From 24 to 26 May, the United Nations Disarmament Office (UNODA) partnered with the Government of Cameroon to organize a regional workshop on the universalization and effective implementation of the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) in Central Africa.
Participants discussed the rights and obligations under the Convention and shared experiences, challenges and best practices, strengthening networks and working relationships, with a view to enhancing BWC implementation. At the same time, UNODA staff worked closely with delegates to identify national needs and priorities and discussed opportunities for technical assistance and capacity building support in the implementation of the BWC. “It was urgent,” Mr. Serge Raoul Nyanid, Minister Counsellor, Permanent Mission of Cameroon to the United Nations, noted “for Central African States to establish or strengthen sub-regional policies for the prevention and management of risks related to biological threats.”
Sixty-one participants from six central African States attended, including five States Parties (Burundi, Cameroon, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Sao Tome and Principe.) Chad also participated in the workshop, although not a party to the Convention. In addition, Canada, Equatorial Guinea, France and Portugal, as well as experts from the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Africa, and the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism attended.
The workshop was organized in the context of a four-year project on “Supporting the Universalization and Effective Implementation of the Biological Weapons Convention in Africa” funded by the Global Partnership against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction.
Additional information on the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) is available here.