Geneva, 12 February 2019
The United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA) marked the successful conclusion of European Union Council Decision 2016/51 in support of the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) on 9 February 2019. The Council Decision was adopted on 18 January 2016 and its implementation was managed by UNODA and the BWC Implementation Support Unit. The Decision was the fourth such instrument adopted by the European Union since 2006 and provided USD 2.34 million in support of the BWC.
Its main objectives included promoting universal adherence to the BWC, enhancing the interaction between the BWC process and non-governmental stakeholders such as the scientific community; developing the capacity of BWC States Parties to implement the Convention; and supporting the preparations for the Eighth BWC Review Conference.
The implementation of the Decision entailed the organisation of regional universalisation workshops for the Pacific, the Horn of Africa, and sub-Saharan Africa, as well as a dedicated universalisation visit to Haiti. Over the course of the implementation of the Decision, Côte d’Ivoire, Angola, Dominica, Vanuatu, Liberia, Guinea, Nepal, Samoa, the State of Palestine, Niue and the Central African Republic joined the BWC, and Tanzania began its ratification process.
In addition, four regional workshops were conducted throughout 2016 to prepare for the Eighth BWC Review Conference, and five regional science and technology workshops took place during 2017 and 2018 in order to discuss the implications of advances in the life sciences on the BWC.
Under the Decision, capacity development support was provided to nine States Parties, which received legislative, awareness-raising, strategic trade, and biosafety/biosecurity assistance: Cameroon, Colombia, Côte d’Ivoire, Iraq, Lebanon, Malawi, Malaysia, Nepal and Sierra Leone. Experts from these States Parties were also supported to participate in BWC meetings in Geneva. The Decision also co-funded a Peer Review Exercise in Morocco in 2017
On 21 January 2019, the European Union adopted Council Decision 2019/97 to succeed Council Decision 2016/51 and build on the momentum and progress achieved. The new Decision provides USD 3.4 million over three years to support BWC implementation and prepare for the Ninth BWC Review Conference in 2021.
For enquiries about these European Union Council Decisions or any of the activities mentioned above, please contact the Political Affairs Officer/Project Officer for the implementation of the EU Council Decisions in support of the BWC, Ana Izar, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or the Chief of the BWC Implementation Support Unit, Daniel Feakes, at email@example.com.