African Union calls for universal BWC acceptance

In recognition of the 40th anniversary of the Biological Weapons Convention (BCW), The African Union urged member states that have not done so to sign and ratify the convention on Thursday.

Nations that sign the convention pledge against the development, research and proliferation of biological agents for use in war or terror. It also stipulates the allowance of the development of these agents for peaceful uses such as medical and vaccine developments.
  
African Union Commission Chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma said that those countries that implement convention measure have been able to incorporate the BWC into strengthening their public health systems overall. Specific areas she named include bio-safety, training and capacity building.
   
The current outbreak of Ebola virus disease in West Africa has shown the devastation biological agents can cause when they occur naturally and what impact it has on not only public health but on national and regional economies and security.
  
The World Health Organization and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Saturday the number of confirmed Ebola cases in Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia reached 25,030 and of those nearly 10,400 have died.
   
The union continues to pledge its support to all member states that adopt and follow the stipulations provided in the BWC.

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