APPENDIX IV

Report of Meeting of the States Parties to the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on Their Destruction1


Introduction

1. The Final Document of the Fifth Review Conference of the States Parties of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on their Destruction (BWC/CONF.V/17), in the section dealing with Decisions and Recommendations, contained the following decision:
"The Conference decided, by consensus, as follows:
To hold three annual meetings of the States Parties of one week duration each year commencing in 2003 until the Sixth Review Conference, to be held not later than the end of 2006, to discuss, and promote common understanding and effective action on
the adoption of necessary national measures to implement the prohibitions set forth in the Convention, including the enactment of penal legislation;
national mechanisms to establish and maintain the security and oversight of pathogenic microorganisms and toxins;
enhancing international capabilities for responding to, investigating and mitigating the effects of cases of alleged use of biological or toxin weapons or suspicious outbreaks of disease;
strengthening and broadening national and international institutional efforts and existing mechanisms for the surveillance, detection, diagnosis and combating of infectious diseases affecting humans, animals, and plants;
the content, promulgation, and adoption of codes of conduct for scientists.
All meetings, both of experts and of States Parties, will reach any conclusions or results by consensus.
Each meeting of the States Parties will be prepared by a two week meeting of experts. The topics for consideration at each annual meeting of States Parties will be as follows: items i and ii will be considered in 2003; items iii and iv in 2004; item v in 2005. The first meeting will be chaired by a representative of the Eastern Group, the second by a representative of the Group of Non-Aligned and Other States, and the third by a representative of the Western Group.
The meetings of experts will prepare factual reports describing their work.
The Sixth Review Conference will consider the work of these meetings and decide on any further action."
2. In accordance with the decision of the Fifth Review Conference, the 2003 Meeting of States Parties was convened in Geneva from 10 to 14 November 2003, and was preceded by a Meeting of Experts held in Geneva from 18 to 29 August 2003. The 2003 Meeting of States Parties approved the nomination by the Group of Non-aligned and Other States of Mr. Peter Goosen of South Africa as Chairman of the Meeting of Experts and Meeting of States Parties in 2004. The 2003 Meeting of States Parties decided that the 2004 Meeting of Experts would be held in Geneva from 19 to 30 July 2004, and that the 2004 Meeting of States Parties would be held in Geneva from 6 to 10 December 2004.2
3. By resolution 59/110, adopted without a vote on 3 December 2004, the General Assembly, inter alia, requested the United Nations Secretary-General to continue to render the necessary assistance to the depositary Governments of the Convention and to provide such services as may be required for the implementation of the decisions and recommendations of the Review Conferences, including all necessary assistance to the annual meetings of the States Parties and the meetings of experts.
4. The 2004 Meeting of Experts convened in Geneva from 19 to 30 July 2004. At its closing meeting on 30 July 2004, the Meeting of Experts adopted by consensus its Report (BWC/MSP/2004/MX/3).

Organization of the Meeting of States Parties
5. In accordance with the decisions of the Fifth Review Conference and the 2003 Meeting of States Parties, the 2004 Meeting of States Parties was convened at the Palais des Nations in Geneva from 6 to 10 December 2004, under the Chairmanship of Mr. Peter Goosen of South Africa.
6. At its first meeting, the Meeting of States Parties adopted its agenda (BWC/MSP/2004/1) and programme of work (BWC/MSP/2004/2) as proposed by the Chairman.
7. At the same meeting, following a suggestion by the Chairman, the Meeting of States Parties adopted as its rules of procedure, mutatis mutandis, the rules of procedure of the Fifth Review Conference, as contained in Annex II of the Final Document of the Review Conference (BWC/CONF.V/17).
8. Mr. Peter Kolarov, Political Affairs Officer, United Nations Department of Disarmament Affairs, was in charge of the BWC issues in the Department of Disarmament Affairs. Mr. Richard Lennane, Political Affairs Officer, served as Secretary of the Meeting of States Parties. Ms. Melissa Hersh and Dr. Piers Millett, Professional Assistants, served in the Secretariat.

Participation at the Meeting of States Parties
9. Eighty-nine States Parties to the Convention participated in the Meeting of States Parties as follows: Albania, Algeria, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, El Salvador, Estonia, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Holy See, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Iraq, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kuwait, Latvia, Lebanon, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Lithuania, Malaysia, Malta, Mauritius, Mexico, Mongolia, Morocco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Romania, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia and Montenegro, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United States of America, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen.
10. In addition, five States that had signed the Convention but had not yet ratified it participated in the Meeting of States Parties without taking part in the making of decisions, as provided for in rule 44, paragraph 1 of the rules of procedure: Egypt, Madagascar, Myanmar, Syrian Arab Republic, United Republic of Tanzania.
11. Two States, Israel and Kazakhstan, neither Parties nor Signatories to the Convention, participated in the Meeting of States Parties as observers, in accordance with rule 44, paragraph 2 (a).
12. The United Nations, including the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR), attended the Meeting of States Parties in accordance with rule 44, paragraph 3.
13. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) were granted observer status to participate in the Meeting of States Parties in accordance with rule 44, paragraph 4.
14. Fourteen non-governmental organizations and research institutes attended the Meeting of States Parties under rule 44, paragraph 5.
15. A list of all participants in the Meeting of States Parties is contained in document BWC/MSP/2004/INF.3.

Work of the Meeting of States Parties
16. The Meeting of States Parties held two public meetings, on 6 and 10 December respectively, and six working sessions between 6 and 10 December 2004. In accordance with the programme of work (BWC/MSP/2004/2), on 6 December the Meeting of States Parties held a general debate in which 28 States Parties made statements. On 7 December, one meeting was devoted to consideration of strengthening and broadening national and international institutional efforts and existing mechanisms for the surveillance, detection, diagnosis and combating of infectious diseases affecting humans, animals, and plants (agenda item 5), and on 8 December, one meeting was devoted to consideration of enhancing international capabilities for responding to, investigating and mitigating the effects of cases of alleged use of biological or toxin weapons or suspicious outbreaks of disease (agenda item 6).
17. The Meeting of States Parties was preceded by a Meeting of Experts where measures relevant to the two agenda items were discussed in detail. States Parties noted that the Meeting of Experts was helpful in promoting common understanding and effective action on the agenda items. They stressed the need for undertaking activities at the national and international levels on these two agenda items in accordance with the decision adopted by consensus in the Final Document of the Fifth Review Conference of the States Parties to the Convention (BWC/CONF.V/17) in the section dealing with decisions and recommendations.
18. On the mandate to discuss, and promote common understanding and effective action on strengthening and broadening national and international institutional efforts and existing mechanisms for the surveillance, detection, diagnosis and combating of infectious diseases affecting humans, animals, and plants, the States Parties recognised that:
infectious disease outbreaks can be contained and suppressed through early-detection, immediate response and co-operation and support at the national and international level;
strengthening and broadening national and international surveillance, detection, diagnosis and combating of infectious disease may support the object and purpose of the Convention;
the primary responsibility for surveillance, detection, diagnosis and combating of infectious diseases rests with States Parties, while the WHO, FAO and OIE have global responsibilities, within their mandates, in this regard. The respective structures, planning and activities of States Parties and the WHO, FAO and OIE should be co-ordinated with and complement one another;
scientific and technological developments have the potential to significantly improve disease surveillance and response.
19. The States Parties consequently agreed on the value of:
supporting the existing networks of relevant international organisations for the surveillance, detection, diagnosis and combating of infectious diseases and acting to strengthen the WHO, FAO and OIE programmes, within their mandates, for the continued development and strengthening of, and research into, rapid, effective and reliable activities for the surveillance, detection, diagnosis and combating of infectious diseases, including in cases of emergencies of international concern;
improving, wherever possible, national and regional disease surveillance capabilities, and, if in a position to do so, assisting and encouraging, with the necessary agreement, other States Parties to do the same;
working to improve communication on disease surveillance, including with the WHO, FAO and OIE, and among States Parties.
20. On the mandate to discuss, and promote common understanding and effective action on enhancing international capabilities for responding to, investigating and mitigating the effects of cases of alleged use of biological or toxin weapons or suspicious outbreaks of disease, the States Parties recognised that:
capabilities for responding to, investigating and mitigating the effects of cases of alleged use of biological or toxin weapons or suspicious outbreaks of disease promote the object and purpose of the Convention;
States Parties' national preparedness and arrangements substantially contribute to international capabilities for responding to, investigating and mitigating the effects of cases of alleged use of biological or toxin weapons or suspicious outbreaks of disease;
the Secretary-General's investigation mechanism, set out in A/44/561 and endorsed by the General Assembly in its resolution A/Res/45/57, represents an international institutional mechanism for investigating cases of alleged use of biological or toxin weapons.
21. The States Parties consequently agreed on the value of:
continuing to develop their own national capacities for response, investigation and mitigation, in cooperation with the relevant international and regional organisations, and, if in a position to do so, assisting and encouraging, with the necessary agreement, other States Parties to do the same;
the Sixth Review Conference considering, inter alia, the further development of current procedures for the provision of assistance, by those in a position to do so, to States Parties in cases of alleged use of biological weapons or suspicious outbreaks of disease.
22. The States Parties further considered that in pursuing the above understandings and actions, States Parties could, according to their respective circumstances, consider the considerations, lessons, perspectives, recommendations, conclusions and proposals drawn from the presentations, statements, working papers and interventions made by delegations on the topics under discussion at the Meeting of Experts, as contained in the Annex II of the Report of the Meeting of Experts (BWC/MSP/2004/MX/3), as well as the synthesis of these considerations, lessons, perspectives, recommendations, conclusions and proposals contained in BWC/MSP/2004/L.1, which are attached to this report as Annexes II and III. These annexes were not discussed or agreed upon and consequently have no status.
23. States Parties are encouraged to inform the Sixth Review Conference of, inter alia, any actions, measures or other steps that they may have taken on the basis of the discussions at the 2004 Meeting of Experts and of the outcome of the 2004 Meeting of States Parties in order to facilitate the Sixth Review Conference's consideration of the work undertaken at the meetings in 2004 and of a decision on any further action in accordance with paragraph 18 (e) of the decision adopted at the Fifth Review Conference (BWC/CONF.V/17).

Documentation
24. A complete list of official documents of the Meeting of States Parties, is contained in Annex I to this Report. All documents on this list are available on the United Nations Official Document System (ODS), accessible on the internet at www.ods.unog.ch.

Conclusion of the Meeting of States Parties
25. At its closing meeting on 10 December 2004, the Meeting of States Parties approved the nomination by the Western Group of Ambassador John Freeman of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland as Chairman of the Meeting of Experts and Meeting of States Parties in 2005. The Meeting decided that the Meeting of Experts would be held in Geneva from 13 to 24 June 2005, and that the Meeting of States Parties would be held in Geneva from 5 to 9 December 2005, in accordance with the decision of the Fifth Review Conference.
26. At the same meeting, the Meeting of States Parties adopted its Report by consensus, as contained in document BWC/MSP/2004/CRP.1, as orally amended, to be issued as document BWC/MSP/2004/3.

1BWC/MSP/2004/3.
2See BWC/MSP/2003/4 (Vol I)