The Seventh Review Conference decided that during the intersessional programme in 2012 and 2013, States Parties would discuss how to enable fuller participation in the CBMs.
Following the 2012 Meeting of Experts, the Chair prepared a synthesis document to assist with the identification of common understandings during the 2012 Meeting of States Parties. The synthesis document was based upon the contributions made during the Meeting of Experts and reflected in the Report of that meeting.
During the 2012 Meeting of Experts, States Parties recognized the importance of the exchange of information among States Parties through the CBMs, noting that it provides transparency and builds trust among States Parties. They decided to work toward:
- Reaching a common understanding of the relevance and appropriateness of the information to be submitted in order to enhance transparency, build confidence and improve implementation of the Convention; and
- Reaching a common understanding of how to handle and process the information received, including on the questions of translation, public access, and analysis of content.
States Parties recognized the need to enable fuller participation in the CBMs and the technical difficulties experienced by some States Parties in completing full and timely CBM submissions, agreeing that they should work to find ways to improve participation, make the CBMs more user-friendly, and to provide technical assistance and support to States Parties requesting it, including by:
- Continuing to examine and develop options for electronic means of submission of CBMs; and
- Providing necessary support and assistance, possibly through the establishment of a CBM assistance network coordinated by the ISU, to provide expert advice in an accessible manner and update and harmonize CBM guidance material.
States Parties recognized the need to enhance participation of States Parties in the CBMs and for designation of national points of contact responsible preparing the submission of CBMs, agreeing that they should:
- Continue to urge all States Parties to acknowledge, and reiterate to others, the importance of participation in the CBM process;
- Encourage the Chairman to write each year to all States Parties urging them to submit their CBMs without delay and stressing that the ISU and various States Parties stand ready to provide assistance; and
- Call on all States Parties to designate National Points of Contact, as agreed at the Sixth Review Conference and reiterated at the Seventh Review Conference, and encourage the Chairman to contact all States Parties which have not yet designated a National Point of Contact and ask them to do so.
The ISU has been working with States Parties to explore options for the development of electronic means of submission of CBMs. The ISU welcomes any input and ideas on how to improve the CBMs.