As part of a joint effort, the United Nations International Computing Centre (UNICC), the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR) and the Verification Research, Training and Information Centre (VERTIC) proudly present the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) National Implementation Measures Database. This comprehensive and publicly accessible repository showcases the commitment of States Parties to the BWC, a crucial disarmament treaty prohibiting the development, production, acquisition, transfer, stockpiling and use of biological and toxin weapons.
Since its inauguration on August 15, 2023, this innovative database has developed as a powerful tool to strengthen the global implementation of the BWC. It provides States Parties and stakeholders with valuable insights into different national implementation approaches worldwide. Moreover, it serves as a confidence-building measure, fostering trust, transparency and cooperation among nations regarding the BWC.
The BWC NIM Database, which is generously funded by the United States, is an ambitious multi-year project developed through close collaboration between the researchers at UNIDIR and VERTIC, as well as the team at UNICC. Partnering with UNICC has enabled access to an excellent team of developers but ensures the database is compliant with the high levels of security and ITC standards required by the funders and the UN.James Revill, WMD Head of Programme, UNIDIR
Leveraging over 50 years of experience as the largest strategic partner for digital solutions and cybersecurity within the United Nations system, UNICC played a pivotal role in ensuring the success of this project. From the initial UI/UX design to software development, quality assurance, infrastructure hosting and security testing, UNICC managed all technical aspects of the database creation. The development, led by the UNICC Portals and Content Management team, with support from the Cloud Platform Ops team and Application Security and Risk Governance teams, resulted in a robust database built on the Drupal platform and hosted on an AWS cloud platform managed by UNICC.
While UNICC focused on technical support, UNIDIR and VERTIC took charge of gathering, reviewing and publishing database content from publicly available official sources. Employing a detailed data collection protocol, the information is regularly updated and translated into all six UN languages to reflect the latest legislative, regulatory and other relevant developments. This collaborative effort ensures the accuracy and relevance of the presented data.
Through this new online database which features a multi-lingual and mobile-friendly interface, UNICC helps UNIDIR making the BWC member states’ national implementation measures accessible and searchable to all, and eventually helping strengthen the Biological Weapons Convention.Simon Boisseau, Technical Lead for Application Delivery
On August 15, 2023, UNIDIR’s Weapons of Mass Destruction Programme and VERTIC’s National Implementation Measures Programme organized an online event to introduce the tool, showcasing its structure and functions.
Against a backdrop of increasing geopolitical tensions and rapid advancements in biotechnology worldwide, this collaboration between UNIDIR and VERTIC demonstrates a shared commitment to fostering biosecurity and promoting international disarmament efforts. By offering a comprehensive overview of legislative, regulatory and other implementing measures adopted by all States Parties to the BWC, the database will facilitate knowledge sharing and help nations improve their own implementation efforts. UNICC’s continuous involvement ensures the sustained operational and secure functioning of the database throughout its lifetime.
The United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research is a voluntarily funded autonomous institute within the United Nations. An impartial actor, the Institute generates ideas and promotes action on disarmament and security. Based in Geneva, UNIDIR is centrally positioned to assist the international community in developing the practical, innovative thinking needed to find solutions to the challenges of today and tomorrow.
The Verification Research, Training and Information Centre is an independent, non-profit making charitable organization. VERTIC mission is to support the development, implementation and verification of as well as compliance with international agreements and related regional and national initiatives; with a specific focus on instruments regarding the non-proliferation and disarmament of chemical, biological and nuclear weapons and the security of related materials.
The BWC National Implementation Measures Database project is founded by the Government of the United States of America.