Presentation on theme: "UNCLASSIFIED CPT Dana Perkins, PhD SAFMLS Annual Meeting, 22 March 2010 Biological Weapons Convention: A Primer for Armed Forces Medical Laboratory Scientists."— Presentation transcript:
UNCLASSIFIED CPT Dana Perkins, PhD SAFMLS Annual Meeting, 22 March 2010 Biological Weapons Convention: A Primer for Armed Forces Medical Laboratory Scientists
UNCLASSIFIED Disclaimer The views expressed in this presentation are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, Department of Defense, or the U.S. Government.
UNCLASSIFIED Bottom Line Up Front BWC: part of the “web of prevention” “We must look [at the BWC] as part of an interlinked array of tools, designed to deal with an interlinked array of problems”- Kofi Annan, 2006 BWC UNSCR 1540 INTERPOL FAO WHO OIE NGOs Scientific Organizations Professional Associations Governments PSI Industry Academia Individuals
UNCLASSIFIED Where we are and why it matters BioThreat: a clear & present danger Soldier Education Misinformation/AntiGov Propaganda Bioterrorism/Biocrimes Dual-Use Research of Concern Biosafety/Biosecurity
UNCLASSIFIED Briefing Agenda BWC history Current BWC status: Obama Administration’s approach to BWC (Ref.: National Strategy for Countering Biological Threats) SAFMLS and its role in responsible stewardship of life sciences research SAFMLS and its role in responsible stewardship of life sciences research
UNCLASSIFIED Historical tidbits 1969: UK proposal to the UN Eighteen Nation Disarmament Conference (ENDC) for the elimination of BW –separate BW and CW within an international agreement –prohibition of production & acquisition of BA in types and quantities that had no justification for peaceful purposes and equipment designed for hostile purposes –creation of a complaint & investigation mechanism to address non- compliance and an obligation for all members to assist a State that was attacked with BW USA: unilateral renouncement of BW by President Nixon on Nov 25, 1969 –DOD was ordered to outline plan for disposal of existing BW Aug 5, 1971: UK, US, FSU submit a joint draft text to the UN General Assembly
UNCLASSIFIED BWC Key Facts and Provisions Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on Their Destruction (BWC) Opened for signatures in 1972 Entered into force in 1975 Depositories: UK, US, FSU 15 Articles States Parties: 163 Signatories: 13 States not Members: 19
UNCLASSIFIED Knowledge Check Article VI How many times was Article VI invoked to request the UN Security Council to investigate alleged breaches of BWC? ZERO / NEVER 1997: Article V invoked by Cuba requesting a formal consultation on the alleged use of BW by the US (Thrips palmi infestation) The Cuban allegations and the US response were distributed to the BWC States Parties for comment. About 20 countries commented, almost all of them agreeing that there was no significant evidence supporting the allegations, and that a natural outbreak was plausible.
UNCLASSIFIED Treaty history 2011 Review Conferences every 5 years (1980, 1986,1991, 1996, 2001, 2006 – next one in 2011) Confidence-Building Measures (CBMs) introduced/revised 1986/1991 Ad Hoc Group of Governmental Experts (VEREX) est to examine verification options Ad Hoc Group est in Special Conference to negotiate verification protocol Ad Hoc Group negotiations end in failure in 2001 Fifth Review Conference suspended
UNCLASSIFIED Knowledge Check list of biological agents Is there a list of biological agents controlled under the BWC? NO “Almost any disease-causing organism (such as bacteria, viruses, fungi, prions or rickettsiae) or toxin (poisons derived from animals, plants or microorganisms, or similar substances synthetically produced) can be used in biological weapons” (BWC) “Any micro-organism, virus, infectious substance, or biological product that may be engineered as a result of biotechnology, or any naturally occurring or bioengineered component of any such microorganism, virus, infectious substance, or biological product, capable of causing death, disease, or other biological malfunction in a human, an animal, a plant, or another living organism; deterioration of food, water, equipment, supplies, or material of any kind..." (US BW Anti-Terrorism Act of 1989 / US Code Title 18, Part I, Ch.10)
UNCLASSIFIED BWC Key Events 2007 BWC 6 th Review Conference overcame past divisions Created intersessional process o 4 sets of annual meetings prior to the 7th REVCON o Each set includes a one week Meeting of Experts (MX), followed by a one week Meeting of States Parties (MSP) Implementation Support Unit (ISU) Action plan for universalization Improving national implementation Improved CBM information exchange process Enhancing provision of assistance Building network of national points of contact
UNCLASSIFIED National Implementation; Regional Activities Biosafety & Biosecurity; Oversight, Education, and Outreach Capacity Building for Disease Surveillance, Detection, Diagnosis, and Containment Response to Use or Threat of Use 7 th REVCON 20 Jan 2009: POTUS sworn-in
UNCLASSIFIED 12 BWC Meetings in 2008 biosafety and biosecurity, National, regional and international measures to improve biosafety and biosecurity, including lab safety and security of pathogens and toxins Oversight, education, awareness raising, and adoption and/or development of codes of conduct Oversight, education, awareness raising, and adoption and/or development of codes of conduct with the aim of preventing misuse in the context of advances in bio science/technology research with the potential of use for purposes prohibited by BWC 2008 BWC MX & MSP chaired by the Ambassador Georgi Avramchev of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
UNCLASSIFIED New features of 2008 BWC MX Invited observers, NGOs, IGOs, industry, and academia guests provided statements & briefings and participated in seminars and panel discussions Unprecedented in the BWC inter- sessional process: all working sessions were open National papers, statements, and all other BWC MX-related documents available online on the ISU website at: Poster session allowed informal interaction and further discussions
UNCLASSIFIED 2008 BWC Meeting of State Parties Consider the work of the 2008 BWC MX, to discuss, and promote common understanding and effective action on the 2008 topics. US Opening Statement Excerpts
UNCLASSIFIED 2008 BWC MSP Report- Biosafety & Biosecurity Highlights Recognizing that biosafety & biosecurity measures contribute to preventing the development, acquisition or use of BTW & are appropriate means of implementing the BWC, States agreed on the value of: oNational authorities defining and implementing biosafety & biosecurity concepts IAW relevant national laws, regs and policies… oEnsuring measures adopted are practical, sustainable, enforceable, are readily understood and are developed in concert with national stakeholders, avoid unduly restricting the pursuit of the biological sciences for peaceful purposes, are adapted for local needs, and appropriate for the agents being handled and the work being undertaken oBuilding networks between scientific communities and academic institutions and increasing interaction with professional associations and working groups at the national, regional and international level
UNCLASSIFIED 2008 BWC MSP Report- Codes of Conduct Highlights “States Parties recognized the importance of ensuring that those working in the biological sciences are aware of their obligations under the Convention and relevant national legislation and guidelines, have a clear understanding of the content, purpose and foreseeable social, environmental, health and security consequences of their activities, and are encouraged to take an active role in addressing the threats posed by the potential misuse of biological agents and toxins as weapons, including for bioterrorism”. “Having considered codes of conduct, States Parties agreed that such codes can complement national legislative, regulatory and oversight frameworks and help guide science so that it is not misused for prohibited purposes. States Parties recognized the need to further develop strategies to encourage national stakeholders to voluntarily develop, adopt and promulgate codes of conduct.”
UNCLASSIFIED BWC Meetings in 2009 Enhancing international cooperation, assistance and exchange in biological sciences and technology for peaceful purposes Promoting capacity building in the fields of disease surveillance, detection, diagnosis, and containment of infectious diseases Chaired by Ambassador Marius Grinius of Canada Sustainability Integrated approach to human, animal, & plant diseases Coordination of assistance, cooperation, & capacity building
UNCLASSIFIED US National Strategy for Countering Biological Threats is unveiled at the 2009 BWC MSP “The Obama administration’s new strategy for countering biological threats—both natural and man-made—rests upon the main principle of the BWC: that the use of BW is “repugnant to the conscience of mankind”- U/S Tauscher Advance international security not through a return to the verification protocol negotiations, but through a reinvigorated, comprehensive program and information exchange Promote confidence in effective treaty implementation / enhanced transparency Enhance cooperation for building capacity to combat infectious disease Make the BWC the premier forum for discussion of mutually agreeable steps States can take for risk management of bio threats – including bioterrorism 09 Dec 2009: Under Secretary of State Ellen Tauscher address to the BWC
UNCLASSIFIED Further reading Revitalizing BWC Revitalizing BWC Expanding our international partnerships and bioengagement Integrating efforts to meet our international obligations
UNCLASSIFIED BWC UNSCR 1540 INTERPOL FAO WHO OIE NGOs Scientific Organizations Professional Associations Governments PSI Industry Academia Individuals SAFMLS ?
UNCLASSIFIED SAFMLS and its role in responsible stewardship of life sciences research Enhance awareness of AFMLSs of their obligations under the BWC and relevant US legislation, policies, and guidelines Promote biosafety & biosecurity best practices Provide a forum for discussions of the risk assessment & risk management strategies for dual-use research of concern Contribute to the development of educational modules and training programs tailored to the AFMLs Promote a code of conduct for AFMLSs as a guidepost of professional and personal behavior based on the military values that reflect our professionalism Strengthen the culture of responsibility in Armed Forces medical laboratory sciences Develop an outreach and education strategy to improve communication with the stakeholders and the general public Foster collaborations with national scientific and professional organizations (e.g. ASM, AAAS) and SAFMLS-equivalent international organizations for sharing best practices on awareness raising, education and outreach, and oversight of dual-use research of concern SAFMLS is uniquely positioned to strengthen public confidence in military science and technology, build public trust and support for a research enterprise that is needed to generate new knowledge that can be applied to countering existing and emerging biological threats
UNCLASSIFIED Contact information Dana Perkins, Ph.D. Senior Science Advisor Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Tel: (office) CPT Dana Perkins Consequence Management Medical Support Officer USAR Consequence Management Unit Tel: (mobile)