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Fourth Review Conference final documents

Part I


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Fourth Review Conference of the Parties to the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on their Destruction

Organization and Work of the Conference

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BWC/CONF. IV/9 Part I page 6

FINAL DOCUMENT OF THE FOURTH REVIEW CONFERENCE OF THE PARTIES TO THE CONVENTION ON THE PROHIBITION OF THE DEVELOPMENT, PRODUCTION AND STOCKPILING OF BACTERIOLOGICAL (BIOLOGICAL)AND TOXIN WEAPONS AND ON THEIR DESTRUCTION

Introduction

1. The Final Declaration of the Third Review Conference of the Parties to the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on Their Destruction, in the section dealing with the review of Article XII of the Convention, contained the following decision:

"The Conference decides that a Fourth Review Conference shall be held in Geneva at the request of a majority of States Parties not later than 1996". 1/

2. By resolution 50/79, adopted without a vote on 12 December 1995, the General Assembly, inter alia, noted that, at the request of the States Parties, a Fourth Review Conference of the Parties to the Convention would be held at Geneva from 25 November to 13 December 1996, and that, following appropriate consultations, a Preparatory Committee for that Conference had been formed, open to all Parties to the Convention, and that the Committee would meet in Geneva from 9 to 12 April 1996.

3. The Preparatory Committee held one session at Geneva from 9 to 10 April 1996. The following 65 States Parties to the Convention participated in the session of the Preparatory Committee: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Iraq, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Luxembourg, Malta, Mexico, Mongolia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistant Peru, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Romania, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United States of America, Viet Nam.

4. At its 1st meeting, on 9 April, the Preparatory Committee elected by acclamation Ambassador Sir Michael Weston (United Kingdom) as Chairman of the Committee. It also unanimously elected Ambassador Jorge Berguno (Chile) and Ambassador Tibor Toth (Hungary) as Vice-Chairmen of the Committee. The Committee authorized the Bureau to handle technical and other matters in the period before the Review Conference was convened.

1/ BWC/CONF. III/23 .

BWC/CONF. IV/9 Part I page 7

5. On behalf of the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr. Ogunsola Ogunbanwo, Senior Coordinator of the Disarmament Fellowship, Training and Advisory Services Programme, Centre for Disarmament Affairs, Department of Political Affairs, opened the session of the Preparatory Committee. Mr. Ogunbanwo also served as Secretary ot tne Committee.

6. The Committee decided to take its decisions by consensus.

7. The Committee decided to use Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish as official languages .

8. The Committee, taking note of their written requests, decided to invite the representatives of States Signatories of the Convention, namely, Egypt and Morocco, to participate in its discussions without the right to take part in the making of decisions

9. In the course of its session the Committee considered the following questions relating to the organization of the R eview Conference .

(b) Provisional agenda;
(c) Draft rules of procedure;
(d) Background documentation;
(e) Final document(s).

l0. At its last meeting, on 10 April 1996, the Preparatory Committee adopted its report, which was issued as a pre-session document of the Conference (BWC/CoNF.IV/1). The report contained, inter alia, the provisional agenda and the draft rules of procedure for the Conference (BWC/CONF.IV/1, annexes I and II, respectively). In this connection, the Committee recommended that its report, without annexes, be annexed to the Final Document of the Fourth Review Conference (see annex II of this document).

11. Pursuant to the request of the Preparatory Committee, the following background documents were issued as pre-session documentation for the Conference

1. Background information document provlding, in summary tabular form, data on the participation of States Parties in the agreed confidence-building measures since the last Review Conference (BWC/CONF. IV/2, Corr.1-5)

2. Background information document on compliance by States Parties with all their obligations under the Convention, compiled from information provided by them.

(BWC/CONF.IV/3, Corr.1-2 and Add.1-3)

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3. Background information on new scientific and technological developments relevant to the Convention and covering the applications being made of such developments and their relevance to various aspects of the Convention, compiled from information provided by the States Parties (BWC/CONF.IV/4 and Add.1-2).

Organization of the Conference

12. In accordance with the decision of the Preparatory Committee, the Conference was convened on 25 November at the Palais des Nations in Geneva for a period of two weeks.

13. At its 1st meeting, on 25 November, the Conference elected by acclamation Ambassador Sir Michael Weston (United Kingdom) as President.

14. At the same meeting, a message from the Secretary-General of the United Nations was read out by the Director-General of the United Nations

15. The Conference adopted its agenda as recommended by the Preparatory Committee (BWC/CONF.IV/1, annex I), with item 13 amended to read as follows: "Other matters, including:

(a) the question of future review of the Convention

(b) the consideration of the proposal of the Islamic Republic of Iran concerning .he prohibition of the use of biological weapons (BWC/CONF.IV/COW/WP.2)".

16. The Conference took note with appreciation of the report of the Preparatory Committee (BWC/CONF.IV/1).

17. The Conference adopted its Rules of Procedure as recommended by the Preparatory Committee (BWC/CONF.IV/1, annex II). Upon the recommendation of the Drafting Committee, the Rules of Procedure of the Conference are contained in annex III of this Final Document. The Rules of Procedure provided, inter alia, for (a) a General Committee, composed of the President of the Conference and chaired by him, the 20 Vice-Presidents, the Chairman and the two Vice-Chairmen of the Committee of the Whole, the Chairman and the two Vice-Chairmen of the Drafting Committee, the Chairman and the Vice-Chairman of the Credentials Committee and the three Regional Group Coordinators (see paragraph 19 of the report of the Preparatory Committee); (b) a Committee of the Whole; (c) a Drafting Committee, composed of representatives of the same 32 States that are represented on the General Committee; and (d) a Credentials Committee composed of a Chairman and Vice-Chairman elected by the Conference and five other members appointed by the Conference on the proposal of the

18. The Conference elected by acclamation 20 Vice-Presidents from the following States Parties: Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, China, Cuba, Germany,India, Iran (Islamic Republic of). Ireland (on behalf of the European Union),

BWC/CONF. IV/9 Part I page 9

Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Nigeria, Peru, Poland, Romania, Russian Federation, Slovenia, South Africa and United States of America. It also elected by acclamation the Chairmen and Vice-Chairmen of the Committee of the Whole, the Draftinq Committee and the Credentials Committee, as follows: Committee of the Whole: Chairman Ambassador Jorge Berguno (Chile) Vice-Chairman Ambassador Lars Norberg (Sweden) Vice-Chairman Dr. Petr Rytik Senior Scientist, SRIE&M (Belarus) Drafting Committee: Chairman Ambassador Tibor Toth (Hungary) Vice-Chairman Mr. Steffen Kongstad Minister Counsellor (Norway) Vice-Cha rman Mr. Imron Cotan First Secretary (Indonesia) Credentials Committee: Chairman Mrs. Maria Francisca Arias Castano, Minister Counsellor (Colombia) Vice-Chairman Ambassador Maria Krasnohorska (Slovakia)

The Conference also appointed the following five States Parties as members of the Credentials Committee: Belgium, Cuba, Czech Republic, New Zealand and South Africa.

19. The Conference confirmed the nomination of Mr. Ogunsola Ogunbanwo as secretary-General of the Conference. The nomination had been made by the Secretary-General of the United Nations following an invitation by the Prevaratorv Committee.

Participation at the Conference

20. Seventy-seven States Parties to the Convention participated in the Conference as follows: Albania, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Iraq, Ireland

BWC/CONF. IV/9 Part I page 10

Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Mauritius, Mexico, Mongolia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Romania, Russian Federation, San Marino Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United States of America and Viet Nam.

21. In addition, three States that had signed the Convention but had not yet ratified it participated in the Conference without taking part in the making of decisions, as provided for in rule 44, paragraph 1 of the Rules of Procedure: Egypt, Morocco and Myanmar.

22. Four States, Alyeria, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Israel and Kazakstan, neither Parties nor Signatories of the Convention, were granted Observer status in accordance with rule 44, paragraph 2 (a).

23. The United Nations, including the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR) and the United Nations Special Commission (UNSCOM) attended the Conference in accordance with rule 44, paragraph 3.

24. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), upon its request, was granted Observer status. Sixteen non-governmental organizations and research institutes attended the Conference under rule 44, naraqranh 5.

25. A list of all delegations to the Conference, including States Parties, Signatories, Observer States and non-governmental organizations, is contained in annex IV to this document.

26. The Credentials Committee met on 2 and 5 December, and on 6 December it reported to the Conference on the credentials of the States Parties (BWC/CONF.IV/CC/1). The Conference took note of the report.

Work of the Conference

27. The Conference held six plenary meetings between 25 November and 6 December, when it concluded its work.

28. The general debate, in which 31 States Parties and the ICRC made statements, took place from the 1st to the 4th plenary meetings, on 25 and 26 November

29. The General Committee, at its 1st meeting, on 25 November, considered item 9 of the agenda, "Programme of work", and decided, inter alia, to make the following recommendations to the Conference:

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(1) The Committee of the Whole should consider the following substantive items:

10. Review of the operation of the Convention as provided for in its Article XII (a) Articles I - XV (b) Preambular DaraqraDhs and purposes of the Convention

11. Consideration of issues identified in the review of Article XII contained in the Final Declaration of the Third Review Conference, and possible follow-up action

12. Consideration of the work of the Ad Hoc Group established by the Special Conference in 1994

13. Other matters, including:

(a) the question of future review of the Convention

(b) the consideration of the proposal of the Islamic Republic of Iran concerning the prohibition of the use of biological weapons (BWC/CONF.IV/WP.2)

(2) The Drafting Committee should undertake the task of preparing and submitting to the plenary the draft Final Document of the Conference, including the Final Declaration.

30. At its 1st plenary meeting, on 25 November, the Conference adopted its indicative programme of work, which had been agreed in the course of informal consultations in New York in October.

31. The Committee of the Whole held six meetings between 27 November and 29 November, during which it reviewed the provisions of the Convention, article by article, followed by consideration of the Preamble. The Committee also examined agenda items 11, 12 and 13. It submitted its report (BWC/CONF.IV/S) to the Conference at its 5th plenary meeting, on 29 November. The Conference took note of the resort.

32. The Drafting Committee held eleven meetings between 29 November and 6 December. At its final meeting, the Committee adopted its report to the Conference. The Conference, at its final plenary meeting, on 6 December, took note of the report. Documentation

33. A list of documents of the Conference is contained in annex I to this HanumfZnt

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Conclusion of the Conference

34. At its final plenary meeting, on 6 December, the Conference adopted by consensus its Final Document as recommended by the Drafting Committee in document BWC/CONF.IV/DC/2, BWC/CONF.IV/L.1 and BWCjCONF.IV/L.l/Add.l as orally amended. The Final Document consists of four parts and four annexes: I. Organization and work of the Conference; II. Final Declaration; III. Report of the Committee of the Whole; IV. Summary records of the plenary meetings of the Conference; and annex I, List of documents of the Conference; annex II, Report of the Preparatory Committee; annex III, Rules of Procedure of the Conference; and annex IV, List of participants at the Conference.


The Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention Database forms part of the Project on Strengthening the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention and Preventing Biological Warfare, which is based in the Department of Peace Studies, University of Bradford, UK.

 Updated 12 November 1998.