Global Security Newswire
Daily News on Nuclear, Biological & Chemical Weapons, Terrorism and Related Issues
Experts to Discuss Biological Weapons Convention
Expert-level discussions are to be held this week in Geneva, Switzerland, on the operation of the Biological Weapons Convention, according to a United Nations press release (see GSN, Jan. 18).
The accord bans the creation, manufacturing, possession and use of biological warfare materials. Member nations at the latest BWC review conference in December authorized continuing the "intersessional program" of annual meetings that are held between the five-year review gatherings.
Talks from Monday through Friday are to focus on options for collaboration to bolster states' readiness to implement the pact's rules; assessing the latest relevant technological and scientific trends that could impact the biological nonproliferation regime; options for countries to improve their internal capacity to keep pathogens from being weaponized; and alternatives for improving data sharing by state signatories as a confidence-boosting measure.
Experts are also anticipated to discuss dissemination of findings of two separate controversial studies on the transmissibility of the H5N1 virus (see GSN, June 22). A Tuesday panel organized by the U.S. and Netherlands governments would give officials an opportunity to share lessons-learned in the decision to permit publication of the two research articles.
Algerian Ambassador Boujemaa Delmi is to lead this week's forum. "I am confident that we will be able to convert the decisions of the seventh review conference into a renewed and revitalized intersessional program that makes a genuine contribution to reducing the risks posed to global security by biological weapons," Delmi said in provided comments.
Along with delegates from BWC states, a number of critical international entities are slated to take part in the forum. These include Interpol, the World Health Organization, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, the World Organization for Animal Health, and the Food and Agriculture Organization.
The findings from this week's expert-level talks are to be taken up at a December meeting of member nations to the convention (United Nations release, July 13).
March 12, 2013
The UNSCR 1540 Resource Collection examines implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1540, which requires all states to implement measures aimed at preventing non-state actors from acquiring NBC weapons, related materials, and their means of delivery. It details implementation efforts in all of the regions and countries of the world to-date.