BWC 2012 Meeting of State Parties continues in Geneva

The recent 2012 Meeting of States Parties for the 1972 Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention included a lengthy discussion on process, a report on the Implementation Support Unit and preparations for the drafting of a final progress report.

The meeting's fourth day gave the delegates an opportunity to raise further issues related to the topics allocated to discussion at the conference. The South Korean, Iranian and Algerian delegates discussed cooperation and assistance; the Chilean and British delegates discussed recent advances in science and technology; and delegates from Algeria, Japan and Chile spoke on national implementation goals.

South Africa raised the issue of how the intersessional process could be made more effective and efficient. The nation recently covered the topic in a working paper distributed to the states parties. Some states parties questioned whether or South Africa's ideas were at odds with the mandate from the Seventh BWC Review Conference held in 2011. Others welcomed the debate.

During the afternoon of the meeting's fourth day, Ambassador Boujemaa Delmi of Algeria, the meeting's chairman, introduced his report on universalization. Delmi also welcomed the Marshall Islands as the latest country to join the BWC. Myanmar, which has signed the treaty but not yet ratified it, said it was currently occupied dealing with its national reconciliation process, but was actively looking at issues related to ratification.

The ISU report was introduced by the unit's chief, Richard Lennane. The report describes the unit's progress over the last year, for which it was allocated additional duties but no additional funding. The ISU report indicated there would be benefits to clarifying documentation issues with regards to the United Nations. BWC meetings are not U.N. meetings, but use U.N. document services.