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

    July-December 2016

    Use of Chemical and Biological Weapons by Daesh / ISIS

    Chemical and Biological weapons remain a subversive threat to civilizational stability. Biological weapons in particular are a tremendous cause for concern given the difficulty in predicting/preparing for an attack and the complexities of post-attack rehabilitation. Furthermore, the problems of attrition and lack of culpability make it an even more tempting form of warfare for Non State Actors and Extremists. It is important therefore, to examine the current climate of extremism and the potential threat posed by the usage of Chemical and Biological weapons. Having gained access to Iraqi chemical weapon stockpiles, the Islamic State has already engaged in Chemical warfare. This paper attempts to conjecture the possibility of their move towards Biological warfare and the aids/deterrents that could facilitate or block such a transition.

    July-December 2016

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

    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.

    July-December 2016

    The BWC Review: Issues and Challenges

    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.

    July-December 2016

    Outer Space Treaty: 50 years later

    There is a need to rework the Outer Space Treaty and contemporize it to deal more directly with issues of the current era.

    January 27, 2017

    China’s First Cyber Security Law

    China has justified the passage of the new law as an ‘objective need’ for national security considering its large cyber infrastructure and its vulnerabilities.

    December 23, 2016

    ICANN57: A Backgrounder

    This backgrounder examines the current structure of ICANN, the intricacies of the IANA transition, and the way it will impact the architecture of cyberspace in the future.

    November 04, 2016

    The 'Social Media' Challenge to National Security: Impact and Opportunities: A Conceptual Overview

    The monograph hopes to succeed in providing a conceptual framework to understanding this emerging challenge and draw up a set of best practices and recommendations for policy makers and law enforcement agencies to move forward with.

    2016

    North Korea’s ‘Chemistry’ with WMDs

    North Korea has blatantly breached the chemical weapons ‘red line’ in the killing of the half-brother of Kim Jong-un in Kuala Lumpur on February 13.

    March 06, 2017

    Agni-V and Strategic Signalling

    In view of China’s adverse reaction to India’s missile testing, this year’s Republic Day parade could have been used for strategic signalling to arrogant entities questioning India’s ‘strategic autonomy’. Nuclear deterrence is also about demonstration and display of capabilities. If you have it, then flaunt it!

    February 09, 2017

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