Overview

The third session of the Working Group on the Strengthening of the Biological Weapons Convention took place in Room XVII at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland from 4 to 8 December 2023.

The Working Group was chaired by H.E. Ambassador Flavio Soares Damico of Brazil, with H.E. Ambassador Camille Petit of France and Mr. Irakli Jgenti of Georgia as Vice-Chairs.

Documents

Arrangements for the Third Session of the Working Group on the Strengthening of the Biological Weapons Convention and the 2023 Meeting of States Parties (EN ES FR)

Aide Memoire (EN ES FR)

Chair's letter for the preparation of the Third Session of the Working Group on the Strengthening of the Biological Weapons Convention

Indicative Timetable for the Third Session of the Working Group on the Strengthening of the BWC, 4 - 8 December 2023

BWC/WG/3/CRP.1 - Draft procedural report of the third session of the Working Group on the Strengthening of the Convention

BWC/WG/3/1 - Procedural report of the third session of the Working Group on the Strengthening of the Convention (advance version)

Working papers

BWC/WG/3/WP.1 - Updated concept paper on the International Agency for Biological Safety - Submitted by Kazakhstan

BWC/WG/3/WP.2 - Possible elements of a Draft Statute of the International Agency for Biological Safety - Submitted by Kazakhstan

BWC/WG/3/WP.3 - Military biological activities of the United States and Ukraine on the Ukrainian territory in violation of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on their Destruction - Submitted by Russian Federation

BWC/WG/3/WP.4 - Proposal to enhance the format of confidence-building measures under the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on their Destruction - Submitted by Russian Federation

BWC/WG/3/WP.5 - Conceptual and methodological aspects of a possible mechanism of verification of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on their Destruction - Submitted by Russian Federation

BWC/WG/3/WP.6 - Building global biosecurity via confidence in compliance with the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention - Submitted by the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

BWC/WG/3/WP.7 - Enhancing the Confidence-Building Measures (CBMs) Regime through the Integration of Global Health Security Metrics - Submitted by Uganda

BWC/WG/3/WP.8/Rev.1 - Key considerations when relaunching the discussion on verification and compliance in the context of the Biological Weapons Convention - Submitted by Denmark, Kenya, Malawi, Montenegro, Norway, Panama, Singapore, Thailand and Uruguay

BWC/WG/3/WP.9/Rev.1 - U.S. Approach to the Working Group on the Strengthening of the Biological Weapons Convention - Submitted by the United States of America

BWC/WG/3/WP.10 - Verification Mechanism of the Biological Weapons Convention under New Circumstances - Submitted by China

BWC/WG/3/WP.11 - Strengthening Compliance with the Biological Weapons Convention through a Legally Binding Instrument - Submitted by the Islamic Republic of Iran

BWC/WG/3/WP.12 - United States Right of Reply to the Russian Federation - Submitted by the United States of America

BWC/WG/3/WP.13 - Contemporary problems of verification under the BTWC. Historic work experience of the VEREX and the Ad Hoc Group of States Parties to the BTWC - Submitted by the Russian Federation

BWC/WG/3/WP.14 - Enhancing Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment as an Integral Part of the Institutional Strengthening of the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) - Submitted by Panama

BWC/WG/3/WP.15 - Comments of the Ukrainian side with regard to the Working Paper BWC/WG/3/WP.3 submitted by the Russian Federation - Submitted by Ukraine

BWC/WG/3/WP.16 - Position of the European Union on Transparency and Confidence-Building within the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention - Submitted by the European Union

BWC/WG/3/WP.17 - Position of the European Union on Compliance with and Verification under the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention - Submitted by the European Union

BWC/WG/3/WP.18 - Position of the European Union on Organizational, Institutional and Financial Arrangements within the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention - Submitted by the European Union

Side Events

4
December2023
Elements of an International Agency for Biological Safety (IABS) Organizer: Kazakhstan
13:15-14:45Room XXV
5
December2023
Contemporary problems of verification under the BTWC. Historic work experience of the VEREX and the Ad Hoc Group of States Parties to the BTWCOrganizer: Russian Federation

Description: Presentation by the Russian Defense Ministry expert of the main work outcomes of the VEREX Group (1991-1993) and the Ad Hoc Group of States Parties to BTWC (1994-2001), created with a view to elaborate a legally binding Verification Protocol, relevant to the task of strengthening the Convention at the current stage and analysis of the prospects for the actualization of the scientific and methodological instruments proposed by these Groups.

Speakers: Head of the Russian delegation to the third session of the WG on the strengthening of the BTWC Mr. Konstantin VORONTSOV, Expert of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation Dr. Dmitrii POKLONSKII

Additional information: Sandwiches and refreshments will be provided.
13:00-15:00Room XXIV
6
December2023
UNODA's Assistance on Implementing the BWC - Example of AfricaOrganizer: UNODA

Description: This side-event will consist of four national experts from African States Parties. They will share the challenges they face at the national level in implementing the Convention, good practices and lessons learned in addressing them, and will identify dynamics that could be used to strengthen UNODA's BWC assistance, including in other regions.

Panelists:
Dr. Mohamed RHAJAOUI, National Institute of Hygiene, Morocco (Kingdom of)
Lasconi MOUNGUI MEDI, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Cameroon
Dr. Janes MOKGADI, CBRN Authority, Botswana
Kadiatou DAO, National Public Health Institute, Mali

Additional information:
Flyer
Light lunch will be provided.
13:00-15:00Room XXV
6
December2023
Poster Session: Strengthening Biosecurity Through Next-Generation Perspectives Organizer: NTI
13:00-15:00Outside Room XVII
7
December2023
BWC Assurance: Confidence-Building MeasuresOrganizer: Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security (JHCHS)

Presenters:
Dr. Gigi Gronvall
Christina M. Potter
Matthew P. Shearer
Rachel A. Vahey

Additional information:
Presentation on BWC Confidence-Building Measures
13:00-15:00Room XXV
7
December2023
Workshop on Biosafety, Biosecurity and Biological Risk ManagementOrganizer: Global Health and Security Consultants, Geneva by Dr Ali A. Mohammadi

Details can be found here
9:00-10:00Room XXV
8
December2023
Supporting the legislative implementation of the Biological Weapons ConventionOrganizer: VERTIC
09:00-10:00Room XXII
8
December2023
The Convergence of AI and the Life Sciences: Safeguarding Biotechnology, Bolstering Biosecurity, and Supporting BioeconomiesOrganizer: NTI
13:00-15:00Room XXIV
8
December2023
UNIDIR-VERTIC BWC National Implementation Measures DatabaseOrganizer: UNIDIR and VERTIC
13:00 -15:00Room XXV
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