On 21 January 2019, the Council of the European Union adopted “Council Decision (CFSP) 2019/97
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 3,029,856 which is administered by the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs over the three years of its implementation. It builds upon the successful implementation of Joint Actions 2006/184/CFSP and 2008/858/CFSP and Council Decisions 2012/421/CFSP and 2016/52/CFSP, and it brings the total EU contribution to the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) since 2006 to nearly EUR 10,000,000.
Under the Decision, the European Union is supporting six projects related to BWC universalization and implementation:
- Promoting universal adherence to the BWC by encouraging the 15 remaining States not party to the Convention to better understand the benefits of joining the BWC and get more involved in BWC meetings and other activities. Targeted activities will be carried out in close coordination with other relevant actors, including the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1540 Committee, the European Union CBRN Risk Mitigation Centres of Excellence, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and civil society organisations.
- Developing national capacities for BWC implementation by providing targeted support to selected countries to enhance their BWC implementation capacity. The support will assist countries in adopting the appropriate legislative or administrative measures to effectively implement the BWC, facilitating coordination and networking among all national BWC stakeholders, enhancing transparency and confidence-building among States Parties, and strengthening national mechanisms for the compilation and submission of Confidence-Building Measures (CBMs), among others.
- Fostering biosecurity networks in the Global South by engaging young policymakers, scientists and academics from the Global South engaged in BWC-related fields and providing capacity-development opportunities and exposure to BWC multilateral platforms to introduce them to the intersessional programme and other related discussions.
- Supporting the preparations for the Ninth BWC Review Conference by conducting a series of regional or sub-regional workshops to reflect on and discuss key topics considered during the 2018-2020 intersessional programme with a view to supporting the preparations for the Ninth BWC Review Conference due to take place in 2021. This project will also support the participation of national experts from developing countries in the BWC intersessional programme and the Ninth Review Conference.
- Preparing BWC States Parties to prevent and respond to attacks involving biological agents through a series of training courses, tabletop exercises, and/or national or sub-regional workshops to examine cross-government decision making and promote information exchanges and provision of assistance between relevant national and international organisations.
- Enabling tools for awareness-raising, education and engagement to increase awareness of the issues of biological weapons, responsible science, ethical issues, and other relevant themes among the general public. The project will also promote the use of the tools produced under previous EU voluntary contributions to maximize their education and outreach potential.