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Utilising a holistic arms control approach to address incapacitant weapons AHRC Meeting, 17 th September 2012 Michael Crowley Project coordinator Bradford.

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Presentation on theme: "Utilising a holistic arms control approach to address incapacitant weapons AHRC Meeting, 17 th September 2012 Michael Crowley Project coordinator Bradford."— Presentation transcript:

1 Utilising a holistic arms control approach to address incapacitant weapons AHRC Meeting, 17 th September 2012 Michael Crowley Project coordinator Bradford Nonlethal Weapon Research Project.

2 (Bio)chemical threat spectrum Biochemical threat spectrum chart adapted from: Pearson, G. (2002) Relevant Scientific And Technological Developments For The First CWC Review Conference, University of Bradford.

3 Abstract The presentation will explore the potential roles that life scientists can play in combating the proliferation and misuse of weapons utilising incapacitating chemical agents. The presentation will highlight the activities of societal monitoring and verification; the development of a “culture of responsibility” amongst the scientific and medical communities and the role of independent scientists in advocating mechanisms to strengthen relevant control regimes and their implementation.

4 Defining incapacitating (bio)chemical agents [incapacitants] NATO Definition: Incapacitating agent / agent incapacitant “A chemical agent which produces temporary disabling conditions which (unlike those caused by riot control agents) can be physical or mental and persist for hours or days after exposure to the agent has ceased. Medical treatment, while not usually required, facilitates a more rapid recovery.” ("NATO Glossary of Terms and Definitions“ (AAP-6 (V), Modified version 02, 7 th August 2000) Alternative working description: Incapacitating chemical and biochemical agents (Incapacitants) can be considered as: substances whose chemical action on specific biochemical processes and physiological systems, especially those affecting the higher regulatory activity of the central nervous system, produce a disabling condition (e.g. can cause incapacitation or disorientation, incoherence, hallucination, sedation, loss of consciousness) or at higher concentrations, death. (Adapted from Pearson, A., Chevrier, M. and Wheelis, M. (eds) (2007) Incapacitating Biochemical Weapons, Lanham: Lexington Books).

5 Potential dangers from development/use of incapacitants Dose-response problem Erosion of norm against weaponization of toxicity Proliferation and legitimization by states Proliferation to, and misuse by, non-state actors Use as a lethal force multiplier Facilitation of torture and other human rights violations Militarisation of biology Camouflage offensive chemical weapons programmes Escalation to lethal chemical weapons

6 Use of an incapacitating weapon by Russian Federation

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8 State research “The events in Moscow have opened up the potential for this area of research (i.e. incapacitating/immobilizing chemicals) to be explored in much greater depth. It would not be surprising if a number of countries were conducting more detailed and renewed research as a result.” Stanley, T. Director of the Anaesthesiology Research Laboratories at the University of Utah, 2004 “There is clearly an on-going attraction to “incapacitating chemical agents” but it is not easy to determine the extent to which this has moved along the spectrum from academia and industrial circles into the law enforcement, security and military apparatuses of States.” International Committee of the Red Cross, Incapacitating chemical agents, implications for international law, report of expert meeting, Montreux, 24 th -26 th March 2010

9 Holistic arms control Stage 1: Examination of the nature of weapon or weapons- related technology under review; current and potential future scenarios of application, together with attendant human security concerns; potential relevance of advances in science and technology; Stage 2: Exploration of the full range of potentially applicable control mechanisms analysing strengths, weaknesses and limitations; Stage 3: Development of a comprehensive strategy to improve existing mechanisms (and/or introduce additional mechanisms) for effective regulation of the weapon or weapons-related technology of concern.

10 Utilising holistic arms control State led activities: Adherence to comprehensive legal prohibitions against chemical and biological weapons (CBW) enshrined in the Geneva Protocol, the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC) and the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC); Adherence to international humanitarian law (notably the four Geneva Conventions and two Additional Protocols) and international human rights law (including the Convention Against Torture, the International Convenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Universal Declaration on Human Rights); Adherence to other relevant international law and agreements including ;the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs and the UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances; Effective monitoring, verification, investigation and enforcement of the above obligations; Application of stringent export controls and interdiction measures; Engagement by scientific and medical communities : Conducting societal monitoring and verification Development of a “culture of responsibility” amongst the scientific and medical communities built upon strong normative and ethical standards Developing and advocating mechanisms to strengthen relevant control regimes and their implementation

11 Addressing weaknesses in BTWC and CWC Biological Weapons Convention: Article 1, prohibits states developing, producing, stockpiling or otherwise acquiring or retaining: (1) Microbial or other biological agents, or toxins whatever their origin or method of production, of types and in quantities that have no justification for prophylactic, protective or other peaceful purposes; (2) Weapons, equipment or means of delivery designed to use such agents or toxins for hostile purposes or in armed conflict. No definition of key terms e.g. “other peaceful purposes”, “hostile purposes”. Not addressed by policy making organs. No verification mechanism or international organisation to facilitate effective implementation Chemical Weapons Convention: Article 1, prohibits the development, production, stockpiling, transfer and use of chemical weapons. Article II.1(a), states that chemical weapons include all ‘‘toxic chemicals and their precursors, except where intended for purposes not prohibited, as long as the types and quantities are consistent with such purposes.’’ Under‘‘purposes not prohibited.’’Article II.9(d) lists ‘‘law enforcement including domestic riot control purposes,’’ No definition of key terms e.g. “law enforcement”, “method of warfare”, “temporary incapacitation”. Not addressed by policy making organs.

12 Addressing weaknesses in BTWC and CWC “ Whatever else is needed, one crucial ingredient is clear: people with scientific and medical expertise surely have a special responsibility to alert policymakers in governments around the world to the very real dangers of inaction in regard to the BWC.” Dando. M, Pearson. G, Rozsa. L, Perry Robinson. J.P. & Wheelis. M, Deadly Cultures, “When it comes to arms control, all of us…need reminding that treaties such as the CWC are engagements, not between governments, but between States Parties. Governments may represent States Parties in the [relevant regime fora]… but organs of civil society are also elements of those same states, no less responsible for proper implementation of the treaty.” Perry Robinson, J.P. Scientists and chemical weapons policies, 2010.

13 Societal monitoring - Chinese Narcosis gun Poster for BBQ-901 Narcosis gun on display at China Police 2006 Norinco sales brochure: “The Model BBQ-901 Anaesthetic system is a fine unlethal [sic] special weapon system for SWAT units and other special usage…It can be used for reconnaissance and capture of criminals in a concealed place. It is also used as a riot control weapon to subdue the ruffians and maintain public order.”

14 Societal monitoring – research into incap means of delivery: Czech Republic Hess, L. Schreiberová, J., Málek, J., Fusek, J. (2007) Drug-Induced Loss of Aggressiveness in the Macaque Rhesus. Proceedings of the 4th European Symposium on Non-Lethal Weapons, 21st-23rd May “[T]he transdermal technique of administration could possibly be used to induce long-term sedation with alpha2 agonists, benzodiazepines, and a combination of them to pacify aggressive individuals. Using the paint-ball gun principle, anaesthetic- containing balls could be used. Impact of the ball would be followed by their destruction and absorption of garment with the anaesthetics which will be quickly absorbed via the skin.”

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16 Societal monitoring

17 Assessing future threats: agent development “In addition to drugs causing calming or unconsciousness, compounds on the horizon with potential as military agents include noradrenaline antagonists such as propranolol to cause selective memory loss, cholecystokinin B agonists to cause panic attacks, and substance P agonists to induce depression. The question thus is not so much when these capabilities will arise — because arise they certainly will — but what purposes will those with such capabilities pursue.” Wheelis, M. and Dando, M. Neurobiology: A case study of the imminent militarization of biology. International Review of the Red Cross, September “ Using existing drugs as weapons means knowingly moving towards the top of a ‘slippery slope’ at the bottom of which is the spectre of ‘militarization’ of biology, this could include intentional manipulation of peoples’ emotions, memories, immune responses or even fertility” Drugs as weapons: British Medical Association, 2007.

18 Advances in science and technology: agent development “The explosion of knowledge in neuroscience, bioregulators, receptor research, systems biology and related disciplines is likely to lead to the discovery, amongst others, of new physiologically- active compounds that can selectively interfere with certain regulatory functions in the brain or other organs, and presumably even modulate human behavior in a predictable manner. Some of these new compounds (or selective delivery methods) may well have a profile that could make them attractive as novel candidate chemical warfare agents Trapp, R. presentation at: International Committee of the Red Cross, Expert Meeting: Incapacitating chemical agents, implications for international law, Montreux, Switzerland, March 2010, p.65.

19 Advances in science and technology: means of delivery “New nanotechnologies have allowed molecular conjugation or encapsulation that may permit unprecedented access [of drugs] to the brain”… Nanotechnologies can also exploit existing transport mechanisms to transmit substances into the brain in analogy with the Trojan horse” Gas phase techniques/nanotechnologies: “pharmacological agents are not used as weapons of mass effect, because their large- scale deployment is impractical” as it is “currently impossible to get an effective dose to a combatant.” However the report states that “technologies that could be available in the next 20 years would allow dispersal of agents in delivery vehicles that would be analogous to a pharmacological cluster bomb or a land mine.” National Research Council 2008, Emerging Cognitive Neuroscience and Related Techniques

20 Building a “culture of responsibility” within the life science community “If measures to prevent the hostile use of advances in the life sciences are to work, a culture of responsibility is necessary among individual life scientists. This applies whether these scientists are working in industry, academia, health, defence or in related fields such as engineering and information technology. Such a culture of responsibility is also needed within the institutions that employ scientists and fund research in the life sciences.” Preventing hostile use of the life sciences, International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) 2004

21 A Hippocratic oath for scientists Joseph Rotblat: physicist, 1995 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate “The time has come to formulate guidelines for the ethical conduct of scientists, perhaps in the form of a voluntary Hippocratic Oath. This would be particularly valuable for young scientists when they embark on a scientific career… “ “At a time when science plays such a powerful role in the life of society, when the destiny of the whole of mankind may hinge on the results of scientific research, it is incumbent on all scientists to be fully conscious of that role, and conduct themselves accordingly. I appeal to my fellow scientists to remember their responsibility to humanity.”

22 Pledge by Neuroscientists to Refuse to Participate in the Application of Neuroscience to Violations of Basic Human Rights or International Law. – Prof Curtis Bell, We are Neuroscientists who desire that our work be used to enhance human life rather than to diminish it. We are concerned with the possible use of Neuroscience for purposes that violate fundamental human rights and international law. We seek to create a culture within the field of Neuroscience in which contributions to such uses are unacceptable. Thus, we oppose the application of Neuroscience to torture and other forms of coercive interrogation or manipulation that violate human rights and personhood. Such applications could include drugs that cause excessive pain, anxiety, or trust, and manipulations such as brain stimulation or inactivation. Thus, we also oppose the application of Neuroscience to aggressive war… As Neuroscientists we therefore pledge: a) To make ourselves aware of the potential applications of our own work and that of others to applications that violate basic human rights or international law such as torture and aggressive war. b) To refuse to knowingly participate in the application of Neuroscience to violations of basic human rights or international law.

23 Harvard Sussex Draft Convention

24 The AAAS Science and Human Rights Program (SHRP) works with scientists to "advance science and serve society" through human rights. The Program carries out its mission by: engaging individual scientists and scientific associations in human rights efforts; applying scientific tools and technologies to enhance human rights work; bringing human rights standards to the conduct of science; promoting the human right to enjoy the benefits of scientific progress. Protecting whistle-blowers


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