25 September 2017
On 21 September 2017, Samoa deposited its instrument of accession to the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) with the US Government which is one of three Depositary Governments of the Convention. Samoa’s accession to the BWC brings its total membership to 179 States Parties.
The Chairman of the 2017 BWC Meeting of States Parties, Ambassador Amandeep Singh Gill of India, welcomed Samoa’s accession: “I would like to warmly welcome Samoa as the 179th State Party to the Biological Weapons Convention, a vital instrument on disarmament and international security. I hope that this accession encourages the remaining four States in the Pacific region to join the Convention at the earliest possible opportunity."
Samoa’s accession follows a recent universalization workshop for Pacific Island States hosted by Fiji with the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs and financed by the European Union. A representative from Samoa attended the workshop. There are four remaining States in the region that have not yet joined the BWC (Kiribati, Micronesia, Niue and Tuvalu) and it is hoped that Samoa’s accession will encourage them to also join in the near future.
Parliamentarians for Global Action (PGA) has played a key role in achieving Samoa’s accession to the BWC, particularly PGA member Hon. Taefu Lemi Taefu, MP, Associate Government Minister for Natural Resources and Environment of Samoa. He welcomed news of the accession, and said: “Never has it been more important to secure full universality of this Treaty. I have been pleased to advocate support for the BTWC among my colleagues in Government and also in the region.”
The BWC Implementation Support Unit, which is based with the Geneva Branch of the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs, is working closely with other States not party, the Depositary Governments, relevant regional and international organizations and other entities to encourage the remaining 17 States which have not yet joined the BWC to do so without delay.
A total of six States have signed but not ratified the BWC (Central African Republic, Egypt, Haiti, Somalia, Syria and Tanzania), while a further 11 States have neither signed nor ratified the BWC (Chad, Comoros, Djibouti, Eritrea, Israel, Kiribati, Micronesia, Namibia, Niue, South Sudan and Tuvalu).
For use of the information media; not an official record