this reality poses for the Seventh Review Conference. They also lead the committee to four general conclusions

Conclusion 1: None of the trends surveyed for this report currently falls outside the scope of Article I. The language of the treaty, as reinforced by the common understandings reached in prior review conferences, provides a degree of flexibility that has so far allowed it to adapt to progress in the life sciences and related scientific fields. The committee recognizes, however, that as new developments arise, including in fields of research that this report did not assess in depth, there may be surprise discoveries; hence, continued monitoring of advances in the life sciences and evaluation of their relevance for the BWC will be important.

Conclusion 2: Beyond the question of whether these trends pose fundamental challenges to the scope of the treaty, every major article of the treaty will be affected by the developments surveyed. The trends may pose challenges to the implementation of some aspects, but they also offer important opportunities to support the operation of the convention.

Conclusion 3: The three broad trends that provided the organization of the report—the increasing pace, diffusion, and convergence of S&T—will continue for the foreseeable future. The diversity of the fields potentially relevant to the BWC and the potential for surprise discoveries make efforts to predict developments problematic. Within these trends, however, particular fields will be affected in important ways by factors such as commercial interests that drive developments at different rates, as well as roadblocks that impede progress. Gaining a deeper understanding of the drivers and roadblocks would provide a more meaningful picture of how and when continuing S&T developments are likely to affect the convention.

Conclusion 4: There are potential roles for the scientific community in helping to monitor trends in S&T and to assess their implications for the BWC, and there are a number of mechanisms by which input and advice could be provided. The most effective starting point for the Seventh Review Conference, therefore, would be to address the functions that such advice and analysis will serve for the future operation of the convention, including increasing the capacity of States Parties to participate fully in its implementation.



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