Aims and Objectives

Review Conferences of the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) have regularly asserted that increasing the membership of the BWC is of great importance. However, there are still 14 States which are not yet party to the BWC, mostly in Africa and the Pacific.

This project therefore involves specific programmes to encourage these States to join the BWC, which will be conducted in cooperation with other relevant actors, particularly regional and sub-regional organizations

The project will provide tailored informational materials where necessary and engage directly with States in the relevant regions.



In-country universalisation activities will be conducted in four States not party to the BWC. Those countries will be selected based on actual prospects with respect to ratification/accession to the Convention. The activities will build on the discussions and outcomes from previous regional workshops and will be tailored to national circumstances. 

In addition, the project foresees two regional workshops, one for Africa and one for the Pacific regionin order to capitalise on the geographical proximity of several States not party to the BWC and to encourage regional dialogue in order to sustain universalisation efforts. The workshop for the Pacific region was held in Wellington, New Zealand in September 2019.

A sponsorship element will also be included in order to bring key officials from States not yet party to the BWC to its meetings in Geneva. 

All universalisation efforts build upon activities undertaken in the framework of previous European Union Council Decisions.

BWC Universalisation Workshop for the Pacific, New Zealand, 2019
BWC Universalisation Workshop for Fiji, 2017