International Council for the Life Sciences

Working to enhance biological security around the world and reduce biological weapons proliferation risks. 

Challenge

the risks to public safety and security from the misuse of biotechnology have increased. 

Action

NTI has supported the International Council on the Life Sciences, a global, membership-based non-profit organization working to enhance biological security around the world and reduce biological weapons proliferation risks

Results

 ICLS has taken a regional approach in establishing sustainable groups of experts from governments, academia and private industry

An independent organization supported by NTI, the ICLS brings together global experts in the life sciences to identify critical biological risks to public safety and security and ensure that extraordinary advances in biotechnology benefit rather than harm society.

Among the council’s key tasks is developing and promoting guidelines, best practices, codes of conduct and regulations to manage and reduce the risk that biological science, accidentally or intentionally, might cause harm to human beings, the environment or the economy.

Supported by an international senior advisory board, the non-partisan ICLS has taken a regional approach in establishing sustainable groups of experts from governments, academia and private industry. ICLS has held a number of international meetings, such as seminars for experts from the G8 countries in Moscow in 2006 and 2007 in partnership with a grouping of 17 Russian life science laboratories); a regional conference for the countries of the Gulf, the Middle East, and North Africa in Abu Dhabi in November 2007 to develop a framework for a regional biosafety and biosecurity strategy; and a Biosafety and Biosecurity International Conference 2009 in Morocco to carry this regional framework further.

ICLS also has brought together private sector CEOs into inter-governmental discussions on the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention and has supported the UN Secretary General’s biotechnology initiative.

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