1. The Final Declaration of the Third 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, in the section dealing
with the review of Article XII of the Convention, contained
the following decision:
"The Conference decides that a Fourth Review Conference shall be held in Geneva at the request of a majority of States Parties not later than 1996*."
2. By resolution 50/79, adopted without a vote
on 12 December 1995, the General Assembly, inter alia,
noted that, at the request of the States Parties, a Fourth Review
Conference of the Parties to the Convention would be held at Geneva
from 25 November to 13 December 1996, and that,
following appropriate consultations, a Preparatory Committee for
that Conference had been formed, open to all Parties to the Convention,
and that the Committee would meet in Geneva from 9 to 12 April 1996.
3. The Preparatory Committee held four meetings at
Geneva from 9 to 10 April 1996.
4. The Preparatory Committee, at its 1st meeting,
on 9 April, elected by acclamation Ambassador Sir Michael Weston
(United Kingdom) as Chairman of the Committee.
5. Also at its 1st meeting, the Committee unanimously
elected Ambassador Jorge Berguño (Chile) and Ambassador
Tibor Toth (Hungary) as ViceChairmen of the Committee. The
Committee authorized the Bureau to handle technical and other
matters in the period before the Review Conference was convened.
6. The following 65 States Parties to the Convention
participated in the session of the Preparatory Committee: Argentina,
Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada,
Chile, China, Colombia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark,
Ecuador, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece,
Guatemala, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran (Islamic
Republic of), Iraq, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait,
Luxembourg, Malta, Mexico, Mongolia, Netherlands, New Zealand,
Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Republic of
Korea, Romania, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Slovakia,
Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand,
Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, United Kingdom of Great Britain
and Northern Ireland, United States of America, Viet Nam.
7. On behalf of the Secretary-General of the United Nations,
Mr. Ogunsola Ogunbanwo, Senior Coordinator of the Disarmament
Fellowship, Training and Advisory Services Programme, Centre for
Disarmament Affairs, Department of Political Affairs, opened the
session of the Preparatory Committee. Mr. Ogunbanwo also
served as Secretary of the Committee.
8. The Committee decided to take its decisions by
9. The Committee decided to use Arabic, Chinese,
English, French, Russian and Spanish as official languages.
10. The Committee, taking note of their written requests,
decided to invite the representatives of States Signatories of
the Convention, namely, Egypt and Morocco, to participate in its
discussions without the right to take part in the making of decisions.
11. The Committee agreed to recommend to the Fourth
Review Conference that Ambassador Sir Michael Weston
(United Kingdom) preside over the Fourth Review Conference.
The Committee also agreed to recommend to the Fourth Review Conference
the following distribution of posts of Chairmen and Vice-Chairmen
of the subsidiary bodies, among the various Groups:
|Committee of the Whole:||Chairman (Group of Non-Aligned and Other States)|
|Vice-Chairman (Western Group)|
|Vice-Chairman (Group of Eastern European States)|
|Drafting Committee:||Chairman (Group of Eastern European States)|
|Vice-Chairman (Western Group)|
|Vice-Chairman (Group of Non-Aligned and Other States)|
|Credentials Committee:||Chairman (Group of Non-Aligned and Other States)|
|Vice-Chairman (Group of Eastern European States)|
12. In the course of its session the Committee considered
the following questions relating to the organization of the Review
(a) Date and duration;
Date and duration
13. The Committee decided that the Conference should
take place in Geneva from 25 November to 6 December 1996.
14. The Committee agreed to recommend as the provisional
agenda of the Fourth Review Conference the agenda of the Third
Review Conference, as contained in document BWC/CONF.III/1, with
the following change:
A new item 12 was included, entitled "12. Consideration of the work of the Ad Hoc Group established by the Special Conference in 1994.", and the subsequent agenda items were renumbered accordingly.
15. The provisional agenda, as approved by the Committee,
is attached to this report as annex I.
Draft Rules of Procedure
16. The Committee agreed to recommend as the draft
Rules of Procedure of the Fourth Review Conference the Rules of
Procedure of the Third Review Conference, as contained in document
17. The draft Rules of Procedure, as approved by
the Committee, are attached to this report as annex II.
18. The Committee agreed to recommend that, with
respect to Rule 5, the Review Conference should elect a Chairman
and two Vice-Chairmen of the Drafting Committee.
19. The Committee further agreed to recommend that
the General Committee referred to in Rule 8 should be composed
of the President of the Review Conference, the 20 Vice-Presidents
(10 from the Group of Non-Aligned and Other States, 6 from the
Western Group, and 4 from the Group of Eastern European States)
and the Chairman and the 2 Vice-Chairmen of the Committee of the
Whole, the Chairman and the 2 Vice-Chairmen of the Drafting
Committee, the Chairman and the Vice-Chairman of the Credentials
Committee, to be elected in accordance with Rule 5, and the 3 Regional
20. The Preparatory Committee decided to request
the United Nations SecretaryGeneral to prepare a background
information document providing, in summary tabular form, data
on the participation of States Parties in the agreed confidence-building
measures since the last Review Conference.
21. The Preparatory Committee decided to request
the Secretariat to compile a background information document on
compliance by States Parties with all their obligations under
the Convention. For the purpose of compiling this document, the
Secretariat would request States Parties to provide information
regarding compliance with all the provisions of the Convention.
The Committee also decided to invite States Parties that wished
to do so, including the Depositary Governments, to submit to the
Secretariat information on new scientific and technological developments
relevant to the Convention. This information should cover the
applications being made of such developments and their relevance
to various aspects of the Convention.
22. The Committee also decided that all background
documentation should be circulated not later than four weeks before
the opening of the Conference.
23. Regarding publicity for the Review Conference,
the Committee decided to request the Secretariat to issue press
releases for the meetings of the Review Conference.
24. With respect to the question of final document(s)
of the Review Conference, the Preparatory Committee decided to
include an appropriate item in the provisional agenda of the Conference
(see annex I).
25. Within the context of draft Rule 10 providing
for a Secretary-General of the Review Conference, the Committee
decided to invite the Secretary-General of the United Nations,
in consultation with the members of the Preparatory Committee,
to nominate an official to act on behalf of the Committee as Provisional
SecretaryGeneral of the Review Conference, the nominee to
be confirmed by the Review Conference in accordance with the Rules
26. The Preparatory Committee considered preliminary
estimates, prepared by the Secretariat, of the costs of the Committee
and of the fourth Review Conference. It was agreed to revise these
estimates to take into account the fact that the session of the
Preparatory Committee was considerably shorter than had been envisaged
and that it had been agreed that the Fourth Review Conference
would meet for two weeks and would be unlikely to require
more than 36 meetings with interpretation services.
It was agreed to delete the provision for a Secretariat legal
affairs officer from New York to attend the Fourth Review
Conference since it seemed unlikely that the work of the Conference
would require such expertise; if, in the event, legal advice from
the Secretariat was required, it was agreed that this could be
provided by telephone or facsimile. These decisions of the Preparatory
Committee were reflected in document BWC/CONF.IV/PC/3.
27. At its 4th and last meeting, on 10 April 1996, the Preparatory Committee adopted its report. It recommended that this report, without its annexes, be annexed to the final document of the Fourth Review Conference.