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Research Report

Setting a Standard For Stakeholdership: Industry Contribution To a Strengthened Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention

Edited by Jean Pascal Zanders
Copyright Date: Dec. 1, 2011
Pages: 49
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Table of Contents

  1. (pp. 11-16)
    Paul van den Ijssel

    The Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on Their Destruction, more commonly known as the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC), was opened for signature on 10 April 1972. Upon entering into force on 26 March 1975, it was the first treaty ever to ban completely a whole category of weapons. Together with the 1968 Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and the 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), the BTWC forms one of the pillars through which the international community deals with weapons of mass destruction.

    These treaties all entail several obligations....

  2. (pp. 17-24)
    Ursula Jenal and Philippe Stroot

    Biosafety, biosecurity and biorisk management aim at protecting the human community and the environment by promoting and implementing measures for the safe and secure use of hazardous or potentially hazardous biological materials. In this context, biosafety professionals play a key role in the management of biological risks in their organisations, as well as in the transfer of knowledge to other institutions and countries.

    The terms ‘biosafety’ and ‘biosecurity’ are used in accordance with the Laboratory Biosafety Manual and the Laboratory Biosecurity Guidance published by the World Health Organisation (WHO).² Biosafety refers to biological containment measures, operational procedures and management practices...

  3. (pp. 25-32)
    Gary Burns and Toon De Kesel

    A key objective of the Biological and Toxins Weapons Convention (BTWC) is to prevent biological weapon (BW) proliferation. Attempts to introduce verification tools and procedures have failed thus far and future success appears as remote as ever. States Parties have meanwhile started up new processes to increase compliance assurance. In particular, they are required to annually submit a variety of information on certain activities, including, for example, data concerning national vaccine production facilities. Collectively, these requirements are referred to as Confidence Building Measures (CBMs). While CBMs generate information, their contribution to compliance assurance has proved to be limited. Relatively few...

  4. (pp. 33-38)
    Frank Meeussen and Dirk Dons

    Article IV of the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC) commits States Parties to ‘take any necessary measures to prohibit and prevent the development, production, stockpiling, acquisition, or retention of the agents, toxins, weapons, equipment and means of delivery specified in Article I of the Convention, within the territory of such State, under its jurisdiction or under its control anywhere’. Governments of States Parties are thus required to develop and enforce relevant national legislative, regulatory and oversight measures. Through the process of intersessional meetings increased attention has been given to the matter on the regional and global levels. Moreover, the...

  5. (pp. 39-47)
    Jean Pascal Zanders

    The contributions in this Egmont Paper illustrate how the life sciences industry through modest adaptation of existing biorisk management practices and procedures can contribute to transparency and compliance assurance required to maintain a robust regime against biological weapons (BW). Systematic involvement of industry representatives, whether through interaction with national governments or through participation in the multilateral discussions to assess the operation of the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC) and design and strengthen treaty compliance mechanisms, would add a new dynamic dimension to current efforts to strengthen the treaty. It would also fit in the present trends towards multi-stakeholdership in...