VERTIC Senior Legal Officer participates in BWC seminar and leads legal drafting workshop in Quito, Ecuador

VERTIC Senior Legal Officer, Scott Spence, participated in a 'Taller para la Implementación Nacional de la Convención sobre Armas Biológicas' in Quito, Ecuador on 14 October. He then led a three-day workshop (15-17 October) with the objective of drafting amendments to Ecuador’s Arms Control Law and revised Penal Code to implement the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) in Ecuador, including biological weapons prohibitions and measures for the non-proliferation of particularly dangerous biological agents and toxins.

BWC Action
The four days of activities took place under the auspices of the BWC Action, an initiative of the Council of the European Union under Council Decision 2012/421/CFSP, adopted on 23 July 2012; VERTIC is listed as an expert in this Decision. The BWC Action envisages a number of regional seminars (two have taken place already in Kiev and Kuala Lumpur, while another is scheduled for November in Mexico City). The BWC Action also envisages a number of national assistance activities – including legislative drafting, laboratory and border control capacity building, etc. – for countries that have successfully applied for assistance under the Action, including Ecuador. VERTIC has been and will continue to participate in a number of these regional and national activities. More about the BWC Action can be found here.

One-day seminar
The one-day seminar on 14 October had an ambitious agenda focusing on objectives, obligations, procedures and enforcement of the BWC; national implementation; regional experiences in national implementation; and the BWC Action assistance programme for Ecuador. The seminar was opened by the Vice Minister of the Ministry of Defense and a representative of the European Union’s External Action Service. Participants included officials from several ministries in the Ecuadorean government and the armed forces; regional experts from Argentina, Brazil, Chile; and the BWC Implementation Support Unit and UNLirec. Mr Spence’s presentation is available here. The seminar was well-covered by the Ecuadorean press (Spanish only):

Ecuador Inmediato
PP El Verdadero
El Telégrafo
El Comercio

Three-day legislative drafting workshop
The one-day seminar was followed by a three-day legislative drafting workshop led by Mr Spence. He was joined by Ms Karina Hinojosa, a Legal Officer with Lima-based UNLirec. Mr Spence worked closely with officials in the Ministry of Defense to draft amendments to Ecuador’s revised Penal Code to implement the prohibitions in the Biological and Chemical Weapons Conventions. They also worked on a new chapter to be added to the Ley sobre Armas, Municiones, Explosivos y Accesorios, Fabricación, Importación, Exportación, Comercialización y Tenencia with measures to prevent the proliferation of particularly dangerous biological agents and toxins.

Last changed: Oct 24 2013 at 3:45 PM

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