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Product title :

The Biological Weapons Convention

Author(s) : D. Feakes

Summary :

The Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) was the first international treaty to effectively prohibit an entire category of weapons of mass destruction. In its Preamble, the BWC clearly affirms the norm against the use of biology as a weapon by stating that such use would be ‘repugnant to the conscience of mankind’. Few would dispute the strength of the norm against biological weapons, but the BWC itself, as the legal and widely accepted embodiment of this norm, requires continuous support and attention. Even after 40 years, it is not yet universal and its implementation is less than satisfactory. However, the treaty, and particularly the annual meetings of its States Parties in Geneva, have served as a venue in which all relevant stakeholders can come together to share information, experience and expertise and develop common understandings at the global level. In recent years, these meetings have been attended by a wide range of experts from national, regional and international entities from the public, private and civil sectors. International organisations such as the World Organisation for Animal Health, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the World Health Organization have been regular participants in the BWC meetings and their contributions are much appreciated by BWC States Parties.

Keywords

Biological weapon – Biological Weapons Convention – Biosecurity – Bioterrorism – Weapon of mass destruction.

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