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Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC)

The Eighth Review Conference of the Biological Weapons Convention

January-March 2016

The recent BWC Review Conference faced various challenges emanating from a range of developments that took place during the last five years, alongside with lingering issues already existing for a long period of time. The related contents and interfaces are here presented and assessed briefly.

Progress with the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention: Insights from four regional workshops held in 2016

July-December 2016

As countries were preparing for the 8th Review Conference of the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC) in November 2016, the BTWC Implementation Support Unit organised four regional workshops, including one in New Delhi, as part of a European Union-sponsored programme supporting the convention. While the BTWC has seen little progress in terms of new legally binding commitments, verification or setting up an international implementation organisation, the workshops revealed that on the regional and local levels states parties are active in ensuring that the treaty commitments are being respected. This account discusses the main trends in treaty development and issues states parties face that emerged during the workshops.

The Eight Review Conference of the Biological Weapons Convention: A Missed Opportunity

July-December 2016

The recently concluded Eighth Review Conference of the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) held in Geneva reached a disappointing outcome as the participant states failed to adopt any meaningful programme of work for the next inter-sessional period, 2017-2021. The failure of the conference is clearly a missed opportunity in terms of reinforcing the norm against the use and spread of bio-weapons.

The BWC Review: Issues and Challenges

July-December 2016

The Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on their Destruction usually referred to as the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC), or Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC) is the first multilateral disarmament treaty banning the production of an entire category of weapons, entering into force in 1975. The Eighth BWC Review Conference was recently held at Geneva from November 7-25, 2016, Unfortunately, it appears to have flattened for the lack of consensus among the member-states until the next conference in 2021.

PrepCom: Setting the Stage for the ‘Eighth’ Review Conference of the Biological Weapons Convention

January-June 2016

In April 2016 the Preparatory Committee meeting for the Eighth Review Conference was concluded. This will be followed by another meeting in August 2016. Two major points were discussed during the April meeting, the issue of science and technology and effective inter-sessional process.

Preparations for the Eighth Review Conference to the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention

January - June 2016

The States Parties to the 1972 Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention are preparing for the Eighth Review Conference in November. Their focus remains on institutional capacity and exchange of views and information, rather than on possible specific compliance concerns. Consultations and proposals are reviewed. Treaty norms and appropriate capacity must be maintained.

The Existing Biological Threat: Evaluating the Seventh Review Conference of the BTWC

The Existing Biological Threat: Evaluating the Seventh Review Conference of the BTWC

Bio terrorism is emerging more as possibility in the 21st century not only because of the changing nature of terrorism but also because of rapid growth in life sciences. These developments have been a concern for the BWC regime. In this backdrop the paper discusses the 7th Review Conference which was concluded in December 2011.

Anthrax Threat in Pakistan, Global Context and Regional Consequences

Reports of Anthrax threat to Pakistani officials raises important questions regarding its spread in South Asia. It also exposesPakistan’s vulnerabilities to bioterrorism and calls for urgent attention at appropriate levels.

Perspective on Implications of the Advances in Life Sciences and Technologies Related to BTWC

The document is collation of the information available from the 7th Review Conference of BWC held at the UN Office in Geneva from 5 to 22 December 2011. The Final Declaration at the Conference reaffirmed its conviction about the essentiality of the provisions of the obligations for international peace and security and to meet the goal of complete disarmament under strict and effective international control including the prohibition and elimination of all weapons of mass destruction repugnant to the safety of humankind.

An Overview of the Advances Made in Biotechnology and Related BTWC Concerns

BTWC is apprehensive of development of dual-use technologies in the areas of genetic engineering, biotechnology and microbiology, for high growth of products and processes that are capable of being used for purposes inconsistent with its objectives and provisions. These include all microbial and other biological agents or toxins, naturally or artificially created or altered, irrespective of their origin or method of production.

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