Russia ready to implement civil protection projects within SCO

Russia plans to further broaden cooperation in civil protection

Russia plans to further broaden cooperation in civil protection within the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and build comprehensive systems of monitoring, observation and laboratory control over hazardous facts and situations in SCO member countries, Russian Emergency Situations Minister Vladimir Puchkov has said.

"Acting within the framework of the SCO, Russia is ready to implement projects aimed at maintaining the safety of the population's life, as well as support national projects of the SCO member countries in this area," Puchkov said during the 8th session of the heads of the emergency situations services of the organization's member states.

"My dear colleagues, I suggest that we continue our work to implement humanitarian projects across the SCO space, using information technologies, hardware and software systems and the procedural framework that exist in Russia and other countries of the SCO," he said.

Russia has come up with an initiative to establish and promote regional management centers that would coordinate humanitarian efforts and responses to emergency situations, Puchkov said. He also proposed taking further measures to promote such centers within the SCO.                         

"The establishment of a network of such centers is one of the key factors for creating a multilateral international mechanism to prevent emergencies and tackle the aftermath of natural and industrial disasters," the Russian minister said.

Further developing and upgrading of such regional centers will help consolidate efforts to respond to emergency situations at the international level, he added. 

In addition to that, Puchkov informed his colleagues of the Russian Emergency Situations Ministry's efforts to establish humanitarian centers.

"The Russian-Serbian humanitarian center is successfully functioning today. It is responsible for monitoring and promptly responding [to emergencies] in the Balkans. The Russian-Cuban and Russian-Nicaraguan centers for training specialists have been created in the Latin American region. Preparations to open the Russian-Armenian humanitarian center are in their final stages today," Puchkov said.

The Russian ministry plans to "develop a new format of interaction with neighbor countries to introduce systems designed to detect cross-border transfers of potentially hazardous substances, as well as dangerous factors and situations on a large scale," he added.             

"The joint work of Russia and China in responding to the large-scale flood in Primorye this autumn has shown that this area [of cooperation] holds promise," the Russian minister said.

The 8th session of the heads of the SCO member countries' emergency situations services was dedicated to the 10th anniversary of the SCO intergovernmental agreement on cooperation.

The meeting was attended by the heads of the emergency situations services of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, China, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, as well as SCO Deputy Secretary General and International Civil Defense Organization Secretary General Vladimir Kuvshinov.        

The meeting, which was chaired by Chinese Civil Affairs Minister Li Liguo, was held on November 12 in China's city of Chengdu, which saw a devastating earthquake on May 12, 2008.  

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