BIOLOGICAL WEAPONS CONVENTION REVIEW CONFERENCE NOTES REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE
Review Conference Will Start to Discuss the Draft Final Document and Draft Decisions and Recommendations Annexed to the Report
16 December 2011
The Seventh Review Conference of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on their Destruction this morning noted the report of the Committee of the Whole, which contains the draft final document and draft decisions and recommendations of the Seventh Review Conference.
Paul Van Den Ijssel, President of the Seventh Review Conference, said the Conference took note of the report of the Committee of the Whole, presented this morning by Desra Percaya, the Chairman of the Committee of the Whole, and thanked the Ambassador for his great dedication, professionalism and skill in guiding the Committee through a demanding and complex review of the articles of the Convention. Mr. Van Den Ijssel said the draft final document and the draft decisions and recommendations were annexed to the report. The draft decisions and recommendations had been drawn from various sources, including the proposals in working papers, discussions and additional proposals heard in the informal plenaries, the work of the three facilitators, and in some cases from forward-looking elements of the discussion in the Committee of the Whole. The draft text of the decisions and recommendations had not introduced any new proposals; everything had been discussed at this Conference, although perhaps not in the precise form in which it appeared. There was an attempt to include each and every proposal made at this Conference in some way in the text. All of the pieces were there. Mr. Van Den Ijssel said that if any delegation could not find one of its proposals in some form in the text, this should be pointed out.
Many elements in the draft text were inter-related and the President urged all States parties to read the text in conjunction with Ambassador Percaya’s text for the final declaration. There were important links between the two texts and any concerns that delegations had had during the discussion of various items during the Committee of the Whole would be allayed now that the full package was visible. Many elements in the draft text were inter-related and the text had deviated as little as possible from the decisions agreed by the Sixth Review Conference. For example at section B, the intersessional programme for 2012 to 2015 followed very closely the outline of the previous intersessional process, giving primacy to the meetings of States parties, listing the topics to be considered, and showing clearly the role of the meetings of experts. The new element, open-ended working groups to consider recurring items, had been integrated into the existing intersessional structure with minimal change. In the section on the Implementation Support Unit, rather than attempting to re-work the whole mandate, there was simply listed the additional tasks which would be given to the Implementation Support Unit explicitly or implicitly in the various other sections of the text. On the section on universalization, the sensible and valid decisions of the Sixth Review Conference were reused, and there were some minor new aspects that had been proposed to further help the effort to persuade States not party to join the Convention. The President said he had no illusions that the draft text would satisfy everyone, but he hoped that it would be acknowledged that it was a genuine and fair attempt to find a balanced outcome that would take account of all positions.
The meeting was then adjourned to allow States parties time to consider the document, which will be reviewed in the informal plenary at 3 p.m. this afternoon when the Biological Weapons Convention Review Conference will resume its work. The Seventh Review Conference of the Biological Weapons Convention is scheduled to conclude its work next week and its next public plenary will be announced at a later date.
For use of information media; not an official record