Croatian Defence Minister Damir Krsticevic opened the World Congress on CBRNe (chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear) Science & Consequence Management (CSCM) in the southern Croatian town of Cavtat on Monday.
Since it was first held in 1998, the CSCM congress regularly brings together over 200 senior scientists and professionals in medicine, toxicology, biochemical sciences, physics and biotechnological sciences from over 40 countries.
"The establishment and development of the Homeland Security System is one of the strategic goals in the new National Security Strategy, which this government adopted in July 2017. We are building the Homeland Security System as a response to the security risks we will face and in it we wish to ensure the synergy of all components," Krsticevic said.
Speaking of chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) threats, he said the process of reducing them meant the engagement of the ministries of the interior, health, environmental protection, and defence, as well as the Security and Intelligence Agency, the State Office for Radiological and Nuclear Safety, and the Croatian Meteorological and Hydrological Service.
"We have upgraded the system with new capabilities, through synergy, togetherness, solidarity. Today the system is modern, comprehensive, rational and efficient, giving results in crisis situations. We are continuing to learn in order to be faster and better prepared than those representing a threat to us," he said.
A round table was held on CBRN threats in Southeast Europe.
Among those in attendance were CSCM president Ed Locke and the US military envoy to Croatia, Brigadier Robert Mathers, who said Croatia was a credible US consultant and NATO member state.
National Protection and Rescue Directorate head Dragan Lozancic spoke about the importance of prevention and response in case of CBRN threats.
"The concept of homeland security is an excellent approach to bringing together everyone involved, from policy makers to experts and industry," he said, adding that the concept had put the focus on civil protection.
On Tuesday, an anti-terrorism demonstration exercise in conditions of radioactive contamination and hazardous chemical substances will be held, with the participation of the Idaho National Laboratory, United States leading centre for nuclear energy research and development.