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09 March 2011

INTERPOL training session in Turkey aims to boost regional anti-bioterrorism efforts

ANTALYA, Turkey – Experts from law enforcement, policy makers, academics, health-protection agencies and the World Health Organization, took part in an INTERPOL "Train-the-Trainer" session for the prevention of bioterrorism to train participants from the Eastern European and Central Asian regions in the prevention, preparedness and response to a bioterrorism incident.

The five-day session (21 - 25 February) was the ninth such exercise since 2007 and was hosted by the Turkish National Police. It brought together 40 participants from 15 countries (and 29 observers), including Bulgaria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Czech Republic, Georgia, Greece, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Lithuania, Moldova, Poland, Slovenia, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. Three observers from the United Nations Office of Disarmament Affairs, the United Nations Biological Weapons Convention and Implementation Support Unit and the European Centre for Disease Control (ECDC) also attended the training.

With INTERPOL's Bioterrorism Prevention Train-the-Trainers sessions constituting one of the key pillars for the Organization's Bioterrorism Prevention Programme, the Head of the NCB Ankara, Mr Isildar Süleyman, also a member of the INTERPOL Executive Committee for Europe, stressed 'the importance for law enforcement being prepared for this type of crime' during his opening speech.

INTERPOL train-the-trainer sessions are organized and delivered in an interactive way with the aim of enhancing the capacity of countries to provide their own bioterrorism-preparedness training. The regional sessions are led by a team of experts from various agencies around the world. In addition to enhancing the bioterrorism prevention efforts and capacity of trainers, Train-the-Trainer priorities also include fostering inter-agency co-operation, identifying strategies and resource gaps, forging sub-regional communications and co-operation, and recommending law-reform measures.