SEVENTH REVIEW CONFERENCE OF BIOLOGICAL WEAPONS CONVENTION STARTS SECOND DAY OF ITS GENERAL DEBATE
6 December 2011
The Seventh Review Conference of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on their Destruction this morning started the second day of its general debate.
Speakers said that the Biological Weapons Convention was an important pillar of the global security architecture which needed to be preserved and strengthened. The Seventh Review Conference, by bringing together representatives of Governments, independent experts, academia, as well as non-governmental organizations presented an exceptional opportunity to further streamline activities beyond the community on disarmament. There should be an intensification of efforts towards the universalization of the Convention as only nine additional States had joined it in the past five years. Some States referred to the rapid advances in biological science and technology and the dual-use nature of biotechnology which made it increasingly difficult to draw a clear distinction between the peaceful and prohibited uses of biological materials. The Convention should keep abreast of these developments to effectively counter new emerging threats and some States noted that the five-yearly review seemed to be insufficient to meet this challenge.
The establishment of the Implementation Support Unit was one of the success stories of the Sixth Review Conference and many speakers said that its mandate should be prolonged for another five years. Some States said that any expansion of the Implementation Support Unit’s mandate should be rooted in the principles of equitable geographic representation. Many States stressed the need for a multilaterally agreed verification mechanism to provide compliance and stressed that Confidence Building Measures could not be a substitute for a verification mechanism. Speakers noted the importance of raising public awareness through education on the inherent dangers of biological weapons, as well as developing and promulgating a code of conduct for scientists as this would create a favourable domestic environment for effective national implementation of the Convention. Some speakers said that article X had extreme importance for all Member States and especially for developing nations because strengthening the capacities of developing nations would be beneficial to the international community as a whole.
The following States took the floor: Algeria, Estonia, Argentina, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bangladesh, Republic of Korea, Chile, Pakistan, Morocco, Qatar, Madagascar, Iraq, Ecuador and Azerbaijan. Egypt spoke as a signatory to the Convention. T the European Union and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons also took the floor.
The Biological Weapons Convention opened for signature in 1972 and entered into force in 1975. It prohibits the development, production, acquisition, transfer, retention, stockpiling and use of biological and toxin weapons and is a key element – along with the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty and the Chemical Weapons Convention – in the international community's efforts to address the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. The Biological Weapons Convention is the first multilateral disarmament treaty banning an entire category of weapons. It currently has 165 States parties, with a further 12 having signed but not yet ratified it.
The meeting of the Biological Weapons Convention Review Conference will resume at 3 p.m. to continue the general debate and it will then hear from non-governmental organizations in an informal meeting.
IDRISS AL-JAZAIRY (Algeria) said the Biological Weapons Convention constituted a fundamental element for international peace and security. Although it was not perfect, it still provided a multilateral normative framework that could prevent the proliferation of biological weapons and eliminate them. Algeria had adhered to the Convention in 2001. It was a party to all instruments of disarmament and non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. It had a national system that corresponded to international norms of biological safety and security. Algeria had never produced, transfered or used such weapons.
Biology, microbiology and their applications in various activities developed rapidly. The dual use of the material and equipment produced by this progress gave way to more possibilities of proliferation. A lack of a verification regime meant that there could be misuse of these materials. A global review was necessary. Algeria like many countries belonging to the Non-Aligned Movement believed that a multilateral, binding instrument would be the most efficient tool to make this regime efficient. In the meantime, an agreement must be reached on a minimal package. Algeria recommended a dual approach: first of all universal adherence – all States needed to be convinced, and Burundi and Mozambique were congratulated for acceding to the Convention. The creation of a zone free of weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East was crucial. To be credible and pertinent, this instrument needed to achieve total and transparent implementation. However, the national implementation measures should not serve as a pretext to introduce new forms of discrimination reducing the extent of international cooperation planned by article X of the Convention. The Convention should not only be seen as a disarmament tool. It was also a tool for cooperation for socio-economic development. The Convention should work on security aspects, whether they were related to the military, nutrition or sanitation. The discussions held during the intersession had shown the inequalities between States parties in matters of implementation. The Conference had to take measures in order to reinforce the provisions of article X. Algeria supported the initiative to continue discussions during the intersessional period.
JURI SEILENTHAL (Estonia) said that the Seventh Review Conference was providing an opportunity to modernize and further strengthen the Convention to better address the changing nature of the biological weapons threat. Estonia expected that the Conference would renew and further enhance the intersessional process which required further evolution. The intercessional work programme should be more action oriented and responsive to the changing world and Estonia was ready to support the creation of more flexible meeting formats and thematic working groups with the aim of covering more comprehensively the challenges the Convention would confront. Estonia would work constructively throughout the Review Conference in order to reach an agreement on changes to the intersessional work programme. The prolongation of the mandate of the Implementation Support Unit was a priority. All State parties had benefitted from the useful work of the Implementation Support Unit and Estonia had pledged its full support to renewing the mandate for a further five years and to its modest expansion, if the Review Conference would decide to extend its activities.
Confidence Building Measures continued to be the only tool that provided a degree of confidence and transparency in compliance among States parties to the Convention. Yet, this mechanism had not been reviewed since 1991 and it was time to modernize its format. Estonia would fully support the idea to discuss the improvement and further development of the format of the Confidence Building Measures because a more modern mechanism would also encourage greater participation. National implementation of the Convention was a pivotal point for the success of the Biological Weapons Convention. Estonia had fully implemented all obligations resulting from the Convention into Estonian national law and national legislation now included relevant criminal provisions, bio-safety and bio-security measures, export control measures and enforcement which were all available on the website of the State Gazette.
RAUL PELAEZ(Argentina) said that Argentina saw the universalization of adherence to the Convention and the implementation of the Convention at the national level as key aspects. The discussions during the intersessional period had been very useful. The Conference should identify ways to develop the Confidence Building Measures. Argentina believed that the different themes identified during the preparatory meetings would be helpful to guide the Conference’s work. Argentina hoped that the States that were not parties would see the importance of adhering to the Convention. Argentina welcomed the last two countries that had signed the Convention. Argentina was ready to discuss possible ways to improve transparency. Adhering to the Convention also meant that there were some obligations, such as those in Article X. Argentina supported the idea of creating a database in which there were requests and responses in the field of cooperation. Argentina would support any means to strengthen cooperation; it was crucial to this Convention.
The possibility of use of biological weapons required a rapid and efficient response of States. This was only possible if States were ready for such a use, and this meant that States had to cooperate fully. Argentina hoped to see this Review Conference focus on the following fields for the next few weeks: compliance, cooperation and assistance, science and technology. Many changes had occurred since the Sixth Review Conference, and the Seventh Review Conference constituted a new opportunity in order to consolidate the basis of the future agreements that would strengthen the cornerstone of the international regime for the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
ZELJKO JERKIC (Bosnia and Herzegovina) said that the number of issues to be discussed during the Review Conference would certainly contribute to a better understanding of the scope and implications of the full implementation of the Biological Weapons Convention. Each element that was connected with compliance with the Convention, cooperation and assistance as stipulated in the Convention, further enhancement of the Confidence Building Measures and intensification of the so-called intersessional process all deserved the full attention of the States parties. Acquisition and use of weapons of mass destruction by individuals or groups would have devastating consequences for civilian populations and therefore, States parties had an obligation to avoid such a nightmare scenario from occurring. There was an expectation that the discussions in the Review Conference would draw attention to the importance of strengthening the regional legal regime outlawing biological weapons, which would reinforce mutual regional cooperation. The Seventh Review Conference, by bringing together representatives of Governments, independent experts, academia, as well as non-governmental organizations, presented an exceptional opportunity to further streamline activities beyond the community on disarmament and to give purpose to the concept of multidimensionality enabling States parties to face the risks posed by the potential use of bacteriological and biological weapons in a comprehensive and interconnected fashion.
Bosnia and Herzegovina supported all activities and discussions related to the global threat of terrorism and aspired to adopt measures and regulations corresponding to the standards of the European Union. Last year two important meetings were organized: the Counter-Terrorism Committee regional conference attended by more than 60 experts from the region and the Workshop co-organized with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe related to the private-public partnership in fighting terrorism. Bosnia and Herzegovina, being a smaller country with limited resources, skills and expertise, was even more compelled to rely on other States and to establish the closest possible cooperation and coordination. Sharing knowledge and cooperating with neighbours on a wide range of issues in the security sector was one of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s top foreign policy priorities.
ABDUL HANNAN (Bangladesh) said the Biological Weapons Convention was regarded as a significant treaty to the disarmament community as it was the first multilateral instrument to ban the development, production, use and stockpiling of an entire category of weapons of mass destruction. Rapid advancement in the field of life sciences to use microbes and toxins had made it imperative to remain alert against the threat of biological weapons even today. Bangladesh had never been involved in the production, acquisition, or use of biological and toxin weapons. Bangladesh remained fully committed to the Biological Weapons Convention regime and attached high importance to the full implementation of the provisions of the Convention.
Bangladesh supported a concerted campaign, over the next couple of years, towards making the Convention universal. The Implementation Support Unit could play a coordinating role in this regard. Bangladesh underscored the need for enhanced international cooperation and support to Least Developed Countries that were yet to join the Convention. This would facilitate their accession to the Convention at an early date. The success of the Convention depended on compliance by all States parties to it with their obligations. States had to develop an effective verification mechanism capable of responding to the challenges posed by new technological and scientific developments in the production, use and stockpiling of biological and toxin weapons. Bangladesh was encouraged by the enhanced number of Confidence Building Measure submissions in the recent years. Confidence Building Measures should be updated during the intersessional period. Bangladesh was committed to submission of its annual Confidence-Building Measures on a regular basis.
While recognizing the importance of all provisions of the Convention, Bangladesh particularly underscored the importance of the effective implementation of Article X. For countries like Bangladesh, innovations in bio-technology and life sciences were very important for addressing pressing development issues.
KWON HAERYONG (Republic of Korea) said that the Republic of Korea placed a high priority on the national implementation of the Convention. It was the States parties’ core obligation under the Convention to enact and effectively enforce appropriate national legislative measures in order to prohibit and prevent the development, production, acquisition, transfer, retention, stockpiling and use of biological and toxic weapons. Penal legislation and tightened national export controls and regulations on bio-safety and bio-security were essential elements for enhancing national implementation mechanisms. Raising public awareness through education on the inherent dangers of biological weapons, as well as developing and promulgating a code of conduct for scientists would also be conducive to creating a favourable domestic environment for effective national implementation. The Republic of Korea had joined as co-sponsor for a working paper on possible approaches to education awareness-raising among life scientists.
Biological science and technology were advancing rapidly and the dual-use nature of bio-technology presented potential risks which made it increasingly difficult to make a clear distinction between the peaceful uses of biological materials as permitted in the Convention and the prohibited use for military purposes. This necessitated the Convention to keep abreast of these developments to effectively counter new emerging threats and the five-yearly review seemed to be insufficient to meet this challenge. The Republic of Korea believed that it would be more constructive for the intersessional work to be conducted on a more regular, formal and systematic basis which would ensure greater continuity and coherence between the Review Conferences. The establishment of the Implementation Support Unit was one of the success stories of the Sixth Review Conference and the Republic of Korea was in favour of a measured enhancement to its mandate.
PEDRO OYARCE (Chile) said that this Review Conference was the conclusion of five years of work undertaken during the intersessional programme. Efforts should focus on universal adherence to the Convention which was a key priority. Global biological security could only be reached through this universal adherence. It was a joint priority and a global responsibility. Implementation was also a key priority. National implementation efforts had to be effective. Chile had specialized staff for the implementation of the Convention and for research and scientific projects. Also, transparency could not be emphasized enough. Confidence Building Measures had to be increased and improved as well. Cooperation and assistance were an additional avenue for the successful implementation of the Convention. The intersessional work should be optimized. Chile was interested in the Japanese proposal to create three groups in order to analyze the ways to increase mutual confidence and improve cooperation and assistance.
The work of the Implementation Support Unit had proved itself to be essential in order to articulate the intersessional dialogue. The strengthening of its mandate was essential and Chile wanted to emphasize that the Implementation Support Unit should be a focal point in matters of cooperation.
ZAMIR AKRAM (Pakistan) said that the Biological Weapons Convention was an important pillar of the global security architecture, which needed to be preserved and strengthened. Adherence to multilaterally negotiated treaties was the best way to promote global peace and security. Pakistan had ratified the Convention in 1974 as a non-possessor State and had remained fully committed to its obligations under the Convention. Pakistan shared the concerns of the international community regarding the possible use of biological weapons, including by non-State actors. Pakistan had taken a range of comprehensive legal and administrative steps to enhance its bio-safety and bio-security regulations. To ensure implementation and compliance, Pakistan had been active in taking necessary and effective administrative steps as well. In addition to establishing a national focal point in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Pakistan had established an Inter-Agency Working Group comprising policy experts and life scientists from both public and private sectors.
The Review Conference could strengthen the Convention in two ways: first, by expanding the Convention’s membership thereby ensuring the universalization of obligations provided by the Convention and second, by enhancing the implementation of all articles of the Convention in an inclusive, balanced, non-discriminatory and comprehensive manner. It was essential to renew and intensify efforts towards universalization of the Convention as only nine additional States had joined the Convention in the past five years. The full and effective implementation of article X was critical for developing countries and Pakistan had endorsed the proposal submitted by the Non-Aligned Movement. A multilaterally agreed verification mechanism could provide assurance of compliance with treaty obligations. The Convention’s intersessional process should be improved in a manner that ensured balanced consideration of all important issues without its scope and authority transgressing into the domain of the Review Conference itself. Confidence Building Measures should not be a substitute for compliance measures. The Implementation Support Unit should continue assisting States parties and its mandate, if expanded, should be rooted in principles of equitable geographic representation.
OMAR HILALE (Morocco) said that the Biological Weapons Convention was one of the three pillars of the international regime for the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. The Seventh Review Conference was being held in an international context of major political changes and a deep financial and economic crisis, two ingredients that favoured the exacerbation of terrorism. Also, biological and scientific advances were multiplying the risks of double use. Thus the work of this Review Conference had to be considered with particular attention.
The implementation of article X remained the best way to promote accession to the Convention. At the moment, the implementation of article X suffered from a lack of transparency, selectivity and the mismatch between the offers and requests of cooperation means. A system of publication of offers and requests for cooperation on the website of the Implementation Support Unit, in addition to a working group on article X, would be able to fill the gaps.
The introduction of this system and the establishment of a specific group on specific questions such as science and technology and public health would be very useful. This would be an additional charge of work for the Implementation Support Unit. Thus it would require additional funds. However, being part of an international instrument gave rights but also entailed obligations, such as providing additional funds when needed. Also, there was an urgent need for all States parties to report regularly on their activities. Morocco had put in place in 2005 a National Committee of Bio-security in charge of implementing the Cartagena Protocol on biodiversity and the control of genetically modified organisms at the national level.
JAFAR HUSEYNZADE (Azerbaijan) said that Azerbaijan attached great importance to combating the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, including biological weapons, all related components and technologies as well as their means of delivery. Solid cooperation with the United States in combating the proliferation of biological weapons had enabled Azerbaijan to renovate and upgrade a number of existing laboratories and to train skilled personnel to build up its national scientific and research compatibilities in this regard. Azerbaijan had been working on adopting relevant national legislation which would incorporate relevant measures derived from the Convention.
Confidence Building Measures were an important dimension of the implementation of the Convention by States parties and played a crucial role in the success of the Convention itself. Azerbaijan stood ready to join the discussions on the improvement of the methods of submission of Confidence Building Measures with facilitation on time submission, taking into account current technical capability. Ensuring the full implementation of the Convention could not be achieved in light of existing protracted conflicts which had created grey zones in uncontrolled and occupied territories. These uncontrolled territories undoubtedly posed a great menace to international peace and security as they could be used as a polygon for any kind for illegal activities, including the development, production, storage and transfer of biological weapons of mass destruction, related components and technologies as well as their means of delivery.
HASAN AL-NESF (Qatar) said that there were still many countries outside of the Biological Weapons Convention and this constituted an international risk. Universalization of the Convention was crucial for international security. A permanent commission had been created in Qatar in order to better implement the Convention. Qatar respected its obligations under the Convention and it did not research, produce or develop such weapons. Qatar did not store any biological or toxin agents either. The national commission for the prohibition of weapons held workshops and targeted issues concerning the armed forces as well as other sectors. The national commission was also setting up a database and training human resources on the topic. The national commission had completed a draft law to issue permits for controlled biological agents that were on the list of the Australia Group. The draft law was one of the measures taken in compliance with Security Council Resolution 1540.
Qatar also implemented health regulations and had a system of notification from doctors as soon as there were signs of epidemics. Qatar was ready to fully participate in this Review Conference. Qatar also welcomed the holding of a Conference in 2012 in Finland on the topic of the elimination of weapons of mass destruction.
HARIFERA RABEMANANJARA (Madagascar) said the Implementation Support Unit had done excellent work since 2006 to promote the universalization of the Biological Weapons Convention. Madagascar had adhered to the Convention in 2008 and was in the process of ensuring that its national legislation was in line with that of the Convention. Madagascar was committed to the Confidence Building Mechanisms as provided for in article V. During this month a technical capacity mission from the European Union would assist the country to provide its first Confidence Building Measures submission. The Government of Madagascar was concerned about the risks of pandemics because the country lacked sufficient capacity and facilities for surveillance of pathological micro-organisms and had not been able to follow the recommendations as stipulated in the Convention regarding biological weapons. Madagascar would strive to develop these capacities and strengthen its biological security despite its lack of resources. Madagascar supported the proposal by the Non-Aligned Movement for international assistance as provided for in articles VII and X in the Convention.
MOHAMED AL SHARAA (Iraq) said that the Biological Weapons Convention was crucial to international peace and security. New measures for the future should be taken during this Review Conference. However great the challenges may be, progress could be made as well. This Conference reaffirmed the joint commitment of the States parties to make the Convention as efficient as possible. Disarmament was a priority for Iraq. Thus Iraq was working on this in the Middle East as it had a stabilizing role. The national constitution stipulated that Iraq shall respect its commitment to the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and biological weapons. Iraq welcomed Security Council Resolution 1540; it was a useful tool in the international realm.
Since the Sixth Review Conference, Iraq had created a body that made sure that all decisions taken by the Conference were being implemented. This body also created a national system to honour the international obligations of the Convention. It also governed all transfers to the Implementation Support Unit. Iraq reaffirmed the importance of the Support Unit and how crucial its role was. Iraq had received financial help from several donors for the implementation of the Convention and was very grateful for this. Article X had extreme importance for all Member States and especially for developing nations. Strengthening capacities of developing nations would be beneficial to the international community as a whole. Early warning and identification of risks were important for everyone. Iraq called for increased multilateral cooperation in the name of international peace and security.
LUIS GALLEGO (Ecuador) said that it had been difficult to fill the important gap of a verification mechanism in the Convention. Some States had championed a binding verification mechanism but to date no solution had been found. New discoveries in biotechnology had led to greater risks for the world and this required a strengthening of the Convention and its mechanisms. It was important to realize that Confidence Building Measures could not be turned into a verification mechanism because they were not binding and depended on the goodwill of each State party. Ecuador supported the proposals made for annual meetings during the intercessional process. It was vital to strengthen the Implementation Support Unit by increasing both its capacity and budget. The fundamental mission of the Implementation Support Unit should be to provide technical capacity as many States parties had not been able to fully implement the Convention due to their own lack of technical capacity. Ecuador also noted that a transnational working group for training and cooperation would benefit all States parties in the implementation process.
MOHAMED HATEM EL-ATAWY (Egypt) said Egypt was among the leading nations to sign the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention on 10 April 1972. Egypt had consistently been in the lead in the call for a world free of all weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear, chemical and biological weapons. In the immediate neighbourhood in the Middle East, Egypt had been relentlessly demanding and working on the establishment of an area free of all weapons of mass destruction. Unfortunately such calls had not been heeded. Within this context, and as a confidence-building measure for peace and stability in the Middle East, Egypt had already taken steps towards the aforementioned objective by signing and ratifying the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, and then signing the Biological and Toxin Weapon Convention, having earlier signed and ratified the Geneva 1925 Protocol for the Prohibition of the Use in War of Asphyxiating, Poisonous or Other Gases, and of Bacteriological Methods of Warfare. Egypt had taken such steps with the intention that this would lead other countries in the region to reciprocate and take similar steps in order to build confidence and achieve peace. Unfortunately, this did not materialize despite Egypt’s efforts, supported by the vast majority of the international community.
In 1990, Egypt had launched an initiative to render the Middle East free of all weapons of mass destruction and it had repeatedly stressed in various international disarmament fora the urgency to prohibit weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East. There was reason for optimism. In 2012, a conference on the establishment of a Middle East zone free of nuclear weapons and all other weapons of mass destruction would be held in Finland. This conference would be a valuable opportunity to launch a process that would lead to taking practical and constructive steps towards the establishment of a Middle East zone free of nuclear and all other weapons of mass destruction.
Egypt welcomed the efforts towards the universalization of the Biological Weapons Convention. In the Middle East, Israel remained the only State that had not signed the Convention despite the calls of the international community. This continued to be a major source of concern and Egypt called on the international community to be particularly attentive to this delicate situation.
MARIANGELA ZAPPIA (European Union) said that the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their delivery systems remained one of the greatest threats to international peace and security. The European Union Strategy against the Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction, adopted in 2003, addressed three principles of the problem: effective multilateralism, prevention and cooperation. The European Union strongly supported all multilateral instruments devoted to disarmament and non-proliferation, including the Biological Weapons Convention. Three priorities for strengthening the Convention were identified: building confidence in compliance, supporting national implementation and promoting universalization. States parties should be able to demonstrate compliance by means of information exchange and enhanced transparency about their implementation activities and intentions towards compliance. Confidence Building Measures were a politically agreed regular national declaration tool on implementation and compliance and should be modified in order to increase participation in their submissions. The European Union was in favour of strengthening the United Nations Secretary-General’s mechanisms for investigation of alleged use of biological and toxic weapons.
On national implementation, the common aim should be to support and strengthen, where necessary, national enforcement measures, including criminal legislation, bio-safety and bio-security measures in life science institutions, control over pathogenic micro-organisms and toxins, export control for dual-use agents and technologies, the appointment of a national contact for the Convention, and regional and international cooperation with international organizations and initiatives such as the World Health Organization and the G8 Global Partnership. The European Union would continue to support the concrete implementation of Article X of the Convention which formed the basis for effective action with regard to cooperation for peaceful purposes in the framework of the Convention. The European Union was convinced that a process of more frequent assessments of relevant scientific and technological developments such as the rapidly developing fields of synthetic biology and nanotechnology and the increasing convergence of chemistry and biology was of the utmost importance. The Implementation Support Unit’s mandate should be prolonged for another five years and should also include the establishment of a communication and information platform on policy, scientific and other activities relevant to the Convention.
GRACE ASIRWATHAM, of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, said that the Biological Weapons Convention and the Chemical Weapons Convention together constituted a comprehensive prohibition against two of the three categories of weapons of mass destruction. These two treaties shared the same historical roots in the age-old taboo against the use of poison in warfare, first codified in the Hague Declaration of 1899. Over 85 years ago, this norm was further codified in the Geneva Protocol, of which both of their treaties were direct descendents as recognized in their preambles. Together, the Biological Weapons Convention and the Chemical Weapons Convention represented a vital advance over the Geneva Protocol that prohibited both biological and chemical weapons but fell short of realizing its objectives. Taken together the two treaties represented a crucial barrier against the use of disease or poison against humanity and were, therefore, worthy of every effort to protect and strengthen the norms that they established.
The Biological Weapons Convention and the Chemical Weapons Convention had mutually reinforcing complementarities. As it was well known, the most significant difference between the two treaties was that the Chemical Weapons Convention incorporated a comprehensive and robust verification regime, supported by an institution to monitor its implementation. The fact that almost three-quarters of all declared chemical weapon stockpiles would be destroyed by April 2012 was an achievement without parallel in disarmament. This year witnessed important developments in Libya that underlined the value the international community attached to the elimination of chemical weapons, verified by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. The Organization was satisfied that the declared chemical weapons stockpile remained accountable and secure. It was now known that there were additional, previously undeclared chemical weapons stockpiles. The Organization would proceed to work with the Libyan authorities to eliminate the chemical weapons present in Libya.
There were four areas of common interest between the Chemical Weapons Convention and the Biological Weapons Convention: the first was full and effective national implementation which was a clear prerequisite for the good functioning of both treaties. The second area of common interest was the impact of advances and technology. The dynamic nature of science had a direct impact on their own work. The third area related to protection in the case of use of chemical or biological weapons. The final and fourth area was international cooperation in the peaceful use of science. It was an important incentive to join the Convention. Areas of concern included chemical safety and security as well as education and outreach.
For use of the information media; not an official record