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2019 Meeting of States Parties

The 2019 Meeting of States Parties to the Biological Weapons Convention will be chaired by Ambassador Yann Hwang of France with Ambassador Adrian Vierita of Romania and Ambassador Andreano Erwin of Indonesia as the two Vice-Chairs.

The Meeting of States Parties will take place in Room XVII from 3 to 6 December 2019 at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.

The 2018-2020 intersessional programme is intended to discuss, and promote common understanding and effective action on those issues identified for inclusion in the intersessional programme. The work in the intersessional period is guided by the aim of strengthening the implementation of all articles of the Convention in order to better respond to current challenges.

The 2019 Meeting of States Parties will consider the factual reports of the Meetings of Experts which took place in July and August 2019, as well as a report from the Chair on universalization activities and the annual report of the Implementation Support Unit. It is also responsible for managing the intersessional programme, including taking necessary measures with respect to budgetary and financial matters by consensus with a view to ensuring the proper implementation of the intersessional programme. The Meeting of States Parties will also approve the office-holders for the 2020 BWC meetings and the dates for the BWC meetings to take place in 2020.

Rules of Procedure

All meetings will be subject mutatis mutandis to the rules of procedure of the Eighth Review Conference.

BWC/CONF.VIII/2 - Draft Rules of Procedures adopted at the Eighth Review Conference
(available in all six official UN languages)

Communications from the MSP Chairman

Letter from the Chair about MSP preparations – On 4 September, the Chairman of the Meeting of States Parties (MSP), Ambassador Yann Hwang of France, sent a letter to all States Parties about preparations for the MSP which will take place from 3 to 6 December in Geneva. Drafts of the provisional agenda and the provisional programme of work for the MSP are attached to the letter. A courtesy English translation is also attached.

Information for participants

The majority of information required by participants in the Meetings of States Parties can be found in the Aide Mémoire , including: registration and accreditation; issuance of security badges; getting to and from the meeting; additional meetings; facilities for participants; documentation; as well as sources of additional information.

In order to promote Sustainable Development Goal 5 on gender equality, the Implementation Support Unit strongly encourages all States Parties, Signatory States, States not Party, international organizations and non-governmental organizations to strive for gender balance within their own delegations. (further information on Gender and Disarmament are available on UNIDIR's website).


All those wishing to attend the Meetings of States Parties must be properly registered. Their names must be included in a note verbale or letter sent to the ISU, as described in the Aide Memoire.

Individuals with a valid security badge issued by the United Nations Office at Geneva (i.e. Members of Permanent Missions based in Geneva) can then proceed directly to the conference room on 3 December.

Individuals who do not have a UNOG security badge (e.g. experts from capital etc) will need to register online and follow the process described there.

All registration letters/note verbales should reach the Implementation Support Unit no later than 22 November 2019.

Taking action on sexual harassment

The organizations of the United Nations system are committed to enabling events at which everyone can participate in an inclusive, respectful and safe environment. UN system events are guided by the highest ethical and professional standards, and all participants are expected to behave with integrity and respect towards all participants attending or involved with any UN system event.

Advancing the Secretary-General’s “zero tolerance” vision, and priority agenda to address sexual harassment in the workplace, a Model Code of Conduct has been developed to prevent harassment, including sexual harassment, at UN system events. The Model Code of Conduct is not a legal document but aims to prevent harassment from occurring at UN system events by sharing expectations of standards of conduct in advance of an event, as well as to support victims by ensuring they are aware that harassment is not tolerated at UN system events and what steps they can take if they are harassed or witness harassment. The Model Code of Conduct applies to all participants of any BWC Meetings.

Official documents

  • BWC/MSP/2019/1 - Provisional agenda for the 2019 Meeting of States Parties

Final reports of the 2019 Meetings of Experts (advance versions):

The final reports of the 2019 Meetings of Experts will be issued in all official UN languages before the opening of the Meeting of States Parties. While they are being translated, please find below advance versions in English:
  • BWC/MSP/2019/MX.1/2 - Report of the 2019 Meeting of Experts on Cooperation and Assistance, with a Particular Focus on Strengthening Cooperation and Assistance under Article X
  • BWC/MSP/2019/MX.2/2 - Report of the 2019 Meeting of Experts on Review of Developments in the Field of Science and Technology Related to the Convention
  • BWC/MSP/2019/MX.3/2 - Report of the 2019 Meeting of Experts on Strengthening National Implementation
  • BWC/MSP/2019/MX.4/2 - Report of the 2019 Meeting of Experts on Assistance, Response and Preparedness
  • BWC/MSP/2019/MX.5/2 - Report of the 2019 Meeting of Experts on Institutional Strengthening of the Convention

Working papers:

Statements and presentations

Statements and presentations will be posted here as they become available during the Meeting of States Parties.

Tuesday 3 December 2019

Wednesday 4 December 2019

Thursday 5 December 2019

Friday 6 December 2019

Side events

If you wish to request a slot in order to organize a side-event, please fill in the online request form at your earliest convenience. Please carefully read the instructions in the form, which contains useful logistical information on how to organize your side-event and time slot distribution by the Chairperson.

Monday 2 December

9:00 - 18:00
  • Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security: Global Forum on Scientific Advances Important to the BWC, Room XXIII

    Opening Remarks:

    His Excellency Ambassador Yann Hwang, Permanent Representative of France to the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva and Chair of the 2019 Meeting of the States Parties to the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention

    Session #1

    Gene Drives and Engineered Ecology: What can we expect from these advancing capabilities and what are their implications on the BWC?
    Moderator: Michael Montague, Senior Scholar, Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, USA
    - Fei Li, Institute of Insect Science, Zhejiang University, China
    - Alexander Kagansky, Far Eastern Federal University, Russia

    Session #2

    Advancing Agriculture and Ecosystems: What is the current state of capabilities and what are the impacts on the BWC?
    Moderator: Gigi Gronvall, Senior Scholar, Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, USA
    - George Obiero, University of Nairobi, Centre of Biotechnology and Bioinformatics, Kenya
    - Faisal Khan, CECOS University, Peshawar, Pakistan

    Keynote Address: Alessandro Marcello, International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology

    Session #3

    Barriers and Opportunities: What policies for cutting-edge biology could strengthen the BWC?
    Moderator: Gigi Gronvall, Senior Scholar, Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, USA
    - Margaret Karembu, International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications
    - Jonathan Forman, Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons
    - Daniel Feakes, BWC Implementation Support Unit

Tuesday 3 December

9:00 - 10:00

  • Germany: “A scientific Review Mechanism for the BTWC: Looking Back, Around and Forward” , Room XXIII
    • Ambassador Peter Beerwerth, Permanent Representative of Germany to the Conference on Disarmament
    • Dr. Una Jakob, Postdoctoral Researcher, Peace Research Institute Frankfurt
    • Dr. Andrea Leisewitz, Director of Applied Research and Innovation, Universidad Santo Tomas and Member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the OPCW
    • Dr. Nicholas G. Evans, Assistant Professor in Philosophy, University of Massachusetts Lowell

  • University of Hamburg: Conflict Potentials from the Release of Gene Drives, Room XXIV
    • Gunnar Jeremias
    • Bernd Giese
    • Johannes Friess
    • Anna Rössing

13:00 – 15:00
  • Germany: A Comprehensive Capstone Exercise and Other Activities to Operationalize the Secretary-General’s Mechanism for Investigation of Alleged Use of Chemical and Biological weapons, Room XXIII
    • Ambassador Peter Beerwerth, Permanent Representative of Germany to the Conference on Disarmament
    • Scott Cairns
    • Maria Hecht
    • Bevc Jasmina

  • Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security: Event 201: A High-Level Pandemic Policy Exercise, Room XXIV

    • Tara Kirk Sell, PhD, Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security
    • Crystal Watson, Dr PH, Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security
    • Ryan Morhard, World Economic Forum
    • Scott Dowell, Gates Foundation

Wednesday 4 December

9:00 - 10:00
  • The InterAcademy Partnership (IAP) and the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine: Qualitative Frameworks to Assess Risks and Benefits of Advances in Science and Technology: Results of an Experts Meeting, Room XXIV
    • Peter McGrath, IAP – Chair
    • Jo Husbands, U.S. National Academies
    • Nancy Connell, Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security

  • Georgetown University Center for Global Health Science and Security: How Access and Benefit Regimes will Impact UNSGM Investigations, Room XXIII
    • Michelle Rourke, Griffith University, Australia
    • Alexandra Phelan, Georgetown University
    • Rebecca Katz, Georgetown University

13:00 – 15:00
  • NTI Bio: Global Biosecurity Dialogue: Objectives and Progress Toward New, Measurable Actions, Room XXIII
    • Ms. Deborah Rosenblum, Executive Vice President, NTI
    • Mr. Trevor Smith, Senior Program Manager, Biological & Chemical Security, Canada
    • Ms. Hayley Severance, Senior Program Officer, NTI bio
      Other speakers TBD

  • European Union / Biosafety Association for Central Asia and Caucasus (BACAC) / International Science and Technology Center (ISTC): Strengthening BWC with Civil Society Involvement: EU CBRN CoE - BACAC Conference, Room XXIV

    • Tristan Simonart, CA Program Coordinator. EU CBRN Centres of Excellence
    • Bakhktior Gulyamov, Head of the EU CBRN CoE Regional Secretariat for Central Asia
    • Lela Bakanidze, BACAC President
    • Hendrik Visser, ISTC Project Manager
    • Yasemin Balci, Senior Legal Officer, VERTIC

Thursday 5 December

9:00 - 10:00
  • InterAcademy Partnership, U.S National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine, European Union, UNODA and Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security; Through the Lens of the Biological Weapons Convention: Global Trends in the Life Sciences with a Potential Impact on the Convention, Room XXIII

    • Luis Ochoa
    • Lucia Mullen

  • Geneva Disarmament Platform, METO Project,Taking Forward the BW Aspects of the UN Conference on the Establishment of a Middle East Zone Free of Nuclear Weapons and Other Weapons of Mass Destruction, Room XXIV
    • Richard Lennane, GDP (moderator)
    • TBD

13:00 – 15:00

  • Russian Federation: Briefing by Anti-Plague Institute "Microbe" on the Outcomes of Recent Exercises Involving Russian Mobile Biomedical Units, Room XXIV
    Speakers: TBD

  • UNIDIR: WMD Compliance and Enforcement: Lessons for the BWC , Room XXIII
    Speakers: TBD

Friday 6 December


Emergent BioSolutions: Considerations in the Global Fight Against Smallpox, Room XXIII

    • Prof. Dr. Geoffrey L. Smith, University of Cambridge

13:00 – 15:00

  • France and Fondation pour la Recherche Stratégique: Triggering BTWC Article VII After the Release of a Non-Human Pathogen, Room XXIII

    • Dr Jean Pascal Zanders, FRS
    • Dr Elisande Nexon, FRS
    • Dr Ralf Trapp, Independent Consultant

  • NTI / bio: Engaging Diverse Stakeholders and the Next Generation to Address Emerging Biological Risks Associated with Advances in Technology, Room XXIV
    • Ms. Deborah Rosenblum, Executive Vice Presidentt NTI
    • Dr. Jake Jordan, Senior Director, NTI | bio
    • Dr. Jamie Yassif, Senior Fellow, NTI | bio
    • Ms. Hayley Severance, Senior Program Officer, NTI | bio
      Other speakers TBD