On 4 December 2019 in Geneva, the Biosafety Association of Central Asia and the Caucasus (BACAC) together with the EU Chemical Biological Radiological and Nuclear Risk Mitigation Centres of Excellence Initiative (EU CBRN CoE) and the International Science and Technology Center (ISTC) organised a side event at the Biological Weapons Convention Meeting of States Parties, titled ‘Strengthening BWC with Civil Society Involvement: EU CBRN CoE - BACAC Conference’.
President of the BACAC, Prof. Lela Bakanidze, chaired the side event, with the other panellist; Bakhtior Gulyamov, Head of the EU CBRN CoE RS for Central Asia, Dr. Filippa Lentzos (Senior Research Fellow, King’s College London), Dr. Hendrik Visser (ISTC and lead on implementation of EU CBRN CoE Project 53), and Ms. Yasemin Balci (VERTIC, legislative expert on EU CBRN CoE Project 53).
Dr. Lentzos provided an overview of the important role that civil society plays in disarmament in general and the implementation of the Biological Weapons Convention in specific. The activities of the EU CBRN CoE Initiative to strengthen the institutional capacity of countries outside the European Union to mitigate CBRN risks, and how the initiative cooperates with civil society where described by Mr. Gulymov. As example of that cooperation, Prof. Bakanidze highlighted the collaboration between the BACAC and EU CBRN CoE of the joint organisation of the conference titled “BACAC: Bridging the Gaps”, 11-15 March 2019, Tashkent, Uzbekistan. The general activities under EU CBRN CoE Project 53 and the efforts under this project to link implementation with civil society organisations like BACAC, were outlined by Dr. Visser. VERTIC representative, Ms. Balci, highlighted how cooperation between VERTIC (an NGO) and governmental officials under an EU CBRN CoE project can support the implementation of international agreements or treaties, including the Biological Weapons Convention.
For further information on the side event, please check the BWC website https://unog.ch/80256EE600585943/(httpPages)/5E44DF9F7FB5DE1AC12583BE00576666?OpenDocument