Awareness Raising Workshop for Decision-makers and Sharing Best Practices for Implementation of the Biological Weapons Convention
The Second National Workshop on the implementation of the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) was held in Kathmandu, Nepal on the 9-10 June. The workshop was part of an assistance programme for Nepal and was organised by the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA), through the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Asia and the Pacific (UNRCPD) and the UNODA-Geneva Branch, and with financial support from the European Union (EU), in cooperation with the government of Nepal.
The workshop was carried out with the inter-agency Working Group in Nepal, addressing national implementation measures and the relevance of establishing a BWC National Committee. Topics that were addressed included: BWC key concepts; core and additional national implementation measures; key ministries, government departments and agencies involved in implementation; best practices for establishing national coordination of BWC implementation.
During the workshop, participants discussed the various concepts of the Convention and ways to reinforce national implementation based on regional experiences. Experts from the government of Malaysia and India, VERTIC (the Verification Research, Training and Information Centre), UNODA Geneva and UNRCPD made presentations during the two days.
The workshop was coordinated with a legislative assistance visit of the assistance programme.
The BWC was opened for signature in 1972 and entered into force in 1975. It prohibits the development, production, acquisition, transfer, storage and stockpiling of biological and toxin weapons. The BWC, along with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), are the three main pillars of the international community’s key efforts to control the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
The UNODA-Geneva Branch hosts the BWC Implementation Support Unit, which is mandated to assist States Parties in national implementation efforts and to “help States Parties help themselves”. As part of its mandate, UNRCPD is engaged in supporting the implementation of the BWC in Asia and the Pacific. This workshop is part of the EU funded “BWC Action”, which supports the BWC at international, regional and national levels through three major projects: universality and national implementation, strengthening confidence in compliance, and strengthening international cooperation and encouraging discussion on the future of the BWC.
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