In order to support and increase the participation of developing States Parties in annual BWC meetings, the Eighth Review Conference (in 2016) decided to renew the sponsorship programme established by the Seventh Review Conference (in 2011).
The sponsorship programme will continue to be administered by the Implementation Support Unit (ISU) in consultation with the Chair and Vice-chairs of the Meeting of States Parties, and will continue to be funded by voluntary contributions from States Parties in a position to provide them.
The Seventh Review Conference affirmed that “Priority for sponsorship will be given to those States Parties which have previously not participated in the meetings, or have been unable to regularly send experts from capital.” Sponsorship may also be provided, depending on the availability of resources, to enhance participation of States not party in order to promote universalization of the Convention.
So far in 2017, Australia, Canada and India made voluntary contributions.
How to apply to the BWC Sponsorship Programme
If an official or technical expert wishes to be sponsored to represent his or her government at a BWC meeting, then he or she should:
· Complete an application form, confirming that they are an official from a government agency or ministry that has responsibility for biological weapons (including knowledge and experience on biological weapons and disarmament) and is able to make a presentation on his or her government’s status of ratification/accession, implementation or reporting of the Convention.
· Send the completed application form to the BWC Implementation Support Unit (ISU). The form can be sent by e-mail, fax or note verbale to the ISU at the address provided on the form. For the upcoming annual meeting (4-8 December 2017), the deadline for requests for sponsorship is 30 September 2017.
· Specify in the application, their area of expertise, interest and how he/she is planning to contribute to the meeting (for example, by providing a national statement).
All requests for sponsorship will be reviewed by the office holders of the 2017 BWC meeting in accordance with the criteria identified by the Seventh Review Conference and Eighth Review Conference and taking into account the availability of resources, after which the applicants will be informed of the outcome.
As funding is limited, it is likely that not all applications will be able to be supported.
Once an application has been approved for sponsorship the following conditions apply:
· DSA (Daily Subsistence Allowance)
Sponsored participants will receive their DSA via transfer to their bank account. It will cover accommodation, meals and local transportation.
Sponsored participants should be aware that additional refunds are not possible.
The ISU will arrange travel through the UN travel agency. Please, note that the agency will strictly follow the UN policy and book the most cost-effective economy class round trip. Sponsored participants will receive an electronic ticket (e-ticket) for their travel.
Sponsored participants will have to submit original boarding passes, a copy of the airplane ticket and a copy of the participant’s passport to the ISU as soon as they are available.
The ISU’s agreement is required for any changes to the arrival and departure dates of sponsored participants. The ISU will not cover expenses unrelated to the event or that result from changes in travel arrangements it has not authorized. Sponsored participants shall bear all costs resulting from changes they make, including cancellations, once tickets have been purchased.
It is strongly recommended that delegates take out international medical, accident and travel insurance. The United Nations does not cover life or medical insurance for participants. Therefore, it is the responsibility of all participants to ensure that they obtain adequate insurance prior to their travel to Geneva.
It is the responsibility of sponsored delegates to act promptly to obtain all necessary visas for travel to Switzerland (including transit visas), especially since Switzerland has applied the Schengen regulations concerning the issuance of visas.
Further information relating to the procedures and measures concerning the issuance of visas for Switzerland is available by contacting the Swiss embassy or consulate in the applicant's country of residence or by referring to the following link of the Federal Office for Migration:
Further information is available on the Permanent Mission of Switzerland's website:
· Registration for the 2017 Annual Meeting
· All participants in the Meeting need to be properly registered. This is important also for preparation of the Security Identification Badges that are required for entry into the Palais des Nations. Details regarding participation and registration will be available on the BWC website in due time.
· Please note that all Permanent Missions have to provide prior to the Meeting a note-verbale listing the composition of their delegation to the Meeting. Without the note-verbale, delegates’ names will not be reflected in the official List of Participants. For the annual meeting, formal credentials are not required.