Biological Weapons and Toxins Convention expands fight

The Biological Weapons and Toxins Convention was originally designed to ban the development, stockpiling and use of biological weaponry, but has since expanded into spreading knowledge needed to effectively fight pandemics.

Discussions at the annual meeting of the BWC, held December 6-10 in Geneva, demonstrated an awareness on the part of signatories that fighting a diseases caused by a biological weapon, or one spread naturally, requires the same mechanisms and coordination among governments, health professionals and scientists, reports.

Laura Kennedy is the U.S. permanent representative to the Conference on Disarmament and U.S. special representative for Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention issues.

Kennedy led the U.S. delegation at the meeting and said that enhanced cooperation between states parties will benefit everyone when it comes to fighting a pandemic, even those without weapons programs or a fear of being targeted. She said the BWC aims to reach all countries, according to

"There's a whole spectrum of outbreaks of a disease that could be caused by deliberate, accidental or natural disease outbreaks,” Kennedy said, according to “And as we strengthen the mechanisms to deal with these challenges, we can have benefits across the board.

"When you build capacity, it is a powerful deterrence tool"

Speaking from Geneva, Kennedy said that the Obama administration is pleased to see cooperation growing between the security and health communities.

"This is an arms control regime...and the implementation has great benefits for every country around the world,” Kennedy said, according to