Biological Weapons Convention – Meetings of Experts

Overview

The 2018 BWC Meetings of Experts took place in Room XVII at the Palais des Nations in Geneva from 7 to 16 August 2018.

In December 2017, the BWC Meeting of States Parties agreed on an intersessional programme from 2018 to 2020 consisting of annual Meetings of States Parties and Meetings of Experts. The MSP agreed that the Meetings of Experts would be open-ended and will consider the following topics (please click on the links below for further information on each Meeting of Experts):

MX1 - Cooperation and Assistance, with a Particular Focus on Strengthening Cooperation and Assistance under Article X (7-8 August 2018)

The Meeting of Experts on Cooperation and Assistance, with a Particular Focus on Strengthening Cooperation and Assistance under Article X took place from 7 to 8 August 2018, at the Palais des Nations, in Room XVII.

MX1 was chaired by Ambassador Maria Teresa T. Almojuela of the Philippines and considered the following topics:

  • Consideration of the reports of the States Parties on their full and comprehensive implementation of all provisions of Article X;
  • Review of the report by the ISU on the operation of the assistance and cooperation database established by the Seventh Review Conference and renewed by the Eighth Review Conference and consideration of its further operationalization, including measures to further strengthen the operation of the database, including in the light of BWC/MSP/2017/4;
  • Identification of challenges and obstacles to developing international cooperation, assistance and exchange in the biological sciences and technology, including equipment and material, for peaceful purposes to their full potential, and possible ways and means of overcoming these;
  • Development of guidelines and procedures for mobilizing resources, including financial resources on a voluntary basis to address gaps and needs;
  • Facilitation of education, training, exchange and twinning programs and other means of developing human resources in biological sciences and technology related to implementation of the Convention, particularly in developing countries;
  • Promotion of capacity building, through international cooperation, in biosafety and biosecurity and for detecting, reporting and responding to outbreaks of infectious disease or biological weapons attacks, including in the areas of preparedness, response, and crisis management and mitigation;
  • Collaboration with international organizations and networks related to combating infectious diseases at all levels, as well as regional and sub-regional cooperation to promote implementation of all articles of the Convention.

MX2 - Review of Developments in the Field of Science and Technology Related to the Convention (9-10 August 2018)

The Meeting of Experts on Review of Developments in the Field of Science and Technology Related to the Convention took place from 9 to 10 August 2018, at the Palais des Nations, in Room XVII.

MX2 was chaired by Mr Pedro Luiz Dalcero of Brazil and considered the following topics:

  • Review of science and technology developments relevant to the Convention, including for the enhanced implementation of all articles of the Convention as well as the identification of potential benefits and risks of new science and technology developments relevant to the Convention, with a particular attention to positive implications;
  • Biological risk assessment and management;
  • Development of a voluntary model code of conduct for biological scientists and all relevant personnel, and biosecurity education, by drawing on the work already done on this issue in the context of the Convention, adaptable to national requirements;
  • In 2018, the MX2 will address the specific topic of genome editing, taking into consideration, as appropriate, the issues identified above;
  • Any other science and technology developments of relevance to the Convention and also to the activities of relevant multilateral organizations such as the WHO, OIE, FAO, IPPC and OPCW.

MX3 - Strengthening National Implementation (13 August 2018)

The Meeting of Experts on Strengthening National Implementation took place on 13 August 2018, at the Palais des Nations, in Room XVII.

MX3 was chaired by Ambassador Julio Herráiz España of Spain and considered the following topics:

  • Measures related to Article IV of the Convention;
  • CBM submissions in terms of quantity and quality;
  • Various ways to promote transparency and confidence building under the Convention;
  • Role of international cooperation and assistance under Article X, in support of strengthening the implementation of the Convention
  • Issues related to Article III, including effective measures of export control, in full conformity with all Articles of the Convention, including Article X.

MX4 - Assistance, Response and Preparedness (14-15 August 2018)

The Meeting of Experts on Assistance, Response and Preparedness took place from 14 to 15 August 2018, at the Palais des Nations, in Room XVII.

MX4 was chaired by Mr. Daniel Nord of Sweden and considered the following topics:

  • Practical challenges facing the implementation of Article VII, and possible solutions;
  • A set of guidelines and formats to assist a State Party, if required, when submitting an application for assistance in the framework of Article VII;
  • Procedures, including the establishment and use of the assistance database, to improve the prompt and efficient response without preconditions to a request of assistance by a State Party under Article VII, and coordination and cooperation among States Parties and with relevant international and regional organizations such as WHO, OIE and FAO, as appropriate;
  • Examination of how the concept of mobile biomedical units might contribute to effective assistance, response and preparation with a view to enhancing implementation of the Convention;
  • Exploration of approaches by which States Parties, individually or collectively, might contribute to the strengthening of international response capabilities for infectious disease outbreaks, whether natural or deliberate in origin;
  • Exploration of means to prepare for, respond to and render assistance in case of the possible hostile use of biological agents and toxins against agriculture, livestock as well as the natural environment.

MX5 - Institutional Strengthening of the Convention (16 August 2018)

The Meeting of Experts on Institutional Strengthening of the Convention took place on 16 August 2018, at the Palais des Nations, in Room XVII.

MX5 was chaired by Mr. Otakar Gorgol of the Czech Republic and considered the following topic:

  • Consideration of the full range of approaches and options to further strengthen the Convention and its functioning through possible additional legal measures or other measures in the framework of the Convention.

Rules of Procedure

BWC/CONF.VIII/2 - Draft Rules of Procedures adopted at the Eighth Review Conference
(available in all six official UN languages)