VERTIC participated in a workshop on BWC implementation in Morocco

VERTIC’s Acting Programme Director for National Implementation Sonia Drobysz participated in a workshop on the implementation of the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) in Rabat, Morocco, during 10-11 May 2018. The event was organised by Morocco’s National Institute of Hygiene (NIH) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in close collaboration with the U.S. State Department. It brought together more than 30 representatives from Morocco’s Ministries of Health, Foreign Affairs, Interior, National Defence, Higher Education, Agriculture, the Military Health department, the Gendarmerie Royale, the customs department, the two Moroccan Biosafety Associations, as well as international experts from the BWC Implementation Support Unit, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment.

The two-day workshop served as a follow-up activity to the peer review exercise carried out in Morocco in May 2017. In line with the main recommendations identified in the exercise report, the workshop focused on the following four key issues:

−      Conduct of a legislation gap analysis to identify the need for further implementing legislation on the BWC, and status of relevant draft legislation;
−      Elaboration of a national list of pathogens and toxins,
−      Conduct of a BWC awareness raising campaign, and
−      Establishment of an inter-ministerial body in charge of BWC implementation.

Sonia Drobysz presented on national implementation measures and national authority for the BWC, and facilitated discussions on legislation and inter-ministerial body.