On 18 January 2016, the Council of the European Union adopted "Council Decision (CFSP) 2016/51 in support of the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC) in the framework of the EU Strategy against Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction".
The Decision provides for a voluntary contribution of EUR 2,340,000 which is administered by the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs over the next three years. It builds upon the successful implementation of Joint Actions 2006/184/CFSP and 2008/858/CFSP and Council Decision 2012/421/CFSP and brings the total EU contribution to the BWC to approximately EUR 6,307,000.
Under the Decision, the European Union is supporting six projects related to BWC universalization and implementation:
1. Promoting universal adherence to the BWC by encouraging the 18 States not party to better understand the benefits of joining the BWC and getting more involved in BWC meetings and other activities; targeted activities will be carried out in close coordination with other relevant actors, including the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1540 Committee, the European Union CBRN Centres of Excellence and civil society organisations.
2. Enhancing interaction with non-governmental stakeholders on science and technology through a series of regional workshops on scientific and technological issues and on biosafety and biosecurity. Moreover, the project will directly engage scientists and biosafety professionals in developing countries in order to raise awareness of the BWC, to develop capacities for more effective implementation of the BWC and to facilitate international cooperation for peaceful purposes.
3. Developing national capacities for BWC implementation in particular in developing countries, and on Articles VII and X of the BWC by improving the quality and quantity of declarations submitted under the Confidence-Building Measures system in order to enhance confidence in compliance with the BWC.
4. Supporting the preparations for the Eighth BWC Review Conference by conducting a series of regional workshops to reflect on and discuss key topics considered during the 2012-2015 inter-sessional programme with a view to supporting the preparations for the Eighth BWC Review Conference. Also by supporting the participation in the Review Conference of national experts from developing countries under the BWC Sponsorship Programme.
5. Strengthening the United Nations Secretary-General's Mechanism for Investigation of Alleged Use of Chemical, Biological and Toxin Weapons with basic and specialised training activities to expand the roster of trained experts, a meeting of SGM stakeholders to address cooperation aspects as well as the conduct of cross-organisational training events by the UN and other international organisations.
6. Enabling tools for awareness-raising, education and engagement to increase awareness of the issues of biological weapons, responsible conduct of science, and ethical issues among students and their teachers. The project will also promote the use of the tools produced using previous EU voluntary contributions.