Happy Birthday BWC! VERTIC participates in BWC 40th anniversary events

Scott Spence, Programme Director for National Implementation, participated in events to mark the 40th anniversary of the entry into force of the Biological Weapons Convention in Geneva on 30 March. The Convention entered into force on 26 March 1975, and now has 173 States Parties with Andorra being the latest to join. 

The audience of 80 participants heard opening remarks from the Acting Director General of the UN in Geneva, Mr Michael Møller; Ms Angela Kane, High Representative to the UN Secretary General in New York; and Ambassador Mazlan Muhammad of Malaysia, Chairman of this year's intersessional process for the BWC. In addition, representatives of the three Depositary Governments gave statements: Mr Mikhail Ulyanov, Director, Department for Non-Proliferation and Arms Control, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation; John Walker, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, United Kingdom; and Ambassador Robert Wood, Permanent Representative to the Conference on Disarmament, United States. The first half of the day concluded with some views on 40 years of the BWC success story from Ambassador Masood Khan, Director General of the Institute for Strategic Studies in Islamabad, Pakistan and President of the Sixth BWC Review Conference in 2006 and Dr Caitriona McLeish, a Senior Fellow at the University of Sussex.

In the afternoon, there were two panels: on making progress to strenghten the BWC and future challenges for the Convention. We heard the latest on biorisk management, including codes of conduct; moves in the ISO towards a standard for biosecurity (ISO/AWI 35001); and how to keep the Convention relevant for the next forty years in the face of dramatic changes in science and biotechnology. This panel was followed by thoughts on the future of biological disarmament and building confidence in biological arms control as well as on how we can prepare for new public health risks through the Convention and other mechanisms. 

Happy Birthday BWC!

Last changed: Apr 01 2015 at 2:52 PM

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