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International CBRN security

FOI’s activities in the field of international CBRN security cover threat analysis, disarmament and non-proliferation of chemical and biological weapons. The Swedish Ministry of Defence is FOI’s largest customer in this area but the agency also has assignments from the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs, public authorities and the private sector.

Threat assessment, disarmament and non-proliferation

The dominant tasks in the area of threat assessment focus both on the CBRN threat from non-state actors and on threats relating to national chemical and biological weapon programmes and technology development. The threat assessment work is financed principally by the Ministry of Defence and is oriented largely towards the needs of the Government Offices of Sweden, the Swedish Armed Forces and the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency.

 

In the area of disarmament the work is focused on direct assistance for the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in support of Sweden’s involvement in the conventions on chemical weapons and on biological and toxin weapons. The work on disarmament questions is governed by the needs of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and is characterised by developments within the respective conventions and the European Union.

 

The non-proliferation activities rest on three main pillars. Firstly FOI provides the technical expertise required by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in questions relating to Swedish involvement in a range of different non-proliferation initiatives and mechanisms such as, for example, the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism (GICNT). Secondly FOI assists those authorities that are engaged in monitoring and that deal with operational aspects of non-proliferation. Finally, FOI supports the development of national coordination and the ability to live up to new requirements set for national non-proliferation activities in the light of new Council decisions and regulations, UN sanctions and Sweden’s political commitments in this area.

 

A variety of methods

We work using a variety of methods ranging from exercise activities and scenario development to the conduct of studies supported by international workshops and symposia. A large part of the work on disarmament and non-proliferation relies on FOI’s broad technical competence and many years’ experience of participation in the work of multilateral organisations.

 

Both event-driven and long-term activities

FOI’s activities in this field are to a certain extent event-driven and characterised both by relatively rapid short-term tasks and by preparatory work prior to planned activities as well as long-term strategic questions. Examples of FOI’s contributions include providing the Government Offices of Sweden with underlying data relating to threat scenarios, data to support work within the framework of the EU Council working groups and direct support to the inspection authorities in the context of licence applications relating to Swedish exports. FOI also gives lectures and educational sessions on subjects such as non-proliferation, disarmament and the CBRN threat picture.