Geneva U.N. Office hosts biological weapons meeting

The United Nations Office at Geneva will host the 2013 Meeting of States Parties to the Biological Weapons Convention from Dec. 9 through Dec. 13.

All States Parties and participants of the Biological Weapons Convention were invited to the meeting, which is the second of four scheduled annual meetings during the 2012-2015 intersessional program. The meetings are in preparation of the BWC Review Conference in 2016. Judit Körömi, a special representative of the Foreign Minister of Hungary for Arms Control, Disarmament and Non-proliferation, will be the chairwoman of the meeting.

Participants at the meeting will review progress on the prevention of the development or use of biological weapons. Attendees will consider international cooperation and assistance, developments in relevant science and technology, national implementation of the agreement and an exchange of information between States Parties.

Körömi said a variety of information would be provided at the conference, and the BWC States Parties would benefit from "a wide range of perspectives from agencies in both developed and developing countries, from international organizations, from professional and scientific associations, from academia and NGOs, and from the private sector."

"States Parties must now take this wealth of information and ideas and consider how they might transform it into common understandings and effective action," Körömi said.

Körömi said participants should be forward-looking and focus on new, updated and additional material, instead of dwelling on outdated information.