Fourth Review Conference of the Parties to the Convention
on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and
Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin
Weapons and on their Destruction

Final Document



1. At its 1st plenary meeting, on 25 November 1996, the Review Conference decided, in accordance with rule 35 of its Rules of Procedure, to establish a Committee of the Whole to consider in detail the substantive issues relevant to the Convention with a view to facilitating the work of the Conference.

2. At the same meeting on 25 November, the Conference elected by acclamation Ambassador Jorge Berguño Barnes (Chile) as Chairman of the Committee of the Whole, and Dr. Petr Rytik (Belarus) and Ambassador Lars Norberg (Sweden) as Vice­Chairmen.

3. At its 1st plenary meeting, on 25 November, the Conference decided that the Committee of the Whole should undertake the review of the various articles and provisions of the Convention under agenda items 10 (a) and 10 (b), as well as to consider items 11, 12 and 13, as follows:

Agenda item 10. Review of the operation of the Convention as provided for in its Article XII

(a) Articles I­XV

(b) Preambular paragraphs and purposes of the Convention

Agenda item 11. Consideration of issues identified in the review of Article XII contained in the Final Declaration of the Third Review Conference, and possible follow­up action

Agenda item 12. Consideration of the work of the Ad Hoc Group established by the Special Conference in 1994

Agenda item 13. Other matters, including:

(a) the question of future review of the Convention;

(b) the consideration of the proposal of the Islamic Republic of Iran concerning the prohibition of the use of biological weapons (BWC/CONF.IV/COW/WP.2).

4. At its 1st meeting, on 27 November 1996, at the suggestion of the Chairman, the Committee of the Whole approved its method of work, clustering items as follows: Articles I­II; Articles III­IV; Article V; Articles VI­IX; Article X; and Articles XI­XV, including the Preamble. The Committee also examined agenda items 11, 12 and 13.

5. The Committee of the Whole held six meetings during the period from 27 to 29 November 1996. In addition, the Committee also held informal consultations.

6. In the course of the work of the Committee a number of proposals were presented on the Articles of the Convention. These proposals appear in Annex II of this report. At its sixth and final meeting on 29 November l996, the Committee of the Whole adopted its report and took note of the Chairman's Summary.

7. The Chairman's Summary of the various views expressed during the deliberations of the Committee appears in Annex I of this report. The content of both annexes is without prejudice to the views of delegations as they were stated in the Committee.