGM investigation team and other national and international stakeholders, such as law enforcement and national security authorities, public health bodies, international humanitarian relief organisations, other UN agencies, and international expert communities.

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