U.N. calls for development of bioweapons monitors

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon recently called for the development of a structured and regular means of monitoring developments in science and technology in order to help achieve global biological weapons disarmament and increase international security.

“While much is being done to promote assistance and cooperation for the peaceful uses of biological science and technology, more could still be done to improve coordination and communication,” Ban said in an address to the meeting of the state parties to the Biological Weapons Convention, UN.org reports.

The meeting of the state parties to the Biological Weapons Convention, currently underway in Geneva, will examine various proposals aimed at strengthening the BWC and facilitating its full implementation.

In a further message, delivered by Sergei Ordzhonikidze, the director-general of the U.N. Office at Geneva, Ban said that it was critical to face the challenge of universal membership of the convention, according to UN.org.

“Thirteen states have signed the convention without ratifying it, and 19 states have yet to sign it at all," Ban said. "I call on those states that have not done so to sign and ratify the convention without further delay."

Ban encouraged the attending countries to continue to work and prepare practical proposals for the upcoming Seventh Review Conference. He assured the attendees that they would have the U.N.’s unwavering support.

The meeting of the states parties, held every four years, is part of a program mandated by the Sixth Review Conference, held in 2006, for the purpose of improving the convention as a practical barrier against the development of biological weapons.