ICRC calls for full entry into force of Biological Weapons Convention

International Committee of the Red Cross made a statement Friday at the Meeting of the States Parties to the Biological Weapons Convention, calling for the full entry into force of the treaty.

The ICRC statement to the States Parties of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of the Bacteriological and Toxin Weapons and on their Destruction called for accession into the convention to help eliminate the threat of medical tools being used as biological weapons.

"There are real risks of new biotechnologies - including synthetic biology - being misused; they underscore the need to achieve universal adherence to and implementation of the Biological Weapons Convention," an ICRC spokesperson said.

Cameroon, Nauru, Guyana and Malawi recently acceded to the treaty. The ICRC congratulated the countries on making this decision, but also called for all remaining 26 States who have not yet ratified or acceded to the treaty to do so.

"There can be no justification for any State to remain outside a treaty that aims 'for the sake of all mankind, to exclude completely the possibility of biological agents and toxins being used as weapons,'" an ICRC spokesperson said.

The ICRC asked that all States Parties advocate for the prohibition of biological weapons by developing sound preventative strategies that meet the developing threats of novel scientific technology.