S&T adopted as a Standing Agenda Item at the BWC Review Conference

18th December 2011

At the Seventh Review Conference to the BWC, States Parties agreed, inter alia, on a Standing Agenda Item to conduct an annual review of developments in the field of science and technology related to the Convention. The mandate for the Standing Agenda Item, which would form a key part of the third BWC intersessional process, includes seven recurring sub-items for discussion:

      (a) new science and technology developments that have potential for uses contrary to the provisions of the Convention;

      (b) new science and technology developments that have potential benefits for the Convention, including those of special relevance to disease surveillance, diagnosis and mitigation;

      (c) possible measures for strengthening national biological risk management, as appropriate, in research and development involving new science and technology developments of relevance to the Convention;

      (d) voluntary codes of conduct and other measures to encourage responsible conduct by scientists, academia and industry;

      (e) education and awareness-raising about risks and benefits of life sciences and biotechnology.

      (f) science- and technology-related developments relevant to the activities of multilateral organizations such as the WHO, OIE, FAO, IPPC and OPCW;

      (g) any other science and technology developments of relevance to the Convention.

In addition to which, States Parties have agreed to discuss four specific scientific subjects, one to be dealt with each year:

      (a) advances in enabling technologies, including high-throughput systems for sequencing, synthesizing and analyzing DNA; bioinformatics and computational tools; and systems biology (to be considered in 2012);

      (b) advances in technologies for surveillance, detection, diagnosis and mitigation of infectious diseases, and similar occurrences caused by toxins in humans, animals and plants (to be considered in 2013).

      (c) advances in the understanding of pathogenicity, virulence, toxicology, immunology and related issues (to be considered in 2014);

      (d) advances in production, dispersal and delivery technologies of biological agents and toxins (to be considered in 2015);

Follow the link for an advance copy of Final Document from the Seventh Review Conference. Further analysis on the outcomes of the Review Conference and an assessment of the implications for S&T reviews will be added in the near future.  

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