VERTIC attends the Eighth BWC Review Conference

VERTIC attended the Eighth BWC Review Conference from 7 to 25 November 2016 in Geneva. The Review Conference is held every five years to review the operation of the Biological Weapons Convention with a view to assuring that the purposes of the preamble and the provisions of the Convention are being realised.
On 9 November, Scott Spence, Programme Director for National Implementation, gave VERTIC’s statement during the General Debate. He was joined by Senior Legal Officer Sonia Drobysz on 10 and 11 November, to follow the conference’s discussions and engage in bilateral discussions with participants from governments and other NGOs.
On 10 November, Scott spoke at a side event on “Addressing the Biosecurity Governance Challenges Posed by the Ebola Epidemic”, co-organised by VERTIC, the Global Emerging Pathogens Treatment Consortium and the Geneva Centre for Security Policy. Sonia attended a side event hosted by the UN Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI) and Montenegro on “Identifying Needs and Providing Tailored Solutions: The Experience of the National CBRN Action Plans”. At that event, Henk Visser, from ISTC, discussed European Union CBRN Centres of Excellence Project 53 on “Strengthening the National Legal Framework and Provision of Specialised Training on Biosafety and Biosecurity in Central Asian Countries”. VERTIC is a consortium implementing partner in this project.
On 22 November, VERTIC launched its most recent projects on BWC implementation during a side event chaired by H.E. Mr Henk Cor van der Kwast, Permanent Representative of the Netherlands to the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva and Disarmament Ambassador at Large. These projects were funded by the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Scott Spence presented on the National Implementation Measures Programme’s analytical report on the status of BWC States Parties’ implementing legislation. Drawing on VERTIC’s experience of analysing biological weapons legislation and providing legislative assistance to over 145 States to review and adopt legislation to implement the Convention and the biological weapons-related requirements of UNSCR 1540, the report gives an overview of implementation requirements which have been addressed in States Parties’ legislation, the types of measures adopted and trends in legislative implementation. Scott also introduced VERTIC’s new online Legislative Drafting Assistant tool, a user-friendly, internet-based tool aimed to support States to develop a draft bill for implementation of the BTWC and related provisions of UNSCR 1540. The online tool is now accessible from VERTIC’s website and available in English and French.
During the Conference, VERTIC was pleased to learn that Liberia, Nepal and Guinea became the 176th, 177th and 178th States Parties to the BWC, respectively. For further information about the Conference’s discussions and outcomes, please check the BioWeapons Prevention Project daily reports, and visit the Conference’s webpage.

For more about VERTIC's National Implementation Measures Programme, please click here, or contact Scott Spence, Programme Director for National Implementation, or Sonia Drobysz, Senior Legal Officer.

Last changed: Nov 22 2016 at 4:29 PM