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Participation of ISTC ED David Cleave in EU Heads of missions meeting, on matters pertaining to the current priorities of ISTC and the planned ISTC activities during the EXPO 2017

                                                                                    Astana, 21 December 2016

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Subject: Participation of ISTC ED David Cleave in EU Heads of missions meeting, on matters pertaining to the current priorities of ISTC and the planned ISTC activities during the EXPO 2017.

Summary: On invitation by the EU Ambassador Train Hristea the ISTC Executive Director David Cleave (DC) took part in the monthly meeting of the EU Heads of missions at the EU Delegation in Astana. He presented to the EU Ambassadors the current ISTC priorities, the process of ratification of the ISTC Continuing Agreement, the main decisions of the 63th Governing Board, including the introduction of targeted initiatives and new programs, implemented outside the usual scope of ISTC activities. The EU Ambassadors were invited to visit to the organization’s HQ at Nazarbayev University in Astana and were debriefed about the possibility for re-location of ISTC Main Office into new premises, following EXPO 2017. DC informed about the ISTC stand at the International Organizations Pavilion at the EXPO, invited the EU Ambassadors to attend the ISTC Day at EXPO – 14 June 2017, and to advise visiting European delegations to do the same. He also welcomed the prospect for ISTC cooperation with the EU delegation on EU conferences at EXPO 2017, explained the arrangements ISTC makes for participation of prominent scholars at the forum, and invited willing EU MS to showcase their projects at the ISTC stand and events.

During the Q&A session, EU Ambassadors received answers about the good level of cooperation with the new leadership of the Ministry of Education and Science, and about the relatively slow KZ decision making with regard to participation in EU-funded regional projects (such as P 53 – on biosafety and biosecurity) as well as on joining the EU CBRN CoE in Central Asia.

Several EU Ambassadors expressed support for the ISTC and interest for cooperation with it.

 Details:

On invitation by Ambassador Hristea of the European Union on 21 December 2016 the ISTC Executive Director David Cleave took part in the monthly meeting of the EU Heads of missions at the EU Delegation in Astana. The meeting was also attended by Kamen Velichkov, SPM & Diplomatic Advisor.

DC debriefed the EU Ambassadors on the current state of affairs at ISTC, the organization’s new strategy and priority areas. He thanked the EU Ambassadors for their continuous interest towards ISTC and diplomatic support for it. DC described the process of ratification of the ISTC Continuing Agreement, noting that in practical terms only Georgia and the European Parliament remained that have to finalize the ratification, (Korea being a specific case). He referred to the main decisions of the 63th Governing Board, including about the ongoing work on the targeted initiatives and on new programs, implemented outside the usual scope of ISTC activities, i.e. in Jordan, Iraq and multiple African countries. The EU Ambassadors were invited to visit to the organization’s HQ at Nazarbayev University in Astana and were debriefed about the possibility for re-location of ISTC Main Office into new premises, following EXPO 2017. In this case the ISTC will continue to rely on their support to be duly treated by the Kazakh authorities.

DC informed about the ISTC stand at the International Organizations Pavilion at the EXPO, invited the EU Ambassadors to attend the ISTC Day at EXPO – 14 June 2017, and to advise visiting European delegations to do the same. He also welcomed the prospect for ISTC cooperation with the EU delegation on EU conferences at EXPO 2017, explained the arrangements ISTC makes for participation of prominent scholars at the forum, and invited willing EU MS to showcase their projects at the ISTC stand and events. (In a subsequent comment the French Ambassador pledged that his countries Pavilion will interact with the ISTC stand.)

During the Q&A session that ensued, several EU Ambassadors expressed support for the ISTC and interest for further cooperation with the organization. The UK Ambassador expressed her support for ISTC mission. The Ambassador of France asked about ED’s assessment on the attitude of the Kazakh authorities towards ISTC.  In his comments DC spoke about the good level of cooperation with the new leadership of the Ministry of Education and Science, and about the relatively slow KZ decision making with regard to participation in EU-funded regional projects (such as P 53 – on biosafety and biosecurity) as well as on joining the EU CBRN CoE in Central Asia. The Dutch Ambassador enquire about the level of complementarity between ISTC activities and the activities carried out by the IAEA, the CTBO, and the OPCW. He also wanted to know whether the ISTC Secretariat will address individual EU MS such as Sweden, in its efforts to mobilize support. He received negative answer to the latter question. The Ambassador of Finland praised specifically the focus of ISTC on the younger generation of scientists and experts. A specific question on whether the Kurchatov Institute was involved in any special way in ISTC projects received a negative answer.

The EU Ambassador thanked ED David Cleave and stated that he is prepared to continuously follow closely the ISTC activities and support them, when needed. He also expressed satisfaction about the prospect of cooperation between the EU Delegation and ISTC during EXPO 2017.

Prepared by: Kamen Velichkov, SPM and DA

 

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