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Project 3: Capacity development for BWC implementation

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Based on the experience gained through Joint Action 2008/858/CFSP and Council Decision 2012/421/CFSP, extended national implementation assistance programmes were provided to ten BWC States Parties. The ten States Parties selected for assistance under this sub-project were Cameroon, Colombia, Cote d'Ivoire, Iraq, Lebanon, Malawi, Malaysia, Nepal, Sierra Leone and Yemen.

The programmes supported by the European Union were aimed at developing capacities within States Parties to, inter alia, adopt the appropriate legislative or administrative measures for BWC
implementation, to support effective implementation and enforcement to prevent violations of the
BWC and to impose sanctions in cases of breaches, to facilitate better national coordination and
networking among all stakeholders involved in implementation, to promote awareness-raising
programmes, codes of conduct and standards for biosafety and biosecurity, and to create or enhance national mechanisms for the compilation of the required information for the annual submission of Confidence-Building Measures (CBMs).

Each programme was tailored to the specific request of each beneficiary State Party, with many involving the participation of EU delegations, EU experts, CBRN Centres of Excellence, and the UN regional disarmament centres. Most programmes involved the following:

  • an initial workshop for European Union assistance providers held in Geneva on 29 March 2017;
  • a national workshop that gathered relevant domestic agencies and stakeholders to work, with assistance from expert service providers, on the identified areas of need;
  • the development of structured Action Plans, developed by each beneficiary country, specifying the steps required to accomplish the final goal of the programme; and
  • the execution of the Action Plan, with assistance providers delivering the necessary support to help complete the necessary steps in the plan (e.g. drafting of legislation, bio-safety/bio-security training, dual use export control, CBM preparation and submission, police training, awareness-raising for scientists, emergency response planning, etc.).

EU Workshop in Support of the Biological Weapons Convention Extended Assistance Programmes

Permanent Delegation of the European Union to the United Nations and Other International Organisations in Geneva
29 March 2017

In Geneva on 29 March 2017, the Geneva Branch of the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA) and the Delegation of the European Union to the United Nations and other international organisations in Geneva co-hosted the “Workshop in Support of the Biological Weapons Convention Extended Assistance Programmes”.

Held at the offices of the European Union (EU) Permanent Delegation in Geneva, the workshop brought together just over 40 participants, including experts nominated by EU Member States and representatives of international organisations and non-governmental organisations. The EU Member States represented at the meeting included Austria, Bulgaria, Denmark, Germany, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain and the United Kingdom. Also in attendance were representatives from Interpol, the International Federation of Biosafety Associations (IFBA), the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), Parliamentarians for Global Action (PGA), the Verification Research, Training and Information Centre (VERTIC), the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI), the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE).

The workshop was conducted under the auspices of EU Council Decision 2016/51/CFSP of 18 January 2016 in support of the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC). One aim of the Council Decision is to develop the capacity of beneficiary States Parties to strengthen their implementation of the BWC at the national level. A total of ten BWC States Parties have been selected by the EU to receive assistance under the Council Decision and the nominated EU experts will lead assistance missions to the selected countries to assist them with issues relating to BWC implementation such as biosafety and biosecurity, legislative drafting, export controls, law enforcement and other relevant topics.

Workshop participants discussed best practices and appropriate preparations to enable them to effectively support the national implementation of the BWC by beneficiary States Parties. Productive discussions about best practices in providing assistance, service providers’ coordination and cooperation, and practical arrangements in preparation of assistance delivery were ushered in by experts’ presentations on those topics.

The current EU Council Decision is the fourth consecutive EU initiative in support of the BWC since 2006. During that time, the EU has contributed more than EUR 6.3 million to the BWC through two Joint Actions and two Council Decisions. The EU is therefore one of the major financial contributors to the BWC work supported by the Geneva Branch of the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs.

Workshop Report


Welcome Remarks and Introduction
  • Ambassador Carl Hallergard, Deputy Head of Delegation of the European Union to the United Nations and other international organisations in Geneva
  • Mary Soliman, Acting Director, United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs, Geneva Branch

European Union Council Decision 2016/51 in support of the BWC

Moderator: Daniel Feakes, Chief, BWC Implementation Support Unit


Moderator: Ana Izar, Political Affairs Officer, UNODA


Moderator: Hermann Lampalzer, Deputy Chief, BWC Implementation Support Unit

General Conclusions