Participating in the CBMs
The Seventh Review Conference in 2011 revised the CBMs as well as their modalities and forms. The current forms and guidlines for completing them are below.
Blank CBM Forms (extracted from BWC/CONF.VII/7)
In Word document format:
Please click here to access the CBM revised guide 2013.
For reference purposes copies of the old forms are still available
How to complete the forms
Completing the CBM forms can take some time, especially for the first year of participation. Collecting the necessary information typically requires contacting several different government ministries and agencies. Each country's system of government is different, so we can only offer general guidance and suggestions here. There are three important tips to keep in mind:
- Start early: it could take a long time to contact the relevant agencies in order to gather information in time to meet the 15 April deadline.
- Use information that has already been compiled: some of the information required for the CBMs may also be required for other purposes, such as reports to the WHO or those mandated by Security Council Resolution 1540.
- Be clear: if there is nothing to declare for a particular measure, say so - do not just leave the form for that measure blank. Similarly, if you have incomplete information, or are waiting for information that will be provided later, say so on the form. Remember that the purpose of the CBMs is to increase transparency, therefore incomplete information is better than none.
Below are some informal suggestions for completing each of the measures:
CBM A: Part 1: Exchange of data on research centres and laboratories
CBM A: Part 2: Exchange of information on national biological defence research and development programmes
CBM B: Exchange of information on outbreaks of infectious diseases and similar occurrences caused by toxins
This measure requires information on outbreaks of disease "that seem to deviate from the normal pattern". The form contains additional information on how to determine whether an outbreak meets this criterion. The ministry of health will in most cases be the source of information for diseases affecting humans, while the ministry of agriculture or equivalent agency will have data on outbreaks affecting animals and plants. For human diseases, the ministry of health may already have submitted a report(s) to the WHO
, and this will be increasingly common with the entery into force of the WHO's revised International Health Regulations (IHR)
in 2007. Similarly, the ministry of agriculture may report to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE)
or to the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO)
on animal and plant disease outbreaks, respectively.
CBM C : Encouragement of publication of results and promotion of use of knowledge
CBM E: Declaration of legislation, regulations and other measures
This form requires declarations on any legislation, regulations and other measures relating in particular to Article I (development, production, stockpiling, etc) and Article III (import and export, i.e. transfers). In the interests of transparency, you may also wish to provide information on legislation and regulations governing the security of pathogens, biosafety, licensing of personnel, and anything else relating to national implementation of the Convention.
This topic was discussed in detail at the Meeting of Experts in 2003 and in 2008. It is advisable to look at the documents of that meeting for ideas on which legislation and regulations to include in the CBM. Important:
your country may already have provided (or be in the process of providing) very similar information to the United Nations Security Council 1540 Committee
. You can use this information to complete this CBM form.
In addition to completing Form E, it would be helpful if you could provide the ISU with copies of the aforementioned legislation and regulations or, if available, an internet link to the text.
Once you have declared the legislation and regulations, in subsequent years you need only indicate if there has been any change or amendment.
CBM F : Declaration of past activities in offensive and/or defensive biological research and development programmes
CBM G: Declaration of vaccine production facilities
Completing the cover sheet
Once you have completed forms A to G, you can fill in the cover sheet. Tick the "nothing to declare" box if you had nothing to declare on that form. Please write "nothing to declare" on the form itself too - do not just leave it blank.
If you have provided information on a form, leave both of the tick boxes for that form empty.
If information that you have previously provided in a CBM has not changed in subsequent years, tick the "nothing new to declare" box for that form and please write "nothing new to declare" on the form itself. Then write the year of the last declaration you made for this form in the appropriate box .
Submitting the CBM return
We encourage you to submit your CBM return electronically (as a Microsoft Word, RTF or PDF document) to firstname.lastname@example.org
. All e-mail submissions will be acknowledged. If you wish, you may also send a hard copy with a note verbale as the cover from your permanent mission in Geneva, to:
BWC Implementation Support Unit
Office for Disarmament Affairs (Geneva Branch)
Room C.115-117, Palais des Nations
1211 Geneva 10
fax: +41 (0)22 917 04 83
Options for publication
From 2007 onwards, CBM submissions will be published in the restricted area of this website
(accessible only to States Parties), unless the submitting State Party requests otherwise. Please inform the ISU if you do not
want your CBM published on the secure website. Any CBMs that are not published on the website will be circulated to States Parties on CD-ROM. Some States Parties have opted to make their CBM returns available on the public section of this website. These can be found on the Confidence Building Measures
Missed the deadline?
CBM returns are due by 15 April each year, but do not worry if you are late. Please submit the return as soon as you can. It is better if you submit a CBM after the deadline than not at all. If your CBM is received too late for inclusion in the paper version of the annual ISU report, it will be issued as an addendum.
If you have problems or questions, please contact the ISU and we will do our best to help. See the contact page
Improving the CBMs
is interested in receiving perspectives on any obstacles to participating in the CBMs, as well as suggestions for improvements to the current system. Such ideas can be fed into ongoing efforts to facilitate participation in the CBMs and improve their utility to States Parties.