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VERTIC Blog >> National Implementation Measures
May 29 2014, 5:09 PM
On 9 May, Ambassador Enrique Roman-Morey from Peru concluded the third session of the Preparatory Committee (PrepCom) for the 2015 Review Conference (RevCon) of the Parties to the Non-Proliferation Treaty. Perhaps not as controversial as disarmament or the Middle East weapons of mass destruction free zone, and yet as important and pressing, the issues of physical protection and nuclear security were discussed at large during the meeting, supporting the idea that they may be considered the ‘fourth pillar’ of the NPT together with disarmament, non-proliferation and peaceful uses.
 
 

 

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National Implementation Measures
Mar 25 2014, 9:14 AM

Vice-President Boediono of the Republic of Indonesia will present the 'National Legislation Implementation Kit on Nuclear Security' (NLIK) to the Nuclear Security Summit today in The Hague.

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Feb 28 2014, 3:50 PM
On 24-25 March 53 States and 4 international organisations will convene in The Hague, Netherlands, for the third Nuclear Security Summit (NSS). The first Summit took place on 12-13 April 2010 in Washington DC, where world leaders committed to work together to reduce the threat of nuclear terrorism and strengthen nuclear security. The latter focuses on the prevention and detection of, and response to, theft, sabotage, unauthorized access and illegal transfer or other malicious acts involving nuclear material and other radioactive substances and their associated facilities. Such malicious acts could involve attempts by a terrorist group to make a nuclear explosive device with nuclear material, or an improvised radiological dispersal device with a radioactive source.
 
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Oct 24 2013, 4:07 PM

News that cyanide was intentionally used in an illegal venture to harvest ivory through poisoning salt pans, where elephants gather to drink in the current dry season, made for melancholy reading indeed, chronicling Zimbabwe’s worst case of elephant poaching. What does the use of a toxic substance to poison wildlife in Hwange National Park, including 100 elephants, have to do with domestic legislation implementing Zimbabwe’s obligations under the Chemical Weapons Convention (‘CWC’)?

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National Implementation Measures
Jul 18 2013, 3:32 PM

VERTIC is currently contributing to two EU CBRN Centres of Excellence (CoE) projects. We are the leading organisation for Project 8, a project which supports the national implementation of CBRN treaties in five South East Asian countries (Cambodia, Laos, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines) and we are a technical body on Project 3, which focuses on delivering training and exchanging best practices on bio-safety, bio-security and bio-risk management across a number of different regions.    

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Jul 08 2013, 4:44 PM

During 1-5 July, VERTIC Senior Legal Officer Scott Spence and Legal Officer Sonia Drobysz attended the IAEA International Conference on Nuclear Security.

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Jun 20 2013, 11:19 AM

On 20 May, the United States House of Representatives voted in favour of ‘An act to amend title 18, United States Code, to provide for protection of maritime navigation and prevention of nuclear terrorism, and for other purposes.’ Adopted with a 390-3 vote, bill H.R. 1073 was introduced on 12 March by Republican Representative Jim Sensenbrenner. He explained that the legislation had been prepared ‘in full cooperation with’ Democratic colleagues.

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Jun 13 2013, 11:08 AM

Significant technical knowledge and expertise for the effective development and enforcement of WMD-related legislation resides in civil society, such as industry stakeholders, academics and NGO experts. For countries with small administrations, a significant proportion of the nation’s expertise in this field may be located outside government. States commonly consult with non-governmental stakeholders when developing legislation in other issue areas, but how common is this in the international security field? 

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Feb 07 2013, 12:28 PM

The case of Ms Bond, a woman convicted in the United States under the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) Implementation Act for putting highly toxic chemicals on the car door handles, doorknob and mailbox of a former friend, will be considered by the US Supreme Court again. Due to its focus on the balance of power in a federalist system, this case is particular to the US domestic legal order. However, as the Court will address the application of the CWC Implementation Act to Ms Bond’s criminal acts, it is also of interest to other CWC States Parties that have adopted or are in the process of adopting implementing legislation for the CWC. 

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National Implementation Measures
Jan 16 2013, 2:43 PM

Scott Spence, VERTIC’s Senior Legal Officer, attended the ‘UNSCR 1540 Civil Society Forum - Opportunities for Engagement’, which took place in the Vienna International Centre (the VIC) during 8-10 January. He reflects on this important event in this week’s blog post.

 

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Dec 06 2012, 7:38 PM

During the Conference of States Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) over a week ago, States Parties took note of the latest figures compiled by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) on national implementation of the Convention. Under Article VII of the CWC, States Parties are required to adopt national implementation measures to fulfill their obligations under the Convention in accordance with their constitutional processes (paragraph 1). States Parties are also required to inform the OPCW of the legislative measures they have taken (paragraph 5). In this way, the OPCW is able to gather data on the number of States Parties that have adopted national implementation measures and assess the comprehensiveness of the measures they have taken.

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Nov 29 2012, 3:44 PM

On 29 November, a number of civil society actors participated in an invitation-only meeting with States Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) and with staff from the Technical Secretariat of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), including the Director-General. We discussed how civil society actors such as VERTIC can contribute to the Organization’s efforts to strengthen the Convention and its operation. Scott Spence, Senior Legal Officer, took the opportunity to share some thoughts on how, in particular, we can work with the OPCW to promote universality and national implementation of the CWC.

 

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National Implementation Measures
Nov 15 2012, 11:17 AM
What to do with radiactive waste? Many countries around the world, developed countries in particular, rely heavily on nuclear power, and all face the dilemma of what to do with all the radioactive waste generated. While there is no final solution to permanently eliminate this highly dangerous type of waste, some short- and long-term solutions have been developed.
 
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Nov 08 2012, 4:02 PM

The Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) Meeting of States Parties will convene in Geneva in one month’s time. Amongst other items, the meeting will discuss “Strengthening national implementation”, which is a standing item for each meeting in the 2012-15 intersessional period. What is the current status of BWC States Parties’ national implementation, at least in terms of their national regulatory frameworks? Let me take you through some interesting statistics drawn from VERTIC’s BW legislation surveys.

 

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Oct 11 2012, 7:26 PM
Two weeks ago, Mr E.B. from Illinois, United States, was sentenced to over seven and a half years in prison for possession of a toxin with intent to use it as a weapon. In Trust & Verify No. 136, we reported that he had been charged with acting in contravention of the 1989 Biological Weapons Anti-Terrorism Act by ordering and receiving Tetrodotoxin (TTX), a highly deadly toxin, without a peaceful purpose.
 
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Oct 05 2012, 7:20 PM
On 8 August, I blogged on the topic of Syria’s declared chemical weapons stockpiles and the questions they raise under international law. I’d now like to turn to their biological weapons stockpiles and the related but different questions under international law.
 
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Aug 16 2012, 4:07 PM

On 28 July 2012 the Ugandan government and the World Health Organization (WHO) stated that the Ebola virus was the culprit behind a spate of deaths in Kibaale district, Western Uganda.

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Aug 08 2012, 1:04 PM

The ongoing unrest in Syria has continued to dominate the headlines as concerns have mounted about the country’s chemical weapons stockpiles. At the same time, these stockpiles raise interesting questions of international law.

 

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National Implementation Measures
Jul 27 2012, 11:40 AM

The Meeting of Experts (MX) for the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BWC) took place in Geneva from 16 to 20 July. Ambassador Boujemâa Delmi of Algeria chaired the meeting, which focused on the topics Agreed upon at the Seventh BWC Review Conference in December 2011: recent advances in the life sciences and mechanisms to address the emerging threats they pose, effective ways to further the goals of the BWC through greater cooperation and assistance, enhanced national implementation, and renewed confidence-building measures (CBMs). Experts from states parties, international organisations, observer entities and non-governmental organizations gathered in Geneva to participate in the MX.

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National Implementation Measures
Jul 12 2012, 11:05 AM

The Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) Meeting of Experts will convene next week in Geneva. National implementation is on the agenda, as a standing item for this inter-sessional process, and VERTIC will give a presentation on this topic as an invited Guest of the meeting. As a recent outbreak of kiwifruit vine disease in New Zealand has shown, national implementation of biosecurity measures is an ongoing task, which is worthy of such regular consideration by the BWC regime.  

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National Implementation Measures
Jun 28 2012, 4:05 PM

Last month, the case United States v Bond reached its final stage. Following a decision last year by the US Supreme Court which allowed Ms Carol Anne Bond to challenge her conviction under the ‘Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) Implementation Act of 1998’, the US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit has now reviewed her case and upheld her conviction.

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National Implementation Measures
May 31 2012, 6:26 PM

Inadequate biological waste management constitutes a risk that could lead to proliferation of infectious material and accidental outbreaks. International instruments exist to counter these dangers: the Basel Convention aims to limit and regulate hazardous wastes to minimize possible impacts on human and animal health as well as the environment. The Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) necessitates the adoption of biosecurity measures – including biological waste management – to prevent proliferation of dual use material. The adoption by countries of effective measures to securely manage biological waste would help implementation of both international agreements and make progress towards the aims they promote.

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National Implementation Measures
May 17 2012, 1:35 PM

Historical documents pertaining to the 1925 Geneva Protocol are now available online through the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ treaty database. Scanned copies of original instruments of accession, ratification and succession, along with documents relating to reservations, are now a mouse-click away. It is important to have access to these original documents, rather than the potted, translated summaries of their contents that were previously available, to determine the precise legal status of the Protocol’s prohibitions on the use of biological and chemical weapons with respect to each State. 

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National Implementation Measures
May 03 2012, 1:51 PM

Next week, VERTIC will give three presentations at the NPT PrepCom at two different meetings – rolling out or highlighting several new and exciting projects. Here in London, there will be changes to the way this blog is administered. We will strive to keep you updated with new online content every Thursday, as customary. However, our organization’s permanent staff will from now on share the editorial responsibility for the content.

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National Implementation Measures
Mar 24 2012, 3:36 PM

The debate continues on whether to publish scientific research that details how avian flu, a highly deadly virus for both birds and humans, can be made transmissible between mammals. In a previous post, it was mentioned that publishing this research in a redacted fashion and sharing it with a select group of researchers can be supported under the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BWC). While a World Health Organization meeting in February called for full publication of the study, the Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade has now pointed out that the researchers, who are based in the Netherlands, have to request an export permit. How is export control law related to the publication of this research?

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Jan 26 2012, 10:53 PM

Scientists in the Netherlands and the United States may have changed avian flu into a superflu virus. With a human mortality rate of 60%, avian flu was already a highly dangerous disease. But the new version is also highly contagious, potentially spreading from human to human as easily as the seasonal flu. Although the scientists were eager to publish their results, security experts doubted whether the findings should be disclosed, stating that publication of the study could serve as a recipe for biological weapons. What does the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BWC) say on the silencing or sharing of scientific developments? 

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National Implementation Measures
Jan 20 2012, 7:08 PM

Following the conclusion of the Seventh Review Conference of the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC), it is clear there has been no significant progress towards formally verifying compliance to the convention. Considering the impact of what little progress that was made at the conference, and what steps can be taken to improve confidence in the convention, is therefore all the more important. 

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National Implementation Measures
Jul 08 2011, 6:54 PM

Paul van den IJssel, President-designate of the Seventh Review Conference for the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC), was quoted last week as saying that he is pleased that the BWC does not receive as much attention as other treaties, such as the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). As Robert Kadlec, the biosecurity adviser under former President George W. Bush noted, the community has ‘had no Prague speech ... [or] biological summit on this issue.’ 

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National Implementation Measures
Feb 08 2011, 9:43 AM

Kara Allen, a former VERTIC intern and Virginia Law graduate writes on amendment of the Rome Statute to explicitly include chemical and biological weapons use as war crimes.  

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Jan 12 2011, 3:27 PM

 The NIM Team has added the Holy See's new counter-terrorism and anti-money laundering legislation to the BWC Legislation Database.

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Dec 07 2010, 2:59 PM

The NIM team - Angela, Scott, Rocio, Samir and Yasemin - hosted a side event at the BWC MSP.

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