U.S. says BWC must adapt to changing realities

During a recent review conference on the Biological Weapons Convention, the United States representative said that the world must adapt to the changing nature of the threat posed by biological weapons.

Laura Kennedy, the Obama administration's special representative for BWC issues, called the recent Seventh Review Conference challenging because not every party was ready to seize the opportunity to do something new, and those that were could not agree on what that should be.

"But it is in the nature of things that multilateral discussions on important issues are complex; that there are competing views; that dialogue and understanding are important; and that change may only occur through gradual processes," Kennedy said. "So while the Review Conference did not achieve everything my government certainly hoped it would, we are satisfied with the outcome, and believe the stage is set for enhancing the important work of this forum."

Kennedy said that U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who led the U.S. delegation to the review conference, said that it was important to build cooperation and trust between the states parties. She also urged member states to implement measures to combat the proliferation of potentially dangerous technologies and said the states parties should be ready to aid one another in responding to outbreaks of infectious diseases.