8th Review Conference of the Convention on Biological Weapons.
Statement of Mrs. Claudia Pérez Alvarez, Counselor, Permanent Mission of Cuba to United Nations in Geneva. 8th Review Conference of the Convention on Biological Weapons. Closing session. 25 November 2016.
We fully subscribe to the statement made by the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela on behalf of the States Parties to the Non-Aligned Movement and other States Parties to the Biological Weapons Convention.
Cuba acknowledges your efforts and leadership as President of the Eighth Review Conference as well as the work of the Ambassador of Germany in his capacity as Chair of the Committee of the Whole and the Ambassador of Algeria as Chairman of the Drafting Committee. We also recognize the excellent work done by the facilitators in the different themes.
We are pleased to have agreed to a solemn declaration and article-by-article review which included various proposals submitted by Cuba, as well as by the Non-Aligned Movement.
Since 2001, when a State Party unjustifiably interrupted several years of negotiations that were about to conclude, the international community aspires to the adoption of a multilateral legally binding Protocol to strengthen the Biological Weapons Convention in a comprehensive and balanced manner, including through a verification mechanism.
That would be the only truly effective and sustainable way to strengthen the Convention and ensure its strict implementation in a balanced and comprehensive manner.
We, as well as other Member countries of the Non-Aligned Movement, hoped that the present Review Conference would have adopted a clear mandate to reinitiate, without delay, in an open ended working group to all States Parties, the discussion on the legally binding instrument.
We also hoped that the Conference would have established a Cooperation Committee or Working Group, which would include recommendations on a dispute settlement mechanism referred to transfer denials, in the context of Article X.
We reaffirmed that it is crucial to promote international cooperation, without unilateral and discriminatory restrictions or limitations, for the benefit of the economic and technological development of States Parties, in particular developing States, in order to meet the current challenges.
We consider that the adoption or consideration under the Biological Weapons Convention of a multilateral export control mechanism would also have been an important step forward in eliminating all restrictions on the free exchange of equipment, materials and scientific information for the use of biological agents and toxins for peaceful purposes.
Other initiatives such as the proposal for a model code of conduct for scientists; biomedical units to provide assistance and investigation, the establishment of a working group on science and technology, among other several proposals, would have added value on the next intersessional period.
I would like to conclude, Mr. President, by emphasizing Cuba's firm commitment to the full, effective and non-discriminatory implementation of the Biological Weapons Convention, as well as with a tangible outcomes for the upcoming intersessional period.