NTI endorses Joint NGO Statement at Biological Weapons Convention Meeting

Michelle Nalabandian from NTI’s biosecurity program (NTI | bio) joined government officials and experts from around the world in Geneva, Switzerland last week for the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) 2018 Meeting of States Parties (MSP) and the first annual Global Forum on Scientific Advances Important to the BWC (Global Forum), organized by the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security.

NTI joined more than 40 individuals and leading non-governmental organizations and institutions to endorse the Joint NGO Statement to the BWC 2018 MSP, which:

  • Highlights the need for continued and further engagement with scientists and experts on scientific advances relevant to the BWC;
  • Encourages countries that are concerned about a biological weapons threat from another country to address these concerns through existing mechanisms under the BWC Article V provision that requires states to consult bilaterally and multilaterally to resolve any problems with the implementation of the BWC;
  • Expresses concern about the lack of resources and funding for the BWC and Implementation Support Unit, and encourages Member States to fulfill financial obligations; and
  • Reiterates the importance of implementing the BWC Article VII provision requiring states to initiate a request for assistance in case of exposure to a biological danger as a result of a violation of the BWC.

The Global Forum facilitated engagement between scientists, policymakers, and BWC delegations to address rapidly emerging advances in biology and biotechnology and their impact on biological weapons policy. The event featured expert panel discussions to address impacts of emerging biotechnologies on bioweapons nonproliferation policy. This discussion complements work within NTI’s Biosecurity Innovation and Risk Reduction Initiative, launched in October 2018, to reduce biological risks associated with advances in technology. The one-day event was held Dec. 3, prior to the start of the BWC 2018 MSP.

December 10, 2018
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Michelle Nalabandian from NTI | bio joined government officials and experts from around the world in Geneva, Switzerland last week for the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) 2018 Meeting of States Parties (MSP) and the first annual Global Forum on Scientific Advances Important to the BWC. NTI joined more than 40 individuals and leading non-governmental organizations and institutions to endorse the Joint NGO Statement to the BWC 2018 MSP.