The system of Confidence-Building Measures (CBMs) under the Biological Weapons Convention was introduced in 1987 following a decision by the Second Review Conference in 1986.
The objective of CBMs is to prevent or reduce the occurrence of ambiguities, doubts and suspicions and to improve international cooperation in the field of peaceful biological activities.
BWC States Parties should submit their national CBM reports no later than 15 April every year to the BWC Implementation Support Unit.
The information to be provided should cover the previous calendar year. States Parties should submit data under the following six Measures, A to G (Measure D was deleted by the Seventh Review Conference in 2011):
CBM A: Exchange of information on (i) research centres and laboratories, and (ii) national biological defence research and development programmes
CBM B: Exchange of information on outbreaks of infectious diseases and similar occurrences caused by toxins
CBM C: Encouragement of publication of results and promotion of use of knowledge
CBM E: Declaration of legislation, regulations and other measures
CBM F: Declaration of past activities in offensive and/or defensive biological research and development programmes
CBM G: Declaration of vaccine production facilities
All CBMs received since 1987 are available to all States Parties on the eCBM facility.
States Parties have the option to make their CBM submissions either publicly available or restricted to other States Parties only. States Parties are requested to inform the ISU about their choice when submitting their CBMs.
Development of the CBM system
- The Second Review Conference in 1986 agreed on the concept and general content of the CBMs by introducing four CBMs (A, B, C and D). The Conference did not specify the modalities for submission, but delegated this task to an “Ad Hoc Meeting of Scientific and Technical Experts“, which met in 1987.
- The Third Review Conference in 1991 re-examined the CBMs and agreed to modify and expand them. These forms were used for twenty years between 1991 and 2011.
- The Sixth Review Conference in 2006 agreed on several improvements to the mechanisms for submission and distribution, notably on the development of a mechanism for the electronic submission and distribution of CBMs. Paper publication of CBM submissions was subsequently discontinued.
- The Seventh Review Conference in 2011 adopted revised reporting forms and decided to delete CBM D (Active promotion of contacts).
- An electronic CBM platform was established in 2018, which enables the online submissions of CBM reports.
Further information on the history and operation of CBMs can be found in a report by the Implementation Support Unit to the Ninth Review Conference in 2022.
Submitting CBM reports
CBM reports can be generated and submitted directly through the electronic CBM facility.
An electronic document (e.g. Microsoft Word or PDF document) can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
All e-mail submissions will be acknowledged.
A hard copy of the CBM report with a note verbale as the cover can be sent to the following address:
BWC Implementation Support Unit, Office for Disarmament Affairs (Geneva Branch)
Preparing CBM reports
Advice on completing the CBM forms
A Guide to the preparation of CBM reports has been prepared by the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs with the support of the European Union, as part of the European Union’s 2008 Joint Action in support of the BWC and its 2012 Council Decision in support of the BWC. The document has no formal status and suggestions therein are not intended to imply or confer any additional obligations on States Parties.