ACCESSIBILITY AT UNOG A A A A The United Nations in the Heart of Europe

Workshop on the Biological Weapons Convention, Riyadh, 20-21 October 2009

The Biological Weapons Convention Implementation Support Unit in association with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia are pleased to announce a:


Riyadh, 20-21 October 2009

Day 1: Tuesday 20 October

10:00 Opening ceremony (recitation from Holy Qur’an)


1. Mr. Richard Leanne, Head of the BWC Implementation Support Unit
2. Counsellor Naif bin Bandar Al-Sudairy, Ministry of Foreign Affairs
3. Dr. Qasim bin Uthman Al-Qasabi, Chief Executive Officer, King Faisal Specialist Hospital
4. H.H. Prince Dr. Torki bin Muhammad bin Saud Al-Kabir, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs for Multilateral Relations

10:30 Meeting with the information media and intermission

11:00 Session I: The Biological Weapons Threat

Dr. Piers Millett, BWC Implementation Support Unit

Overview of the threats posed to national, regional and international security by biological and toxin weapons. Examination of the risks to human, animal and plant health, food safety and economic stability. Evolving history of the BW threat, state-based weapons programmes, non-state actors and bioterrorism.

11:30 Session II: Responding to the Threat: the BWC and SCR 1540

Mr. Richard Lennane, BWC Implementation Support Unit

Overview of the response of the international community to the biological weapons threat, focusing on the 1972 Biological Weapons Convention and Security Council Resolution 1540 (2004). Examination of the roles of these two instruments, their key obligations, areas of overlap, weaknesses and potential problems, and current activities aimed at addressing these.

12:00 break for prayer

12:15 Session III: National Implementation of the BWC and SCR 1540

Mr. Scott Spence, Verification Research, Training and Information Centre (VERTIC)

General requirements for national implementation of the Biological Weapons Convention and Security Council Resolution 1540. Different approaches to implementation requirements. Challenges and problems in achieving successful implementation.

12:45 Session IV: VERTIC’s National Implementation Measures (NIM) Project

Mr. Scott Spence, VERTIC

VERTIC’s NIM project, including specific requirements for national implementation, and results of a survey of Saudi Arabia’s BWC implementing legislation.

13:30 Roundtable discussion with lunch

15:30 Close of Day 1 discussion

20:30 Official dinner in the premises of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, hosted by H.E. the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs.

Day 2: Wednesday 21 October

10:00 Session V: Assistance, Cooperation and Coordination

Mr. Richard Lennane, BWC Implementation Support Unit

Coordinating implementation among domestic agencies, and internationally. Cooperating with regional partners and international organizations. The role of the BWC intersessional work programme and the Implementation Support Unit in providing assistance and facilitating cooperation.

10:30 Session VI: Confidence-building Measures

Ms. Angela Woodward, VERTIC

Overview of the Confidence-building Measures (CBM) system of the Biological Weapons Convention. Importance of the CBMs in both building transparency internationally and improving domestic coordination on national implementation. Practical steps for participating in the CBMs.

11:00 Intermission

11:15 Session VII: Scientific and Technological Developments

Dr. Piers Millett, BWC Implementation Support Unit

Recent scientific and technological developments relevant to the biological weapons threat. Future prospects likely to be of concern. Options for effective oversight of science and technology, and for involving scientists in improving the implementation of the BWC and SCR 1540.

11:45 Session VIII: Regional Perspectives: the BWC in the Middle East

Mr. Richard Lennane and Ms. Angela Woodward

Regional considerations, including security and threat perceptions, Middle East states not party to the BWC, options for GCC cooperation.

12:15 Break for prayer

12:30 Session IX: National Perspectives in Saudi Arabia

Biological weapons: their origins, development and effects on civilians

Staff Brigadier Prince Dr. Naif bin Ahmad bin Abdul Aziz, Ministry of Defence and Aviation

Security and biological safety

Dr. Imad Altaf, Ministry of the Interior

The role of national legislation

Dr. Fatwan Al-Muhanna, King Faisal Specialist Hospital

The role of the Ministry of Health in the implementation of the Convention

Dr. Tariq Al-Arnous, Ministry of Health

Historical background

Counsellor Naif bin Bandar Al-Sudairy, Ministry of Foreign Affairs

13:30 – 15.00 Lunch