Background documents

Review Conference documents and additional understandings

Final Declaration of the First Review Conference (1980) (BWC/CONF.I/10)

Final Declaration of the Second Review Conference (1986) (BWC/CONF.II/13/II)

Final Declaration of the Third Review Conference (1991) (BWC/CONF.III/23)

Final Declaration of the Fourth Review Conference (1996) (BWC/CONF.IV/9)

Final Document of the Fifth Review Conference (2002) (BWC/CONF.V/17)

Final Document of the Sixth Review Conference (2006) (BWC/CONF.VI/6)

Final Document of the Seventh Review Conference (2011) (BWC/CONF.VII/7)
Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, Spanish

Final Document of the Eighth Review Conference (2016) (BWC/CONF.VIII/4)

The BWC Implementation Support Unit, in the United Nations Office of Disarmament Affairs, created the BTWC Additional Understandings Overview as a convenient reference to the Additional Understandings regarding the BWC. It is a guide only. See the official documents above for the authoritative texts of the Additional Understandings reached at the Review Conferences.

National Implementation

Biological Threats and Veterinary Legislation – A Primer for OIE Delegates
World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), 2018 English

Biological Weapons Convention: Report on National Implementing Legislation
National Implementation Measures Programme, November 2016
English, French, Russian, Spanish

National implementation through an effective legislative framework (Chapter 3)
Scott Spence, Improving Implementation of the Biological Weapons Convention – The 2007–2010 Intersessional Process, Dr Piers Millet, ed., UNIDIR, October 2011

National Implementation of the Biological Weapons Convention – The Case of India and Pakistan
Zahoor Ahmed, Research Paper No. 34, April 2010, South Asian Strategic Stability Institute (SASSI): Islamabad, Pakistan and London, United Kingdom.

Banning biological weapons: national legislation in Africa
Angela Woodward, African Security Review, 14(1) 2005

National implementation legislation for the BTWC
Angela Woodward, BioWeapons Report 2004, BioWeapons Prevention Project (BWPP)

Time to lay down the law: national laws to enforce the BWC
Angela Woodward, VERTIC, November 2003

The Biological Weapons Convention: Securing Biology in the Twenty-first Century
Piers Millett, Journal of Conflict and Security Law 2010 15(1):25-43; © Oxford University Press 2010; all rights reserved.

Achieving Effective Action on Universality and National Implementation: The CWC Experience
Scott Spence, Review Conference Paper No. 13 on Strengthening the Biological Weapons Convention (Department of Peace Studies, University of Bradford), April 2005

Enhancing BWC Implementation: A Modular Approach
Trevor Findlay and Angela Woodward, The Weapons of Mass Destruction Commission, October 2004

National implementation evolves
Scott Spence, Trust & Verify No.136, VERTIC, January-March 2012

NIM@10 A decade of implementation work
Scott Spence, Trust & Verify No.160, VERTIC, Spring 2018

Judicial Enforcement of BWC and CWC implementing legislation
Thomas Brown, VERTIC Brief no. 34, 16 February 2022


Universalization of the BTWC: The Case of the African Continent
Rocio Escauriaza Leal, L’Observatoire de la Non-Prolifération/The Non-Proliferation Monthly, No. 63, CESIM, September 2011
English, French

BWPP Biological Weapons Reader
Edited by Kathryn McLaughlin and Kathryn Nixdorff, 2009

BWPP: Building a Global Ban – Why States Have Not Joined the BWC
BWPP, 2009

Universalizing the BWC: challenges and opportunities
Rocío Escauriaza Leal, Trust & Verify No.134, VERTIC, September 2011

Resourcing the Biological Weapons Convention
Scott Spence, Trust and Verify No.156, VERTIC, Spring 2017

The EU and the BWC: support and strategic renewal for global biosecurity 
Aurelie Buytaert, Trust and Verify No.159, VERTIC, Winter 2018

Case Studies

The Shortcomings of Indeterminacy in Arms Control Regimes: The Case of the Biological Weapons Convention
Jack M. Beard, 101 American Journal of International Law 271 2007

Putting legislation to the test: a H5N1 virus case-study
Yasemin Balci, Rocío Escauriaza Leal, Scott Spence and Angela Woodward, Trust and Verify No.138, VERTIC, July-September 2012

Error is US biological weapons law leads to dropping of criminal charges
Yasemin Balci, Trust and Verify No.162, VERTIC, Winter 2018

Error in US biological weapons law corrected
Yasemin Balci, Trust and Verify No.165, VERTIC, February 2020

Prosecuting COVID-19 offences under biological weapons legislation in the United States
Thomas Brown, Trust and Verify No.166, VERTIC, Summer 2020

Princeton University fined over exports of pathogens without a licence
Thomas Brown, Trust and Verify No.168, VERTIC, Summer 2021

Other resources

Biosecurity Central