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BWC News 2011 - 2014




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  • The 2014 Meeting of States Parties ended on 5 December 2014. The MSP concluded with the adoption of a final report comprising both a procedural section and a substantive section covering the three standing agenda items and the biennial item. The final report has been submitted for official document processing and will be translated into all UN official languages. It will be uploaded on the website as soon as the English version is available. A press release is available here.
  • Myanmar ratifies the Biological Weapons Convention - the Russian Federation, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the United States of America, as Depository Governments, confirmed that Myanmar ratified the Convention on 1 December 2014. this brings the membership of the BWC to 171 States Parties.
  • Letter from Chairman - On 19 November 2014, the BWC Chair, Ambassador Urs Schmid wrote to States Parties regarding the preparations of the Meeting of States Parties.
  • Change to ISU Staffing - The United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs – Geneva - announces the appointment of Daniel Feakes as P-5 Chief, Biological Weapons Convention Implementation Support Unit (ISU) in Geneva. Mr. Feakes will succeed Mr. Richard Lennane in this task.
    Mr. Feakes has a wealth of experience both in the field of disarmament and with international organizations. He is currently the Strategy and Policy Adviser in the Technical Secretariat of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). From 2009 to 2013 he was a Senior Policy Officer in the OPCW’s Verification Division. At the OPCW, Daniel Feakes has also overseen education and outreach activities, been involved in the preparation and conduct of the Third Review Conference of the Chemical Weapons Convention and has worked closely with partners in other international organizations, the scientific community and civil society.
    Prior to 2009, Daniel spent 12 years as a Research Fellow with the Harvard Sussex Programme on Chemical and Biological Weapons where he worked on chemical and biological weapons issues and published widely on these topics.
    Mr. Feakes holds a BA from the University of Sussex in History and German and a MA from the University of Sussex in Contemporary European Studies.
    Born in 1973, Mr. Feakes is married and has three sons.
  • Chair briefs regional groups - On Friday 7 November 2014, the 2014 Chair, Ambassador Urs Schmid of Switzerland, briefed the Eastern European Group (11.00) and the Western Group (15.00). On 11 November 2014, the Chair briefed the Group of NAM and Other States (16.30). His comments covered plans for the Meeting of States Parties, including introducing his letter of 7 October 2014.
  • Letter from Chairman - On 7 October 2014, a letter from the BWC Chair, Ambassador Urs Schmid of Switzerland, has been sent to States Parties regarding the preparations of the Meeting of States Parties and other BWC relater matters.
  • Letter from Chairman - On 29 September 2014 the BWC Chair, Ambassador Urs Schmid of Switzerland, wrote to States Parties about the nomination of the BWC Vice-Chair.
  • Science and Technology Mini-University- On 31 July, 13:15-15:00, Palais des Nations Room XXII. Refer to the flyer for more information.
  • Letter from BWC ISU - On 26 June the BWC ISU wrote to States Parties to provide information on registration for the Meeting of Experts due to be held in the United Nations Office at Geneva, 4-8 August 2014.
  • Letter from Chairman - On 20 June, the 2014 BWC Chair, Urs Schmid of Switzerland, wrote to States Parties providing additional insights into his plans for Guests of the Meeting at the 2014 Meeting of Experts.
  • Report on the Peer Review Pilot Exercise - France has drafted a Non Paper, reporting the pilot exercise illustrating a possible concept of a peer review mechanism in the framework of the BWC. Both English and French versions of the Non Paper are available online.
  • Chair briefs regional groups - On Monday 16 June 2014, the 2014 Chair, Ambassador Urs Schmid of Switzerland, briefed the Eastern European Group (14.00), the Western Group (15.00) and the Group of NAM and Other States (16.30). His comments covered plans for the Meeting of Experts, including introducing his letter of 28 May 2014, expanding on his approach to the work of the meeting and introducing the informal, rolling detailed indicative schedule.
  • Letter from Chairman - On 28 May, the 2014 BWC Chair, Urs Schmid of Switzerland, wrote to States Parties providing details of preparations for the Meeting of Experts, including on the programme of work, background papers, observers and guests of the meeting, sponsorship, registration and next steps.
  • Temporary Head arrived in Geneva and change to the ISU staffing - On 15 May, a note verbale from UNODA was sent to the permanent missions of the BWC States Parties represented in Geneva to inform that Ms. Gabriele Kraatz-Wadzack, will, as of 15 May 2014, temporarily assume the functions of Head of the BWC ISU. The note further informed that Mr. Piers Millett, Political Affairs Officer and Acting Head of the BWC ISU will be leaving the Unit, effective 28 June 2014.
  • Universalization event in New York - The Chairman will be hosting on 6 May 2014 a universalization event in New York. Details of the event can be found in the letter sent to all States that are not parties to the BWC or signatories, that are represented in New York.
  • Letter from Chairman - On 16 April, a letter from the Chairman, Ambassador Schmid of Switzerland, was sent to the States Parties to inform that the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs had decided to dispatch Ms. Gabrielle Kraatz-Wadsack, Chief of their Regional Disarmament Branch as a temporary Head for the ISU during the recruitment of a permanent Head. This letter initiated a silence procedure with regards to the funding of this arrangement, with 2 May as a deadline for response.
  • Chair briefs regional groups - on Friday 11 April the 2014 BWC Chair, Urs Schmid of Switzerland, briefed the Eastern European Group (13.15), the Western Group (14.00) and the Group of NAM and Other States (15.00). His comments covered plans for the Meeting of Experts, sponsorship and universalization, as well as background papers.
  • Change to the ISU staffing - On 14 February, a letter from the ISU was sent to the States Parties to inform that, as of 1 March, the Head of the ISU, Mr. Richard Lennane will be leaving the Unit.
  • Letter from Chairman - On 14 February the Chairman, Ambassador Schmid of Switzerland, wrote to States Parties to outline his plans for the year. The letter included a number of specific requests for reflections, insights, and considerations.
  • BWC sends out CBM reminder letter - On 22 January the ISU sent States Parties the annual reminder letter that the deadline for the submission of CBMs to cover 2013 is 15 April 2014.


Hide details for News from 2013News from 2013

  • List of speakers for the Meeting of States Parties: the list of speakers for the General Debate on 9 December is now open. To inscribe, please send an e-mail to bwc@unog.ch, if possible providing the name of the speaker and noting any preferences for time.
  • Chair writes to States Parties - On 20 November, the Chairman wrote to States Parties to seek their views on how best to capture the work done this year and to build upon the common understandings reached in the Report of the 2012 Meeting of States Parties.
  • The current BWC Intersessional Programme and upcoming Meeting of States Parties: Context, issues and reflections - The Geneva Forum is holding an event on this topic on 28 November 2013 from 10:00-11:45 at the Palais des Nations (Room XXIII). This orientation briefing will start with an overview of the mandate, structure and mechanics of the BWC Intersessional Programme (ISP). It will then present an analysis of, and reflections on, common understandings achieved so far and possible future developments in the thematic areas covered by the current ISP. Finally, the briefing will address the question of compliance, particularly relating to recent discussions on, and proposals for, innovative compliance mechanisms.
  • Chair visits Czech biodefence facility - on 9 September the Chairman visited the National Institute for Nuclear, Chemical and Biological Protection in the Czech Republic, their leading institute for the development and research in the field of chemical, biological and radioactive agents and in the verification of the prohibition of chemical and biological weapons. During the visit the Chairman was also briefed on national experiences of implementing the Convention.

  • Chair writes to States Parties - On 28 October, the Chairman wrote to States Parties to inform them of preparations for the Meeting of States Parties (including on the agenda, programme of work, and details for registering), the synthesis paper, submission and updates of information, views on the work and outcome of the forthcoming meeting, and next steps. Annexed to the letter were a draft provisional programme of work and the synthesis paper.
  • Bridging Science and Security - The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Weapons of Mass Destruction Directorate, in collaboration with the Association of American Universities (AAU) and Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU), have hosted meetings with the biological sciences community to summarize important lessons learned, challenges faced, and areas for improvement of local and national-level biosecurity initiatives.
  • Biological Material and Biosafety in the Framework of the Implementation of the Biological Weapons Convention - Details are online for the above international regional seminar being held 9-11 October 2013 in Santiago, Chile. Details in English and Spanish can be found online: http://www.dgmn.cl/seminario.dgmn.cl
  • Chair writes to States Parties - on 28 June, the 2013 BWC Chair, Judit Koromu of Hungary, wrote to States Parties. The letter contained more detailed plans for the Meeting of Experts, including: an indicative schedule and provisional programme of work; more details on observers and Guests of the meeting; as well as information on registration and next steps.
  • Chair briefs regional groups - on Wednesday 17 April the 2013 BWC Chair, Judit Koromu of Hungary, briefed the Eastern European Group (10.30), the Western Group (11.30) and the Group of NAM and Other States (15.00). Her comments covered plans for the Meeting of Experts, sponsorship and universalization, as well as background papers
  • BWC reaches 170 States Parties - four states have joined so far in 2013: Cameroon on 18 January; Nauru on 5 March; Guyana on 26 March; and Malawi on 2 April.
  • Nauru accedes to the Biological Weapons Convention - the United States, as Depositary Government, confirmed the accession of Nauru to the Convention on 5 March 2013. This brings the membership of the BWC to 168 States Parties.
  • BWC 2013 Chairman writes to States Parties - on 18 February, the Chairman of the 2013 meetings of the BWC, Ms. Judit Körömi, wrote to States Parties to outline her plans for the year. The letter also included information on the sponsorship programme, universality and CBMs.
  • Cameroon accedes to the Biological Weapons Convention - the United States, as Depositary Government, confirmed the accession of Cameroon to the Convention on 18 January 2013. This brings the membership of the BWC to 167 States Parties.


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