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Product title :

United Nations Secretary-General’s Mechanism

Author(s) : A.R. Fooks & L.K. Holmstrom

Summary :

The credibility and legitimacy of the United Nations Secretary-General’s Mechanism (UNSGM) for investigating the alleged use of biological weapons relies in part on qualified experts trained to undertake fact-finding missions using an empirical scientific approach. As observed in the 2013 investigation into the alleged use of chemical weapons in the Syrian Arab Republic, this mechanism can be an effective tool in the verification of and as a deterrent against the use of chemical and biological weapons. The World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) has a memorandum of understanding with the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs, supporting the UNSGM and providing experts for its roster for missions. As the majority of biological agents are of animal origin, the expertise of the OIE in this area, and its involvement in the UNSGM, are of paramount importance. Since 2014, experts from the OIE have participated in relevant training and are available for deployment to investigate any alleged use of a biological weapon anywhere in the world if the UNSGM were triggered.

Keywords
Alleged use – Animal pathogen – Biological weapon – Bioterrorism – Roster of experts – Toxin weapon – Veterinary – Zoonosis.

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