VERTIC attends BWC Meeting of States Parties and CWC Conference of States Parties

Yasemin Balci, Senior Legal Officer, and Scott Spence, Programme Director, represented VERTIC at the Meeting of States Parties to the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BWC) during 1-5 December in Geneva, Switzerland. 

 Like the Meeting of Experts in August, the Meeting of States Parties focused on this year’s theme, namely the implementation of Article VII of the Convention, which concerns assistance to any State Party that has been exposed to danger as a result of a violation of the BWC. Alongside other members of civil society, VERTIC made a statement highlighting the relevance of a legal framework to mitigate biorisk. The statement can be found here.

In the same week, States Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) gathered in The Hague, the Netherlands for the annual review of the operation of the CWC. Among topics such as implementation, verification and universalization of the Convention, discussions also focused on Syria. This year saw the complete elimination of Syria’s chemical weapons stockpile, while the destruction of the chemical weapons production facilities on Syrian territory remains to be done. States Parties also referred to the two reports from the Fact-Finding Mission established by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). In September, the Fact-Finding Mission concluded with a high degree of confidence that chlorine was used as a weapon systematically and repeatedly in Syria.

NGOs were invited to make a statement during the Conference. VERTIC’s statement underscored the need to establish accountability for the chemical weapons crimes committed in Syria and welcomed the two latest legislative tools developed by the OPCW to assist States Parties in drafting implementing legislation for the CWC. The statement can be found here.

Last changed: Dec 12 2014 at 10:05 AM

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