The United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA) – through the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Asia and the Pacific (UNRCPD) and the UNODA-Geneva Branch, and with financial support from the European Union (EU) with the government – is organising a national workshop on the implementation of the Biological Weapons Convention.
The workshop will be held in Kathmandu on February 20-21. It will bring together all the national stakeholders and implementing authorities in Nepal with regional and international experts on the subject, the statement read, adding that the activity is part of a wider national assistance programme for promoting universal adherence to the Biological Weapons Convention and enhancing national capabilities for implementing obligations under the Biological Weapons Convention, including through: modalities for national coordination to facilitate and increase participation in the confidence-building measures; legislative, administrative and enforcement measures; awareness-raising; and the creation of codes of conduct and standards on biosafety and biosecurity.
During the two-day workshop, participants will discuss the various concepts of the convention and ways to reinforce national implementation based on regional experiences. They will also identify key partners, to conduct an initial needs and priorities assessment and develop a plan of action for the assistance programme for Nepal. Experts from the Verification Research, Training and Information Centre (VERTIC), EU, the UNODA and UNRCPD will make presentations.
The Biological Weapons Convention was opened for signature in 1972 and entered into force in 1975. It prohibits the development, production, acquisition, transfer, storage and stockpiling of biological and toxin weapons. The Biological Weapons Convention, along with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and the Chemical Weapons Convention, are the three main pillars of the international community’s key efforts to control the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
The UNODA-Geneva Branch hosts the Biological Weapons Convention Implementation Support Unit, which is mandated to assist States Parties in national implementation efforts and to 'help States Parties help themselves'.
As part of its mandate, UNRCPD is engaged in supporting the implementation of the Biological Weapons Convention in Asia and the Pacific.
The workshop is part of the EU funded ' Biological Weapons Convention Action', which supports the Biological Weapons Convention at international, regional and national levels through three major projects: universality and national implementation, strengthening confidence in compliance, and strengthening international cooperation and encouraging discussion on the future of the Biological Weapons Convention.