On 12 – 14 October 2021, the UNODA Geneva Branch, the Implementation Support Unit (ISU) of the Biological Weapons Convention(BWC) and a delegation from the Kyrgyz Republic held a three-day preparatory meeting in Geneva to discuss a forthcoming peer review exercise, which will be conducted in the framework of European Union Council Decision 2019/97 in support of the BWC. Participants prepared a draft programme and timeline for the exercise, while also discussing the Kyrgyz Republic’s draft Law on Biosafety which is currently being reviewed at the national level. Representatives from the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Programme Office in Bishkek and from the EU Delegation to the United Nations and other international organisations in Geneva also attended.
The Kyrgyz Republic had expressed interest in organizing a peer review exercise, which can be tailored to specific aims and objectives the organizing States Party wishes to accomplish. Peer reviews can help to build confidence, contribute to strengthening national implementation of the Convention by sharing best practices among participating States Parties, and facilitate international cooperation and assistance.
Following opening remarks by representatives from the BWC ISU, the Kyrgyz delegation, the OSCE and the EU delegation, the participants examined the concept and utility of peer review exercises and received a briefing on the BWC implementation and the status of national legislation and other implementing measures by the Kyrgyz delegation. They engaged in a thorough discussion of the scope, content and format of the proposed exercise, laying the groundwork for next steps. On the second day, the meeting participants reviewed the draft law on biosafety. The third and final day was dedicated to drawing up and consolidating a summary of the discussions, including follow-up actions and next steps.
The peer review exercise will comprise several elements, such as reviewing and further developing the national legal framework for BWC implementation and related matters, including the draft biosafety law; exchanging best practices on developing and implementing a comprehensive national approach to biosafety and biosecurity; and identifying opportunities for further international cooperation and assistance. The peer review exercise will be implemented over the coming months and is foreseen to conclude in the summer of 2022.
For more information, please contact the BWC Implementation Support Unit at firstname.lastname@example.org.