A State can become a State Party to the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) through two means: ratification or accession. Ratification
is for States that have already signed the Convention, known as signatories. Accession
is for States that have not already signed the Convention. Since the Convention entered into force in 1975, it is no longer possible to sign it but only to accede to it. Succession
is for newly independent States which consent to be bound by a treaty to which the predecessor State was a party.
The domestic process for ratification or accession depends on the constitutional arrangements of the State concerned, but often formal approval by the national parliament is required. Once the domestic requirements have been satisfied, an instrument of accession or ratification should be deposited with one or more of the three Depositary Governments of the Convention: the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America. Details on how to do so are provided below in the “Information on the Depositories” section. When the instrument is received by one or more of the Depository Governments, the State concerned then becomes a State Party to the Convention.
Ratification, accession and succession
Guide to ratification, accession and succession
Format of Instruments of Ratification, Accession and Succession
Information on the Depositaries
Functions of the Depositaries
Depositaries of the BWC
BWC Depositaries contact details