First preparatory meeting on establishing South East European Firefighting Regional Center held in Sarajevo under RCC auspices

The first preparatory meeting on the establishment of the South East European Firefighting Regional Center (SEEFREC) was held at the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC) Secretariat in Sarajevo on 15-16 July 2009.

The participants, representing Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, Serbia, Turkey, the World Bank, the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UN/ISDR), the European Commission, the Disaster Preparedness and Prevention Initiative for South Eastern Europe (DPPI SEE) and the RCC Secretariat, discussed operational aspects of the SEEFREC establishment and agreed on the future steps in this respect.

They elaborated on the structure, role and mandate of civil protection in disaster risk reduction for South East Europe (SEE) and invited other RCC members from the region to join SEEFREC.

The next meeting, to be hosted by Montenegro and prepared jointly with the RCC Secretariat in October 2009, will gather heads of national fire disaster management institutions from SEE and relevant international partners. It will finalize terms of reference for a comprehensive feasibility study on fire disasters and management needs in SEE.

The World Bank and the UN/ISDR confirmed they would seek financial support for the feasibility study and the workshops related to the establishment of SEEFREC.