Key stakeholders and decision-makers convene in Chad to advance accession to the Biological Weapons Convention

February 27th, 2024

On 6 and 7 February 2024, the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA) visited N’Djamena to promote Chad’s accession to the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC). The visit brought together key national stakeholders and decision-makers involved in the accession process in order to raise awareness concerning the importance of BWC universalization and to encourage broad national cooperation to that end. While the Biological Weapons Convention boasts almost universal membership, twelve States, including Chad, are not yet party to the Convention.

The first day of the visit consisted of a briefing of 25 senior Chadian government officials and members of parliament hosted at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in N’Djamena. Presentations were aimed at familiarising delegates with the Convention and the rights and obligations of States Parties, as well as on the technical assistance and capacity building support available to support States’ accession to and post-accession implementation of the Convention. In opening remarks at the briefing, UNODA Geneva Branch Chief of Service, Mélanie Régimbal, highlighted that “Chad’s accession to the Biological Weapons Convention would strengthen its commitment to the fight against weapons of mass destruction and would help to strengthen Chad’s national capacities in areas such as public health, veterinary medicine, agriculture, and emergency preparedness and response.”

Briefing of parliamentarians and government stakeholders at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, N’Djamena, Chad, 6 February 2024

The UNODA delegation subsequently held a series of high-level meetings with Chadian government ministers, parliamentarians and senior stakeholders,  including a visit to the Chadian National Assembly to meet with members of the National Transitional Council, notably Dr Jacques Laouhingamaye Dingaomaibe, Vice-President of the National Assembly and Chairperson of the Committee for Public Policy, Institutions, Laws and Fundamental Rights and Freedoms, Mr. Ahmat Taha Mahamat Abdoulaye, Chairperson of the Committee for Health, Gender, Rights of the Child and National Solidarity, and Mr. Mahamat Moushine Adam, Chairperson of the Committee for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

Meeting with Chadian Minister of Public Health, Dr Abdel-Madjid Abderahim Mahamat, N’Djamena, Chad, 7 February 2024

The UNODA delegation then toured Chad’s Centre de Contrôle de Qualité des Denrées Alimentaire (CECOQDA, the food quality control centre responsible for surveillance and diagnosis of food-related health risks under the auspices of the Ministry of Livestock and Animal Husbandry. During a meeting with its staff, UNODA highlighted the critical role of the BWC in strengthening States’ biosafety and biosecurity capacities.

Visit to the Centre de Contrôle de Qualité des Denrées Alimentaire, N’Djamena, Chad, 6 February 2024

On the second day of the visit, the UNODA delegation met with Chad’s Minister for Public Health, Dr. Abdel-Madjid Abderahim Mahamat, to discuss the importance of the BWC in the fields of public health, disease surveillance and response capacity. The delegation subsequently met with the Secretary-General of the Office of the Prime Minister, Mr. Youssouf Abassalah, who provided insight into the internal processes required for accession to the BWC.

During a final meeting with Chad’s Minister for Defence, Dago Yacoub, UNODA discussed the role of the Convention in regional peace and security and its position more broadly within the international disarmament and non-proliferation architecture, including the regime governing United Nations Security Council Resolution 1540.

Chadian Minister of Defence, Dago Yacoub, N’Djamena, Chad, 7 February 2024