On 4 March 2021, Associate Legal Officer Thomas Brown presented at a virtual Regional Workshop on Achieving the Universalisation of the Biological Weapons Convention in Africa. The workshop brought together representatives of African states that are yet to join the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) and featured video messages from all three Depositary Governments of the treaty.

Speakers provided an overview of the core BWC obligations and the importance of the convention in Africa. Thomas spoke alongside experts from the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI), African Biosafety Network of Expertise (ABNE), Global Emerging Pathogens Treatment Consortium Africa (GET) and Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC), detailing VERTIC’s legislative assistance activities for universalisation and implementation of the BWC. The meeting concluded with delegations sharing their experiences on the process of joining the BWC.

The workshop was organised by the United Nations Office of Disarmament Affairs (UNODA); the BWC Implementation Support Unit (BWC-ISU); H.E. Dr. Cleopa K. Mailu of Kenya, Chairperson of the Meeting of States Parties to the BWC; and the European Union (EU). The workshop was funded by the EU through Council Decision (CFSP) 2019/97 in support of the BWC.