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Beijing Workshop

From 4-6 November 2010, the Government of China, the Government of Canada, and the BWC Implementation Support Unit jointly hosted the international workshop "Strengthening International Efforts to Prevent the Proliferation of Biological Weapons: The Role of the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention", in Beijing, China. The workshop was intended to provide an opportunity for BWC States Parties to to discuss the full range of issues surrounding the BWC and its implementation, in order to prepare for the Seventh Review Conference of the BWC, which will be held in 2011.

The workshop was opened by the Assistant Foreign Minister of China, H.E. Mr. Liu Zhenmin. Mr.Liu shared China’s views on the overall biological disarmament and non-proliferation situation and highlighted the irreplaceable role played by the BWC in eliminating the threat and proliferation of biological weapons and promoting the peaceful use of biotechnology. He pointed out that the BWC was well implemented and widely supported by States Parties. Under the new circumstances, how to respond to bioterrorism and prevent the abuse of biotechnology had become a new challenge facing the Convention. He emphasized the importance of the universalization of the Convention and international cooperation between/among States Parties to enhance the Convention, and encouraged participants to have open and candid discussions during this workshop, build up consensus and contribute to the success of the Seventh Review Conference.

Ambassador Marius Grinius of Canada and Mr. Richard Lennane, Head of the BWC Implementation Support Unit, also addressed the workshop at the opening ceremony, highlighting the importance of the BWC to global security and the need for thorough preparations for the Seventh Review Conference.

A total of 84 participants from 32 countries and nine organisations discussed issues including assessing biological threats, developments in science and technology, national approaches, international cooperation, verification and compliance, confidence-building measures, the intersessional process, and the ISU. The workshop did not agree any conclusions or recommendations, but the three Co-chairs prepared a summary of the discussions. This summary, along with the workshop programme and list of participants, and many of the presentations made in the course of the discussions, are available for download in the Documentation panel at the right of this page.