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2018 BWC Universalisation Workshop for the Pacific Region (Nadi, Fiji, 12-13 December 2018)



On 12 and 13 December 2018, the Biological Weapons Convention Implementation Support Unit (BWC ISU) and the Government of Fiji co-organized a universalisation workshop for the Pacific Region, with financial support from the Permanent Mission of Australia in Geneva. The event brought together representatives from both regional BWC States Parties and non-States Parties, as well as experts from the United Nations and civil society to discuss the BWC; its contribution to international peace and security, in general, and the prevention of the misuse of microbial organisms and the life sciences for hostile purposes in particular; as well as national responsibilities and benefits from being a BWC State Party. Regional States Parties also shared their experiences with non-States Parties.

The workshop was intended to follow-up a workshop which took place in Fiji in July 2017 with support from the European Union. The first workshop was successful in promoting the BWC in the Pacific region, and led directly to the accession to the Convention by Niue and Samoa. For the second workshop in December 2018, both Niue and Samoa participated as new BWC States Parties and shared their experience on the accession process.

The workshop’s main objectives were to increase awareness of the BWC, stimulate universalisation in the Pacific Region and promote greater engagement with the Convention.

Workshop Programme

12 December 2018


Workshop Opening

Introduction to the BWC

9:30 - 10:00 The Biological Weapons Convention: An Introductory Overview (Ms. Ngoc Phuong van der Blij, Political Affairs Officer, BWC ISU)


10:00 - 10:30 Coffee break

10:30 – 11-00 Group photo

11:00 – 11:30 Boe Declaration on Regional Security (Ms. Nola Faasau, Legal Drafting Officer, Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat)

Plant and Animal Health Security

11:30 - 12:00 Animal Health Perspective: BWC and the risks of zoonotic diseases (Dr Debbie Eagles, CSIRO’s Australian Animal Health Laboratory – AAHL)

12:00 – 12:30 Animal Health Bacterial Risks (Dr. Beato Lenoa, Senior Veterinary Officer West, Ministry of Agriculture, Fiji)

12:30- 13:00 Biosecurity risks for plants (Mr. Nitesh Datt, Chief Plant Officer Biosecurity, Fiji)

13:00 – 14:30 Lunch Break

14:30– 15:00 The road to accession to the BWC: Niue’s experience (Mr. Aldric Hipa, Assistant Crown Counsel, Crown Law Office, Government of Niue)

15:00 – 15:30 Implementing the BWC, Fiji’s experience (Mr. Eroni Rokisi, Senior Defence Officer- Ministry of Defence & National Security, Fiji)

15:30 – 16:00 Comments from participants

16:00 – 16:30 Coffee break

16:30 – 16:45 Daily Wrap-Up

18:00 – 19:00 Welcome cocktail reception hosted by Fiji


13 December 2018

9:00 – 9.10 Joining the BWC (Ms. Ngoc Phuong van der Blij, Political Affairs Officer, BWC ISU)

9:10 – 9.30 Benefits and obligations under the BWC (Ms. Ngoc Phuong van der Blij, Political Affairs Officer, BWC ISU)

9:30 – 10: 00 United Nations Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament (UNRCPD) Efforts to Promote Universalization of the Biological Weapon Convention (Mr. Yuriy Kryvonos, Director of UNRCPD)

10: 00– 10:30 Coffee break

10:30 – 11:00 The role of Non-Governmental Organizations and other stakeholders in BWC universalization: Parliamentarians for Global Action (PGA)’s experience (presentation delivered by Mr. Robert Niko Aiono, Senior Foreign Service Officer, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Samoa on behalf of Mr Lemalu Lemi Taefu, Associate Minister for Natural Resources and Environment; Member of Parliament, Samoa)

11:00 – 11:30 Dual Use Research (Mr. Jone Gucake- Lecturer, Fiji National University)

11:30 – 11:45 Closing remarks and the way forward ((Ms. Ngoc Phuong van der Blij, Political Affairs Officer, BWC ISU)

12: 00 – 13: 30 Lunch break

Speakers' biographies are available here