ZAGREB, September 3, 2018 – Croatian Defence Minister Damir Krstičević opened the World Congress on CBRNe Science & Consequence Management (CSCM) in Cavtat on Monday, saying the incumbent Croatian government had been systematically dealing with security from the beginning of its term, immediately adopting a national security strategy.
“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,” Krstičević said.
The key to the Homeland Security System is to include the private sector, civil and war veteran organisations, and citizens in the partnership for security, he added.
Krstičević said the system existed in the 1991-95 Homeland War when the state was defended and liberated through synergy and togetherness. “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 readier than those representing a threat to us,” he 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.
Among those in attendance were CSCM president Ed Locke and the US military envoy to Croatia, Brigadier Robert Mathers, who praised Croatia as a credible US consultant and NATO member state.
Speaking of the importance of developing the Homeland Security System in the context of the Homeland War, Mathers said Croatia knew what it meant to defend one’s own territory and how much such a system was important in that.
National Protection and Rescue Directorate head Dragan Lozančić underlined 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.
A roundtable was held on CBRN threats in Southeast Europe.
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.
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.