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2018 Meetings of Experts



The 2018 BWC Meetings of Experts took place in Room XVII at the Palais des Nations in Geneva from 7 to 16 August 2018.

In December 2017, the BWC Meeting of States Parties agreed on an intersessional programme from 2018 to 2020 consisting of annual Meetings of States Parties and Meetings of Experts. The MSP agreed that the Meetings of Experts would be open-ended and will consider the following topics (please click on the links below for further information on each Meeting of Experts):



Livestream on UN Web TV

The proceedings of the 2018 BWC Meetings of Experts are being livestreamed via UN Web TV Please check the UN Web TV homepage for the live video feed and for archived recordings.



Rules of Procedure


BWC/CONF.VIII/2 - Draft Rules of Procedures adopted at the Eighth Review Conference
(available in all six official UN languages)


Communications from the MSP and MX Chairs
  • Letter from the Chair of MX3 - On 3 August 2018, the Chair of MX3 on Strengthening National Implementation, Ambassador Julio Herráiz España of Spain, sent a letter to all States Parties setting out his thoughts about the conduct of MX3 which will meet on 13 August. Annexed to the letter was an annotated programme of work for MX3.
  • Letters from the Chairs of MX4 and MX5 - On 2 August 2018, the Chair of MX4, Mr Daniel Nord of Sweden, and the Chair of MX5, Mr Otakar Gorgol of the Czech Republic, both sent letters to all States Parties setting out their thoughts about the conduct of MX and MX5 which will meet from 14-15 August and on 16 August respectively. Annexed to the letters were annotated programmes of work for both Meetings. The letters are available here - MX4 and MX5.
  • Letter from the Chair of MX1 - On 31 July 2018, the Chair of MX1 on Cooperation and Assistance, Ambassador Maria Teresa Almojuela of the Philippines, sent a letter to all States Parties setting out her thoughts about the conduct of MX1 which will meet from 7 to 8 August. Annexed to the letter was an annotated programme of work for MX1.
  • Joint letter from MSP and MX Chairs - On 14 June 2018, the MSP Chair and the appointed MX Chairs wrote a joint letter to States Parties outlining their approach to the preparations for and conduct of the Meetings of Experts from 7 to 16 August.
  • Letter from the MSP Chairman - On 2 May 2018, the Chairman of the 2018 Meeting of States Parties, Mr. Ljupčo Jivan Gjorgjinski of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, wrote to all BWC States Parties and Signatory States.
  • Letter from the MSP Chairman - On 20 February 2018, the Chairman of the 2018 Meeting of States Parties, Mr. Ljupčo Jivan Gjorgjinski of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, wrote to all BWC States Parties and Signatory States.


Information for participants
    The majority of information required by participants in the Meetings of Experts can be found in the Aide Memoire, including: registration and accreditation; issuance of security badges; getting to and from the meeting; additional meetings; facilities for participants; documentation; as well as sources of additional information.


    Registration


    All those wishing to attend the Meetings of Experts must be properly registered. The registration procedure differs for States Parties, Signatory States, States not party, international organizations and NGOs. Please click here for detailed information on your participation and follow the steps in the appropriate category mentioned in the document.

    All registration letters/note verbales should reach the Implementation Support Unit no later than 20 July 2018.

    Valid grounds passes (issued either by the United Nations Office at Geneva or the United Nations Headquarters in New York) are required for entry into the Palais des Nations. Participants already possessing a United Nations grounds pass may proceed directly to the Meeting.

    Participants who do not already have a United Nations grounds pass need to complete an application on the online Indico system and follow the process described. Please note that you will have to attach the note verbale or letter, including your name on the list of your delegation, as a mandatory document while registering on-line. If you forget to attach the requested document, the system will reject your registration . A user guide is available for reference. For any queries, please contact the Implementation Support Unit at bwc@un.org

    Once the application has been approved in Indico, you will receive via e-mail an e-ticket / QR code. A grounds pass valid for the duration of the Meeting of States Parties will be available for collection from the Pass and Identification Unit at the Pregny Gate of the Palais des Nations. Participants are advised to come to the Pregny Gate well in advance to allow enough time for security checks.

    United Nations grounds passes can be collected from the Pass and Identification Unit at the Pregny Gate of the Palais des Nations. Delegations from States and international organisations can collect their passes from 12:00 on Friday 3 August 2018. NGO representatives can collect their passes in person from 08:00 on Tuesday, 7 August 2018. The e-ticket / QR code and valid passport or national identification card, will have to be produced in order to collect a grounds pass.



    Poster session


    A poster session will be organized during the Meetings of Experts on Thursday 9 August 2018 from 18:00 to 19:30. Those wishing to participate in such a poster session should contact the Implementation Support Unit to express their interest. Additional information is available here.



    Joint statement from non-governmental organizations


    On 5 August 2018, a group of non-governmental organizations and individuals provided a joint NGO position paper to the Implementation Support Unit which is posted here for the information of States Parties participating in the Meetings of Experts. The position paper sets out collective views on key action points for the 2018 Meetings of Experts.


    Side events


    Tuesday 7 August

    13.00 - 15.00

    Russian Federation

    Peptide vaccines: effective means to rapidly counter emerging biological hazards. Russia's synthetic peptide Ebola vaccine

    Room XXII

    Moderator: Vladimir Ladanov, Senior Counsellor, Ministry for Foreign Affairs

    Speakers:

    • Dr Yulia Demina, Deputy Head, Epidemiological Surveillance Department, Rospotrebnadzor/Health Protection Agency
    • Dr Rinat Maksyutov, Director-General, State Scientific Centre for Virology and Biotechnology "Vector", Rospotrebnadzor/Health Protection Agency

    Wednesday 8 August

    13.00 - 15.00

    Johns Hopkins Center for Health and Security

    Laboratory Biosafety & Biocontainment: Global Norms and Implementation

    Room XXII

    Speakers:

    • Gigi Gronvall, Senior Scholar, Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security
    • Nancy Connell, Senior Scholar, Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security
    • David Harper, Senior Consulting Fellow, Centre on Global Health Security, Chatham House


    13.00 - 15.00

    India

    Emerging Infectious Diseases: Detection, response, assistance and challenges

    Room XXIII

    Speakers:

    • Dr. Atanu Basu, Scientist F & Head - Electron Microscopy and Pathology, Virus Collection and BioBanking Program, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR)-National Institute of Virology, Pune
    • Dr. S.R. Rao, Senior Adviser / Scientist-H, Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science & Technology, Government of India
    • Dr. D.T. Selvam, Scientist F, Microbiology Division, Head Technical Coordination, Human Resources & Business Management Project Manager (BTM projects), Defence Research & Development Establishment (DRDE), Gwalior



    Thursday 9 August

    13.00 - 15.00

    InterAcademy Partnership (IAP) and US National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine

    Academies of science: Assessing security and governance issues of modern biotechnology

    Room XXII

    Introductions and Background:


    Panel presentations:

    13.00 - 15.00

    Russian Federation

    Synthetic biology: opportunities for peaceful application and risks of misuse

    Room XXIII

    Moderator: Vladimir Ladanov, Senior Counsellor, Ministry for Foreign Affairs

    Speaker:

    • Dr Yulia Demina, Deputy Head, Epidemiological Surveillance Department, Rospotrebnadzor/Health Protection Agency


    Friday 10 August

    9.00 - 10.00

    Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW)

    Disarmament and Technological Change

    Room XXII

    Speakers:

    • Mr Cheng Tang (Vice-Chair, OPCW Scientific Advisory Board)
    • Dr Zrinka Kovarik (OPCW Scientific Advisory Board)
    • Dr Jonathan Forman (OPCW Science Policy Adviser and Secretary to the Scientific Advisory Board)


    13.00 - 15.00

    China

    Development of a Model Code of Conduct for Biological Scientists

    Room XXIII

    Speakers:




    Monday 13 August

    8.45 – 10.00

    Centre for Biosecurity and Biopreparedness (CBB), Denmark and Kenya

    Overcoming BTWC implementation challenges

    8.30 -8.45 Coffee & Croissants

    Room XXIII

    Speakers:

    • Jayne Toroitich, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Kenya
    • Dr. Roy Mugiira, National Commission for Science, Technology and Innovation (NACOSTI) and National BWC Authority, Kenya
    • Johan Mau, Programme Manager, Centre for Biosecurity and Biopreparedness, Denmark
    • Andrea Rasmussen, Programme Associate, Centre for Biosecurity and Biopreparedness, Denmark


    13.00-15.00

    United States

    Different Perspectives on Strengthening National Implementation

    Room XXII

    Moderator: Ms. Siddha Hover Page, U.S. Department of State

    Speakers:

    • Dr. Mahdi al Jewari, Head of Biological Department at the Iraqi National Monitoring Authority for Non-Proliferation (INMA)
    • Mr. Cédric Apercé, Legal Officer, Verification Research, Training and Information Centre (VERTIC)
    • Dr. Rhizlane Selka, Bureau des Laboratoires, Biosécurité/biosureté, Institut National d'Hygiène, Morocco

    13.00-15.00

    European Union

    EU Legislative Assistance in BTWC implementation

    Room XXIII


    A light lunch will be served before the event from 13:00 to 13:15.

    13:15-13:20 Opening Remarks
    Anne KEMPPAINEN, Minister Counsellor, Head of the Political Section for Disarmament and Non-proliferation, EU Delegation to the UN in Geneva

    13:20-13:40 EU Legislative Assistance Instruments
    EU Council Decision 2016/51/CFSP
    Jean Pascal ZANDERS, Adviser to the EU Delegation to the BTWC Meetings of Experts
    EU CBRN Centres of Excellence Initiative (EU CBRN CoE)
    Jirina VALENTOVA, Policy Officer, European External Action Service (EEAS)

    13:40- 14:45 Examples of EU legislative assistance in BTWC implementation
    Legislative Assessment and Drafting Methodology in support of EU Legislative Assistance Instruments
    Sonia DROBYSZ, Acting Programme Director for National Implementation, Verification Research, Training and Information Centre (VERTIC)
    Project 53 of the EU CBRN Centres of Excellence Initiative
    EU CBRN CoE Project 53: Scope and Activities
    Hendrik VISSER, Partner Project Manager, International Science and Technology Center (ISTC)


    Tajikistan: experience in legislative harmonization under Project 53
    Alimahmad SUFIEV, Head of Section Licensing and Control - Agency for Nuclear and Radiation Safety, Tajikistan (Presentation in English | Russian)
    Mongolia: experience in legislative harmonization under Project 53
    Naranchimeg BAGDAI, P53 Manager Mongolia, P53 Project Implementation Unit Mongolia
    Project 3 of the Council Decision 2016/51/CFSP "Capacity building for BTWC implementation"
    Extended national BTWC implementation assistance programmes under EU Council Decision 2016/51/CFSP
    Ana IZAR, Political Affairs Officer/Project Officer for EU Council Decision, United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA)
    Cameroon: experience in legislative assistance under Project 3
    Manfred Claude Cyrille MOUNYELLE NKAKE, Foreign Affairs Officer, Ministry of External Relations, Cameroon
    Côte d’Ivoire: experience in legislative assistance under Project 3
    Armand Mahdi GUEZOA, CBRN Expert, Ministry of Defense, Côte d’Ivoire

    14:45 Closing Remarks by European Union

    The ppt presentation is available here

    Tuesday 14 August

    8.45-9.45

    Canada

    Article VII project

    Room XXII

    PROGRAMME


    09:00-09:05: Opening remarks: H.E. Amb. Rosemary McCarney, Permanent Representative of Canada to the United Nations and to the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva

    09:05-09:10 Valeria Santori, BWC-ISU: Update on the UNODA Article VII project

    09:10-09:15 Joseph Ballard, OPCW: Update on the UNOCT/UNCTIF project on inter-agency interoperability

    09:15-09:20 Maurizio Barbeschi: WHO’s relevant work, particularly within the Health and Security Interface programme

    09:20-09:25 Christine Uhlenhaut: OIE’s relevant work, particularly within the bio-threat reduction strategy

    09:25-09:30: Adrien Sivignon: INTERPOL’s relevant work

    09:30-09:45: Discussion and closing remarks

    13.00-15.00

    France

    Triggering Article VII

    Room XXIII

    Speakers:

    • Ambassador Alice Guitton, Permanent Representative of France to the Conference on Disarmament
    • Dr. Jean Pascal Zanders, The Trench
      Dr Jean Pascal Zanders: The Meaning of ‘Emergency Assistance’: Origins and negotiation of Article VII of the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (Working Paper)

    13.00-15.00

    Russian Federation

    Mechanisms for delivering protection from biological weapons under the BWC: mobile biomedical units, Article VII database and other options and their combinations

    Room XXII

    Speakers:

    • Vladimir Ladanov, Senior Counsellor, Ministry for Foreign Affairs
    • Dr Vyacheslav Smolensky, Head, Science and International Co-operation Department, Rospotrebnadzor/Health Protection Agency
    • Lieutenant Colonel Evgeny Vakhnov, CBRN Defence Troops, Ministry of Defence



    Wednesday 15 August

    9.00-10.00

    Georgetown University and NTI

    Civil Society tools and events to advance preparedness and response to deliberate biological events

    Room XXIII

    Speakers:

      Attal-Juncqua A, Boyce MR, Katz R. (2018). Assistance Following a Deliberate Biological Event: Operationalizing Article VII of the Biological and Toxins Weapons Convention. Washington: Georgetown Center for Global Health Science & Security.

    13.00-15.00

    Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security

    Clade X: A Pandemic Exercise

    Room XXIII

    Speakers:

    • Eric Toner, Senior Scholar, Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security
    • Matthew P. Shearer, Senior Analyst, Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security

    Thursday 16 August

    9.00-10.00

    United States

    BWC Compliance: Is Verification Feasible?

    Room XXIII

    Speakers:

    • Dr. Yleem D.S. Poblete, Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Arms Control, Verification and Compliance, United States Department of State
    • Dr. Seth Carus, Distinguished Research Fellow at the Center for the Study of Weapons of Mass Destruction, National Defense University, United States Department of Defense
    • Dr. George W. Korch, Senior Advisor to the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, United States Department of Health and Human Services
    • Dr. Douglas Brown, Director, Treaty Compliance Division, Bureau of Industry and Security, United States Department of Commerce

    Additional document: Statement by Amb. Donald A. Mahley, United States Special Negociator for Chemical and Biological Arms Control Issues

    13.00-15.00

    Geneva Disarmament Platform and British American Security Information Council

    Establishing a WMD-free-zone in the Middle East: Biological compliance aspects

    Room XXIII

    Moderator: Richard Lennane, Geneva Disarmament Platform

    Speakers:

    • Ms. Mona Ahmed Saleh, Researcher, Geneva Centre for Security Policy
    • Dr. Lela Bakanidze, National Center for Public Health and Disease Control, Georgia
    • Dr. Zalini Yunus, Senior Director, Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention Nucleus, Science and Technology Research Institute for Defence, Malaysia



    13.00-15.00

    King's College London and Norway

    Bringing the BWC Verification Protocol Discussion into the 21st Century

    Room XXII


    Moderator: Hana Cervenka, First Secretary, Permanent Mission of Norway in Geneva

    Speakers:

    • Dr Filippa Lentzos, King’s College London
    • Dr James Revill, University of Sussex
    • Dr Jez Littlewood, independent expert
    The invitation to the side-event and the 7 policy papers related to the side-event are available here
      Press Releases

      7 August 2018 - Biological Weapons Convention Meetings of Experts to convene in Geneva from 7 To 16 August 2018