The Government of Colombia, in collaboration with the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA) and the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons (BTWC) Implementation Support Unit, organized a workshop on the sharing of best practices related to the creation of national authorities in charge of the implementation of the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC). The seminar was held in Bogotá on March 6th and 7th 2014.

UNLIREC, along with international experts from the European Union, Chile, Ecuador, Argentina, Spain and the Verification Research, Training and Information Centre (VERTIC), exchanged ideas with representatives of Colombian public and private institutions and organizations on constitution, design, and duties of a special National Authority in charge of the effective application and implementation of the BWC and discussed the main challenges in terms of promoting confidence-building measures and handling measures for biosecurity and biocustody.

UNLIREC presented key findings on the article published in 2013 on both regional and global experiences about the creation of national authorities designed for the implementation of the BWC. Debates over the formation of intergovernmental commissions and/or national authorities were of particular relevance based on the fact that the Republic of Colombia is currently making legal efforts to establish such entity. Furthermore, participants had the opportunity to learn more about experiences from other countries, some of which already have specific national authorities while others only have different agencies dealing with this issue, in terms of duties, characteristics and challenges.

The participation of UNLIREC in this workshop is part of the technical and legal assistance provided by UNLIREC in the implementation of international instruments on the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

For more information about UNLIREC, visit its web page []. For any questions, contact Amanda Cowl, Political Affairs Officer, at [].