Biological Weapons Convention to hold meeting on Dec 5.
Biological Weapons Convention will meet in Geneva from December 5-22 for the
seventh five-yearly review of the treaty.
The Biological Weapons Convention prohibits the development, production,
acquisition, transfer, retention, stockpiling and use of biological and toxin
weapons and is a key element - along with the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty
and the Chemical Weapons Convention - in the international community's efforts
to address the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
"The Seventh Review Conference will see States parties review the operation
of the Biological Weapons Convention, consider the inter-sessional work held
since the last review in 2006, address relevant developments in science and
technology, and discuss future activities," said the UN office in Geneva.
The President-designate of the Seventh Review Conference, Ambassador Paul
van den IJssel of the Netherlands, said that the Biological Weapons Convention
"was created to ensure that the life sciences and biotechnology are used only
for the benefit of humanity. Negotiated 40 years ago, at the height of the
Cold War, the Biological Weapons Convention is an elegant and concise piece of
international law which matches a broad and absolute prohibition of biological
and toxin weapons with protections for the development of the peaceful
applications of biological science and technology."
Noting that the treaty has overcome a difficult past, he said "for the
first time in over a decade, the Biological Weapons Convention States parties
are in a position to take significant steps forward in shaping the future of
In addition to an article-by-article review of the treaty, where States
parties will examine existing understandings and consider expanding,
clarifying or updating them, the Conference is expected to cover a range of
The Seventh Review Conference follows a set of annual meetings from 2007 to
2010, known collective as the inter-sessional process.
The purpose of these meetings was to "discuss, and promote common
understanding and effective action on" specific topics related to better
implementation of the Biological Weapons Convention. Attended by almost 100
States and their technical experts, as well as numerous intergovernmental,
non-governmental, professional, industrial and academic organizations, topics
discussed have included national implementation, regional cooperation,
bio-safety and bio-security, scientific oversight, dealing with disease
outbreaks, and responding to the use of biological weapons.
The President-designate observed that "perhaps the single most important
achievement of the inter-sessional process was to forge a community of
like-minded and collegial States parties, confident in their ability to work
together in a constructive and practical manner," adding that "if we can
retain this approach during the Review Conference, I am confident that we can
succeed in delivering a comprehensive consensus outcome that substantially
improves the operation of the Convention, and genuinely reduces the threats
posed to global security by biological weapons and bioterrorism."
In addition to the States prties, a variety of international organizations
such as the World Health Organization, the World Organization for Animal
Health, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, INTERPOL,
and the International Committee of the Red Cross will take part in the
conference, as well as a range of non-governmental organizations, scientific
and professional bodies, industry representatives and academic experts.
This broad participation has become a feature of the activities of the
Biological Weapons Convention.
Addressing a Biological Weapons Convention meeting in 2008, the
Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, said: "Governments alone
cannot confront the risks posed by biological weapons ... to manage the full
spectrum of biological risks - from naturally-occurring diseases, accidents
and negligence to terrorism and the deliberate use of biological weapons - you
need a cohesive, coordinated network of activities and resources. Such a
network will help to ensure that biological science and technology can be
safely and securely developed for the benefit of all."
States parties to the Biological Weapons Convention have met six times
previously, from 1980-2006, to conduct similar reviews.
The Biological Weapons Convention, more formally referred to as the
Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, and Stockpiling
of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on their Destruction,
opened for signature in 1972 and entered into force in 1975.
The Biological Weapons Convention is the first multilateral disarmament
treaty banning an entire category of weapons. It currently has 165 States
Parties, with a further 12 having signed but not yet ratified.
All KUNA right are reserved 2011.
Provided by Syndigate.info an Albawaba.com company