30 July 2014
The 2014 Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) Meeting of Experts will be held at the United Nations Office at Geneva from 4 to 8 August 2014. Formally known as the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on their Destruction, the Convention was the first multilateral disarmament treaty to ban an entire category of weapons. It was opened for signature in 1972 and entered into force in 1975. It currently has 170 States Parties, with a further 10 having signed but not yet ratified.
The 2014 Meeting of Experts is the first meeting in the current year of the intersessional programme that was mandated in December 2011 by the BWC States Parties at its Seventh Review Conference. The four-year intersessional programme includes annual Meetings of Experts as well as Meetings of States Parties. The report of the 2014 Meeting of Experts will be considered by the 2014 Meeting of States Parties, which will be held in Geneva from 1 to 5 December.
The current intersessional programme seeks to discuss, and promote common understanding and effective action on those issues identified for inclusion in the programme. The next Review Conference is scheduled for 2016. This year's Meeting of Experts will discuss, inter alia,:
- Cooperation and assistance, with a particular focus on strengthening cooperation and assistance under Article X;
- Review of developments in the field of science and technology related to the Convention;
- Strengthening national implementation;
- How to strengthen Article VII, including consideration of detailed procedures and mechanisms for the provision of assistance and cooperation by States Parties.
The Meeting of Experts will be chaired by Ambassador Urs Schmid of Switzerland. Referring to the preparations of the meeting, the Chairman said, " We are now half-way through the 2012–2015 intersessional programme. Our work so far has been characterised by a sense of trust and common purpose. I intend to continue along this path, maintaining our tried and tested working practices, and to work with States Parties to build on the solid platform we have together created. I am confident that we have laid the foundations for a productive and successful Meeting of Experts.”
Broad participation is expected at the meeting, including from States Parties to the BWC, key intergovernmental organizations engaged on relevant issues, scientific and professional associations, academic institutions, think tanks, other non-governmental entities and individual experts.
For further information, please contact:
Ms. Ngoc Phuong van der Blij
Political Affairs Officer, BWC Implementation Support Unit
Tel +41 (0)22 917 22 61
Fax +41 (0)22 917 04 83
Visit our Website: www.unog.ch/bwc
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For use of the information media; not an official record