Between October and December 2010, the NIM Programme completed 7 legislative surveys. Staff conducted one legislative drafting workshop that also included a session to raise awareness among the key national stakeholders on BWC implementation.
NIM staff contributed to the Regional BWC Implementation workshop held in Abuja, Nigeria, 25-27 October, where they liaised with several countries on ratification of the convention. The team also contributed to a workshop held in Beijing, China, on ‘Strengthening International Efforts to Prevent the Proliferation of Biological Weapons: The Role of the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention’, held between 4-6 November. Additionally, the NIM Programme presented a paper at the ‘Global Networking to Promote Biosecurity and Limit Dual Use Risks’ seminar held in Como, Italy, 12-13 November, Italy. The NIM team was also present at the Lima regional workshop on implementation of the UNSCR 1540, from 7-9 November. VERTIC discussed approaches and further co-operation with participating countries on strengthening their legislation for implementation of the BWC and UNSC Resolution 1540.
The NIM Programme engaged with the scientific community at the seminar ‘Trends in Science and Technology Relevant to the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention’ held in Beijing, from 31 October to 3 November, and at the ‘Biosafety Association for Central Asia and the Caucasus (BACAC) 2nd Annual Conference’, held in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, from 9 to 13 November.
Members of the team also had the opportunity to actively participate in two practical exercises simulating the response to biological or chemical incidents: the ‘BIOSHIELD Global 2010’ held in Utrecht, Netherlands, between 16-18 November, and the ‘Table-top exercise: Preparedness of States Parties to prevent terrorist attacks involving chemicals’ held in Warsaw, Poland, from 22-23 November.
Three members of the team participated in the annual Conference of States Parties to the CWC, held in The Hague from 29 November to 3 December and actively contributed to the CWC Coalition. The entire NIM team attended the BWC Meeting of States Parties (MSP) in Geneva, from 6-10 December. VERTIC delivered a statement in Arabic highlighting the threat of bioterrorism and the need to strengthen biosafety and biosecurity measures in laboratories. VERTIC urged parties to consider important issues such BWC universality, implementation and the strengthening of the Confidence Building Measures mechanism in their deliberations for the upcoming Seventh Review Conference. VERTIC hosted a breakfast seminar during the BWC MSP where the new NIM Database and VERTIC website were launched and VERTIC’s Rome Statute Article was presented.
Finally, the NIM Programme wishes to thank Kara Allen and Agata Slota for assisting the team during their internships.