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European Union Support to the Biological Weapons Convention



The European Union (EU) is supporting the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) through a Council Decision and previously, EU Joint Actions. Such instruments are time-limited projects that require coordinated action by EU Member States whereby human and financial resources, know-how, equipment, and so on are mobilised to attain the specific objectives set by the EU Council. The Actions also commit the Member States in the positions they adopt and in the conduct of their activity. Four such instruments have been adopted under which the EU has contributed EUR 6,307,000 to BWC implementation over the past ten years.

The Geneva Branch of the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA) is the implementing agency for the current Council Decision, which aims to support the BWC and the work of the BWC Implementation Support Unit (ISU) on the international, regional and national levels through six major projects: Promoting universal adherence to the BWC; Enhancing interaction with non-governmental stakeholders on science and technology; Developing national capacities for BWC implementation in particular in developing countries through extended assistance programmes; Supporting preparations for the Eighth BWC Review Conference; Strengthening the United Nations Secretary-General's Mechanism for Investigation of Alleged Use of Chemical, Biological and Toxin Weapons; and Enabling tools for awareness-raising, education and engagement. The Geneva Branch of UNODA was also the implementing agency for previous EU decisions in support of the BWC, while the first EU Joint Action in support of the BWC was implemented by the Graduate Institute of International Studies in Geneva, Switzerland.