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Council Decision 2012/421/CFSPShow full title

Council Decision 2012/421/CFSP of 23 July 2012 in support of the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC), in the framework of the EU Strategy against Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction

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Changes over time for: Division 2.2.

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2.2.Project 2: Extended national implementation assistance programmesU.K.+E.U.

2.2.1.Project purposeU.K.+E.U.

To promote universal adherence to the BTWC and enhance national capabilities for implementing obligations under the BTWC, including CBM submissions, by means of legislation, administrative and enforcement measures, awareness raising, codes of conduct, standards on bio-safety and bio-security, and establishment of modalities for national coordination through extended assistance programmes.

2.2.2.Expected results of the ProjectU.K.+E.U.

Increased number of States Parties to the BTWC.


Voluntary implementation of the BTWC by States prior to their accession thereto.


Adoption of appropriate legislative or administrative measures, including criminal law provisions, which encompass the full scope of the prohibitions and preventive measures provided for in the BTWC and elaborated by the Seventh Review Conference.


Effective implementation and enforcement to prevent violations of the BTWC and to impose sanctions in cases of breaches.


Creation or enhancement of national mechanisms for compilation of required information and annual submissions of CBMs with a view to increase the number of States Parties participating in CBMs exchange.


Better coordination and networking among all stakeholders involved in the BTWC process, including national and regional bio-safety associations and the private sector, in order to promote effective implementation.


Promotion of awareness raising programs, codes of conduct and standards on bio-safety and bio-security.

2.2.3.Project descriptionU.K.+E.U.

The Seventh Review Conference reaffirmed that the enactment and implementation of necessary national measures would strengthen the effectiveness of the BTWC. That Conference called upon States Parties to adopt legislative, administrative, judicial and other measures designed to enhance domestic implementation of the BTWC and to ensure the safety and security of microbial or other biological agents or toxins. That Conference emphasised the importance of the exchange of information among States Parties through the CBMs and recognised the need to increase the number of States Parties participating in the CBMs. That Conference agreed that a further concerted effort by States Parties through bilateral, regional and multilateral activities is needed for promoting the universalisation of the BTWC.

Based on experiences gained through Joint Action 2008/858/CFSP, extended national implementation assistance programmes will be provided to a maximum of eight countries identified as suitable through the regional workshops of Project 1.

Each programme will run for approximately 12 months, involve participation by EU delegations in beneficiary countries and the UN regional disarmament offices where appropriate, and will comprise:

  • an initial national workshop, to gather all the relevant domestic agencies and stakeholders, to introduce the various BTWC concepts, to identify motivated and reliable local partners, and to make an initial assessment of needs and priorities,

  • the development of a structured plan for assistance (Action Plan), tailored for the beneficiary country, that would involve visits and/or workshops by various assistance providers over the duration of the programme, as well as training provided in EU Member States or elsewhere,

  • the execution of the Action Plan, with providers such as Interpol, WHO, VERTIC, EU Member States, the BTWC ISU, and academic institutions conducting the respective assistance activities (e.g. drafting of legislation, bio-safety/bio-security training, CBM preparation, police training, awareness-raising for scientists, emergency response planning, etc),

  • a wrap-up workshop following the conclusion of the activities, where the threads will be drawn together, agencies will report on their activities and progress, and any needs for further or continuing assistance will be assessed,

  • to support universalisation of the BTWC, extended national assistance programmes could, where appropriate, be provided to States non-Parties, in which case accession to the BTWC would form part of the Action Plan agreed with the recipient country,

  • to ensure efficient and productive assistance, a EU workshop for EU experts assisting beneficiary countries under Project 2 will be organised with an objective of discussing best practices and appropriate preparations for assistance activities.

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