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Disarmament

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Building Confidence

The Second Review Conference (1986) agreed to the voluntary exchange of Confidence-building Measures (CBMs) "in order to prevent or reduce the occurrence of ambiguities, doubts and suspicions and in order to improve international cooperation in the field of peaceful biological activities". The CBMs were expanded during a meeting of scientific and technical experts in 1987, and were modified and considerably expanded by the Third Review Conference in 1991. These forms were used for twenty years between 1991 and 2011. For reference purposes, copies of the old forms and guidance are still available. The Sixth Review Conference in 2006 agreed on several improvements to the mechanisms for submission and distribution. The Seventh Review Conference in 2011 revised the CBMs as well as the relevant modalities and forms.

As agreed at the Seventh Review Conference, the CBMs consist of six measures, A to G:

CBM APart 1: Exchange of data on research centres and laboratories;
Part 2: Exchange of information on national biological defence research and development programmes.
CBM BExchange of information on outbreaks of infectious diseases and similar occurrences caused by toxins.
CBM CEncouragement of publication of results and promotion of use of knowledge.
CBM EDeclaration of legislation, regulations and other measures.
CBM FDeclaration of past activities in offensive and/or defensive biological research and development programmes.
CBM GDeclaration of vaccine production facilities.

These CBMs are to be submitted, using the agreed forms, to the BWC Implementation Support Unit in the Geneva Branch of United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs no later than 15 April each year. The information provided should cover the previous calendar year (for example, you should submit your CBM covering calendar year 2010 no later than 15 April 2011). For further information on preparing and submitting CBMs, please see the Participating in the CBMs page.



The Sixth Review Conference agreed on the development of a mechanism for the electronic submission and distribution of CBMs. States Parties are encouraged to submit their CBMs by e-mail. Paper publication of CBM submissions has been discontinued. CBM submissions will instead be published in the restricted area of this website, unless the submitting State Party requests otherwise. CBM submissions that are not published in the restricted area will be circulated to States Parties on CD-ROM. Some States have decided to make their CBM returns available on the public section of this site. These returns can be found on the CBM Returns page.

Improving the CBMs

The ISU 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.

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