And perhaps most historically of all, we have agreed to establish an Implementation Support Unit to assist us in implementing the decisions of this Conference. For many years, the States Parties have debated the need for institutional support for the Convention. Now we have it, built not on a political argument, nor on a perception that “something is better than nothing”, but on the solid basis of the positive and practical contribution the temporary secretariat has made over the past three years.
President of the Sixth Review Conference
The ISU is funded by the States Parties to the Convention, and performs the following tasks:
Helping States Parties help each other
- Forms the core of the Secretariat of meetings of the BWC;
- Supports the work of the annual Chair and Vice-Chairs;
- Maintains and develops the BWC website (including through the development of a restricted access area);
- Interacts with relevant international organizations;
- Interacts with scientific and academic institutions, as well as non-governmental organizations; and
- Attends relevant meetings and events.
Enhancing transparency, building trust
- Receives and distributes confidence-building measures (CBMs) to/from States Parties;
- Sends information notices to States Parties regarding their annual submissions;
- Compiles and distributes data on CBMs (and reports on participation at each Meeting of States Parties);
- Serves as an information exchange point for assistance related to preparation of CBMs;
- Facilitates activities to promote participation in the CBM process.
Domestic action, global impact
- Serves as an information exchange point for national implementation;
- Collates details of national measures to implement all aspects of the Convention, as well as biosafety and biosecurity obligations;
- Receives and distributes reports on the implementation of Article X (on peaceful use) by States Parties;
- Assists States Parties in meeting the obligations to translate the BWC into effective domestic measures; and
- Acts as a clearing house for assistance with national implementation
Globalising the biological weapons ban
- Assists the Chair in the activies mandated to them by the Sixth Review Conference
- Assists States Parties in conducting the activities that they agreed at the Sixth Review Conference;
- Conducts outreach with Signatories and states not party;
- Maintains details of progress towards universality (see the restricted access area for details); and
- Reports to the Meeting of States Parties.
Building capacity to take action
- Administers and maintains a database containing requests for, and offers to provide assistance (see the restricted access area for details);
- Reports to States Parties on matches made and the operation of the database;
- Liaises with other assistance provides; and
- Administers a sponsorship programme to support and increase the participation of developing States Parties in BWC meetings.