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The European Union would like to congratulate and thank you for your remarkable efforts which have resulted in agreement on an intersessional programme for this important Convention. Thanks to your able leadership and tireless work, all States Parties were able to join consensus.
This is a welcome achievement after the inconclusive outcome of the Eighth Review Conference last year. It will help to maintain the relevance of the BTWC and bring impetus to our efforts to promote universalisation and implementation of the Convention.
The agreed outcome is a good compromise, although it did not meet all our expectations on a substantive intersessional programme to strengthen the BTWC. It is important that further concrete progress be made on all key issues, such as national implementation and compliance, confidence-building measures, science and technology, Article V, Article VII, and universalisation of the Convention.
The multilateral framework of the BTWC provides the best forum to continue our work with the participation of all States Parties. We welcome the announcements made during the Meeting of States Parties on possible new contributions to the sponsorship programme which should facilitate the participation of relevant experts also from developing countries in meetings of experts. We once again urge all States to pay their contributions to the BTWC in full and on time in order to ensure a solid financial basis for intersessional work.
The European Union will continue to offer capacity-building assistance in the framework of the EU Council Decision and other instruments such as the Centres of Excellence on the mitigation of chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) risks. We look forward to further cooperation with all interested States.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman