Biological weapons convention to be held this week

The 2010 Meeting of States Parties to the Biological Weapons Convention will be held this week at the United Nations Office in Geneva.

The meeting will be chaired by Ambassador Pedro Oyarce of Chile and is expected to develop and further the work of the Meeting of Experts that was held in Geneva in August 2010, according to

Oyarce called the meeting, “An important opportunity to further the main themes that emerged from the Meeting of Expert: the crucial importance of a coordinated and cross-sector response to an alleged use of biological weapons, and the need to build national capacities in order to provide such a response,” reports.

The chairman also said that the improvement of national capabilities to respond to the use of biological weapons not only directly supports the convention’s security objectives, but also promotes the development of biological sciences and technologies that are peaceful in nature.

The meeting will also directly address proposals made at the Meeting of Experts, including the development of training courses, simulation exercises and joint partnerships; the encouragement of cross-sector cooperation between law enforcement and public health agencies; the necessity of assistance for state parties in the implementation of the BWC; and the enhancement of international cooperation, reports.