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Counterrorism and Airport Security Chiefs from Hungary Hold Discussions at UCLA

Counterrorism and Airport Security Chiefs from Hungary Hold Discussions at UCLA

Six Hungarian officials meet with leading epidemiologist Dr. Robert Kim-Farley on control of bioterror.

By Gohar Grigorian

The UCLA International Visitors Bureau hosted a delegation of six officials from Hungary May 6 specializing in disaster management and counterterrorism. Their visit was part of a three-week "Counterterrorism" program sponsored by the United States Department of State, in an undertaking to examine American efforts to combat terrorism. The group included representatives from the Hungarian Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Economy and Transport, and the Hungarian National Police.

The Hungarians' visit to UCLA included a meeting with Dr. Robert Kim-Farley, a well-known professor of epidemiology at the School of Public Health. Dr. Kim-Farley's educational background includes social and community medicine, family and international health, and preventive medicine. Topics discussed during their one-hour session with Dr. Kim-Farley included current strategies, practices, and issues related to terrorism and intentional outbreaks of contagious diseases.

The importance of law enforcement in the area of public health was underlined and the different ways of investigating health issues. Smallpox was a case in point, and Dr. Kim-Farley talked about the Los Angeles County smallpox recovery plan to demonstrate that the condition can be controlled through appropriate measures. Prevention in advance is somewhat restricted, Dr. Kim-Farley said, because most Americans do not want to be vaccinated. A new smallpox vaccine is expected at the end of the year.

The meeting also touched on issues relating to the Standardized Emergency Management System (SEMS), emergency assistance to be provided by the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services, and the importance of the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, where Dr, Kim-Farley did his medical residency. There was also some discussioni of SARS and the difficulties in controlling it.

Dr. Kim-Farley also mentioned to the guests the upcoming Bio-Security 2003 Conference in Washington, D.C, where new trends in biotechnology will be presented.

The discussion ended with plans for future exchanges.

The delegation included:

Mr. Tamas FULOP, passenger security officer, Passenger Security Department, Air Traffic and Airport Administration.

Mr. Jozsef HESZ, deputy head, Department for Rescue Organization, National Directorate for Disaster Management.

Dr. Andras HUSZAR, head, Department for Disaster Medical Service, National Directorate for Disaster Management.

Mr. Zoltan KESZTHELYI, Senior Advisor on Aviation Safety and Security, General Directorate of Civil Aviation, Ministry of Economy and Transport.

Mr. Gyula KOCSIS, director, Licensing and Administration Office, Bureau of Export Control and Prohibition of Chemical and Biological Weapons, Ministry of Economy and Transport.

and Major Zoltan MAYER, and officer in the Counterterrorism Department, Directorate Against Organized Crime, Hungarian National Police.

While in the United States the delegation held meetings in various cities with law enforcement and homeland security officials, as well as analysts from the private sector. Their study included international cooperation in anti-terrorist measures; training for first responders and disaster-management officials; heightened anti-terrorist measures in aviation, border control, and export control; and related issues.


UCLA International Institute