Monday, December 28, 2015

Biological Weapons Convention

By Anton Antonio
December 29, 2015

Biological weapons (often termed “bioweapons”, “biological threat agents”, or “bio-agents”) are living organism or replicating entities (therefore, viruses, which are not universally considered “alive”) that reproduce or replicate within their host victims.

“The Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (biological) and Toxin Weapons and on their Destruction (usually referred to as the Biological Weapons Convention, abbreviation: BWC, or Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention, abbreviation: BTWC) was the first multilateral disarmament treaty banning the production of an entire category of weapons.  The Convention was the result of prolonged efforts by the international community to establish a new instrument that would supplement the 1925 Geneva Protocol.  The Geneva Protocol prohibits use but not possession or development of chemical and biological weapons.  A draft of the BWC, submitted by the British was opened for signature on 10 April 1972 and entered into force 26 March 1975 when 22 governments had deposited their instruments of ratification.  It commits the 173 states which are party to it as a December 2014 to prohibit the development, production, and stockpiling of biological and toxin weapons.  However, the absence of any formal verification regime to monitor compliance has limited the effectiveness of the Convention.  An additional nine states have signed the BWC but have yet to ratify the treaty.  The scope of the BWC’s prohibition is defines in Article 1 (the so-called general purpose criterion).  This includes all microbial and other biological agents or toxins and their means of delivery (with exceptions for medical and defensive purposes in small quantities).  Subsequent Review Conferences have reaffirmed that the general purpose criterion encompasses all future scientific and technological developments relevant to the Convention.  It is not the objects themselves (biological agents or toxins), but rather certain purposes for which they may be employed which are prohibited.” (Wikipedia)

There are several international agreements --- that are aimed at mitigating the effects of global warming and climate change… and, in this case, an agreement that prohibits both the possession and development of chemical and biological weapons --- have already been passed and agreed upon by a majority of participating countries.  The next set of blogs/articles will be devoted to these international accords to increase the level of awareness on their history, aims and objectives.  One such international accord is the Biological Weapons Convention.

Thoughts to promote positive action…

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Wikipedia, (2015).  “Biological Weapons Convention”.  Retrieved on December 29, 2015 from

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