Tasks ahead

Published : Jan 03, 2003 00:00 IST

ON November 14, 2002, the Fifth Review Conference of the BWC took, by consensus, the following decisions:

* To hold three week-long annual meetings of the State-Parties, beginning in 2003 until the Sixth Review Conference, to be held not later than the end of 2006, to discuss and promote common understanding and effective action on:

1. The adoption of necessary national measures to implement the prohibitions set forth in the convention, including the enactment of penal legislation;

2. National mechanisms to establish and maintain the security and oversight of pathogenic micro-organisms and toxins;

3. Enhancing international capabilities for responding to, investigating and mitigating the effects of cases of alleged use of biological or toxin weapons or suspicious outbreaks of disease;

4. Strengthening and broadening national and international institutional efforts and existing mechanisms for the surveillance, detection, diagnosis and combating of infectious diseases affecting humans, animals, and plants; and

5. The content, promulgation, and adoption of codes of conduct for scientists.

* All meetings, both of experts and of State-Parties, will reach any conclusions or results by consensus.

* Each meeting of the State-Parties will be prepared by a two-week-long meeting of experts. The topics for consideration at each annual meeting of State-Parties will be as follows:

Items 1 and 2 will be considered in 2003; items 3 and 4 in 2004; and item 5 in 2005.

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