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International Efforts to Mitigate Biological Threats

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Presentation on theme: "International Efforts to Mitigate Biological Threats"— Presentation transcript:

1 International Efforts to Mitigate Biological Threats
Richard Lennane Head, BWC Implementation Support Unit United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs (Geneva Branch) BWC IMPLEMENTATION SUPPORT UNIT UNITED NATIONS OFFICE FOR DISARMAMENT AFFAIRS ASEAN Regional Forum Workshop on Biological Threat Reduction Manila, June 2009

2 International response to the BW threat
1925 Geneva Protocol Prohibits use of CW and BW in warfare 1972 Biological Weapons Convention Prohibits development, production, stockpiling, acquisition, retention or transfer of BW 2004 UN Security Council Resolution 1540 Requires all states to take measures to prevent WMD (including BW) terrorism ASEAN Regional Forum Workshop on Biological Threat Reduction Manila, June 2009

3 BWC facts and figures Opened for signature in 1972; entered into force in 1975 Current membership: 163 States Parties 13 signatories 19 states neither signed nor ratified No BWC organisation or implementing body (in contrast to CWC/OPCW, NPT/IAEA, CTBT/CTBTO) Implementation Support Unit is new development No verification mechanism (cf. CWC, CTBT) ASEAN Regional Forum Workshop on Biological Threat Reduction Manila, June 2009

4 BWC: key provisions Article I Never under any circumstances to acquire or retain biological weapons Article II To destroy or divert to peaceful purposes biological weapons and associated resources prior to joining Article III Not to transfer, or in any way assist, encourage or induce anyone else to acquire or retain biological weapons Article IV To take any national measures necessary to implement the provisions of the BWC domestically Article V To consult bilaterally and multilaterally to solve any problems with the implementation of the BWC Article VI To request the UN Security Council to investigate alleged breaches of the BWC and to comply with its subsequent decisions Article VII To assist States which have been exposed to a danger as a result of a violation of the BWC Article X To do all of the above in a way that encourages the peaceful uses of biological science and technology ASEAN Regional Forum Workshop on Biological Threat Reduction Manila, June 2009

5 Strengthening the BWC Review Conferences every five years (1980, 1986, 1991, 1996, 2001, 2006 – next one in 2011) Confidence-building Measures (CBMs) introduced 1986, expanded 1991 Attempt to negotiate protocol from Failure in 2001 sparks crisis, reorientation 2006 Review Conference consolidates new direction ASEAN Regional Forum Workshop on Biological Threat Reduction Manila, June 2009

6 Sixth Review Conference (2006)
Establishes Implementation Support Unit New intersessional work program Calls on BWC States Parties to: implement appropriate transfer measures, including effective national export controls take measures to ensure that relevant biological agents and toxins are protected and safeguarded promote the development of training and education programs for those working with relevant biological agents and toxins encourage development of codes of conduct and self-regulatory mechanisms, and promote awareness among relevant professionals of the need to report suspicious activities ASEAN Regional Forum Workshop on Biological Threat Reduction Manila, June 2009

7 New direction Focus on improving and coordinating national implementation of BWC Annual work programme deals with specific topics; exchange of technical expertise Range of different actors and organisations involved Implementation Support Unit coordinates activity Renewed focus on CBMs, universalization ASEAN Regional Forum Workshop on Biological Threat Reduction Manila, June 2009

8 The Spectrum of Biological Risk
WHO BWC Natural disease outbreak Deliberate use of BW Unintended consequences Accidents Vandalism, sabotage Negligence “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 ASEAN Regional Forum Workshop on Biological Threat Reduction Manila, June 2009

9 Biological threat reduction network
BWC WHO FAO OIE INTERPOL SCR 1540 Work Program ISU State State Professional associations Industry Scientific organisations ASEAN Regional Forum Workshop on Biological Threat Reduction Manila, June 2009

10 UNSCR Resolution 1540 Adopted 2004, renewed 1673 (2006) and 1810 (2008) imposes binding obligations on all States to establish domestic controls prevents proliferation of NCB weapons by establishing controls over related materials encourages enhanced international cooperation promotes universal adherence to WMD treaties Committee under UN Security Council Supported by group of experts Committee maintains database on implementation Committee acts as a clearing house for assistance ASEAN Regional Forum Workshop on Biological Threat Reduction Manila, June 2009

11 1540: formal links to BWC Affirms “support for the multilateral treaties whose aim is to eliminate or prevent the proliferation of nuclear, chemical or biological weapons and the importance for all States parties to these treaties to implement them fully in order to promote international stability” (pp 5) Welcomes the non-proliferation commitments and efforts made under these treaties, in particular in securing sensitive materials (pp 6 &11) Calls on states to promote the universal adoption and full implementation of the treaties (op 8) ASEAN Regional Forum Workshop on Biological Threat Reduction Manila, June 2009

12 BWC: formal links to 1540 Sixth RevCon (2006) recognized the “contribution of full and effective implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1540 by all states to assist in achieving the objectives of this Convention”. Final Declaration on BWC Art. IV (national implementation) also explicitly refers to Resolution 1540 notes that information provided by states in accordance with Resolution 1540 may provide a useful resource for fulfilling their Art. IV obligations ASEAN Regional Forum Workshop on Biological Threat Reduction Manila, June 2009

13 Implementing SCR 1540 Reporting Legislation and other measures
on steps taken and planned matrix for each state: analysis of requirements Legislation and other measures Implementing legislation for WMD treaties (incl. BWC) Measures for accountability and security of sensitive materials; border protection; export controls. Enforcement Onus on states: monitored by 1540 Committee Promotion of dialogue and cooperation among governmental agencies not traditionally in arms control Customs and law enforcement, eg, to improve border security ASEAN Regional Forum Workshop on Biological Threat Reduction Manila, June 2009

14 Assistance for 1540 implementation
Where Next Steps/Action Plans indicate assistance requirements, IGOs and States have assistance delivery programs: eg, for legislation, training and equipment. Regional organizations, eg, ASEAN, OSCE, OAS, CIS, can provide political support and forums for sharing experiences and lessons learned; some NGOs can deliver specific project assistance. 1540 Committee has clearing house role and can match requests/offers. Assistance Template available on website (www.un.org/sc/1540) to facilitate process. ASEAN Regional Forum Workshop on Biological Threat Reduction Manila, June 2009

15 Biological threat reduction network
BWC WHO FAO OIE INTERPOL SCR 1540 Work Program ISU State State Professional associations Industry Scientific organisations ASEAN Regional Forum Workshop on Biological Threat Reduction Manila, June 2009

16 BWC intersessional work program
Mandate to “discuss, and promote common understanding and effective action on” specific topics related to better implementation of the BWC Runs from 2007 to 2010 (7th RevCon in 2011) Two meetings each year: Meeting of Experts mid-year; Meeting of States Parties in December Wide range of participants: objective is sharing information and experience, identifying best practices, improving effectiveness of the BWC ASEAN Regional Forum Workshop on Biological Threat Reduction Manila, June 2009

17 BWC intersessional work program
BIOSAFETY & BIOSECURITY OVERSIGHT, EDUCATION & OUTREACH RESPONSE TO USE OR THREAT OF USE 2007 2008 2009 2010 NATIONAL IMPLEMENTATION REGIONAL ACTIVITIES CAPACITY BUILDING FOR DISEASE SURVEILLANCE, DETECTION, DIAGNOSIS, AND CONTAINMENT ASEAN Regional Forum Workshop on Biological Threat Reduction Manila, June 2009

18 2008: common understandings: biosafety/biosecurity
COMPONENTS TOOLS CHARACTERISTICS ASSISTANCE NEEDED Developing national biosafety and biosecurity frameworks Defining the role of different national agencies and bodies Building national, regional and international networks of relevant stakeholders Taking better advantage of assistance already available Improving bilateral, regional and international cooperation to build relevant capacity Enhancing the role played by the ISU Accreditation Certification Audit or licensing for facilities, organisations or individuals Training requirements for staff members Mechanisms to check qualifications, expertise and training National criteria for relevant activities National lists of relevant agents, equipment and other resources Measures should: Be practical Be sustainable Be enforceable Be readily understood Be developed with stakeholders Avoid unduly restricting peaceful use Be adapted for local needs Be appropriate for agents being handled Be suitable for work being undertaken Make use of risk assessment, management and communication approaches To enact and improve relevant legislation To strengthen laboratory infrastructure, technology, security and management To conduct courses and provide training To help incorporate biosafety and biosecurity into existing efforts to address disease ASEAN Regional Forum Workshop on Biological Threat Reduction Manila, June 2009

19 2008: common understandings: oversight/awareness
OVERSIGHT CHARACTERISTICS EDUCATION & AWARENESS RAISING COMPONENTS NEXT STEPS FOR CODES OF CONDUCT Develop national oversight frameworks: To prevent agents and toxins being used as weapons To oversee relevant people, materials, knowledge and information To oversee the entire scientific life cycle To cover private & public sectors That are proportional to risk That avoid unnecessary burdens That are practical and usable That do not unduly restrict permitted activities With the involvement of stakeholders in all stages of design and implementation That can be harmonised regionally and internationally Formal requirements for seminars, modules or courses in relevant scientific education and training programmes that: Explain the risks associated with the malign use of biology Cover moral & ethical obligations Provide guidance on the types of activities which could be prohibited Are supported by accessible teaching materials, seminars, workshops, publications and audio-visual materials Address leading scientists, managers and future generations of scientists Can be integrated into existing national, regional and international efforts Complement national legislative, regulatory and oversight frameworks Help guide science so it is not used for prohibited purposes Further develop strategies to encourage voluntary adoption of codes ASEAN Regional Forum Workshop on Biological Threat Reduction Manila, June 2009

20 BWC intersessional program 2009
Two meetings in Geneva: Meeting of Experts, August 2009 Meeting of States Parties, 7-11 December 2009 Topic: “promoting capacity building in the fields of disease surveillance, detection, diagnosis, and containment of infectious diseases” ASEAN Regional Forum Workshop on Biological Threat Reduction Manila, June 2009

21 The Implementation Support Unit (ISU)
“Help States Parties help themselves” Officially operational in August 2007 Housed in Geneva Branch of UN Office for Disarmament Affairs Funded by BWC States Parties Three full-time staff To be reviewed by Seventh Review Conference in 2011 ASEAN Regional Forum Workshop on Biological Threat Reduction Manila, June 2009

22 Mandate of the ISU Provide administrative support for BWC meetings
Facilitate communication among States Parties and with relevant organizations Support national implementation efforts Act as clearing-house for offers of and requests for assistance Administer confidence-building measures (CBMs) Support universalization activities Support implementation of decisions and recommendations of Sixth Review Conference ASEAN Regional Forum Workshop on Biological Threat Reduction Manila, June 2009

23 ISU resources Website: http://www.unog.ch/bwc
includes restricted area for States Parties official and informal documents, useful links National Implementation Database over 2000 measures from 116 States Parties Confidence-building measures (CBMs) online forms in six languages tips and advice on participation, sample submissions submitted CBMs available in restricted area ASEAN Regional Forum Workshop on Biological Threat Reduction Manila, June 2009

24 Types of assistance National implementation
Drafting legislation and regulations Designing administrative systems Training and capacity-building Confidence-building measures (CBMs) Advice and “coaching” On-site assistance to prepare first submission Participation in intersessional process Travel to Geneva for expert meetings Anything else related to improving implementation of the Convention… ASEAN Regional Forum Workshop on Biological Threat Reduction Manila, June 2009

25 Biological threat reduction network
BWC WHO FAO OIE INTERPOL SCR 1540 Work Program ISU State State Professional associations Industry Scientific organisations ASEAN Regional Forum Workshop on Biological Threat Reduction Manila, June 2009

26 A shared responsibility
“Governments alone cannot confront the risks posed by biological weapons ... to manage the full spectrum of biological risks, you need a cohesive, coordinated network of activities and resources. Such a network will help to ensure that biological science and technology can be safely and securely developed for the benefit of all.” - Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations, 2008 ASEAN Regional Forum Workshop on Biological Threat Reduction Manila, June 2009

27 Further information: BWC Implementation Support Unit United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs (Geneva Branch) Room C.115, Palais des Nations Geneva tel: +41 (0) fax: +41 (0) web: ASEAN Regional Forum Workshop on Biological Threat Reduction Manila, June 2009


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