BWC experts meet in Geneva

The 2012 Biological Weapons Convention Meeting of Experts began on Monday in Geneva and will run through Friday at the United Nations office.

The meeting is the first part of a four year program that was made compulsory by the BWC's seventh review conference in December. The program is meant to improve the convention's effectiveness as a barrier against the development and use of biological weapons. The BWC prohibits stockpiling, producing and developing toxic and biological weapons.

Subjects to be discussed at the meeting include international cooperation and assistance, a review of technological and scientific advances in fields related to the BWC, methods for strengthening national implementation of the convention and the enhancement of participation in confidence building methods.

Boujemaa Delmi, an ambassador from Algeria, is the chairman of the meeting.

"I am confident that we will be able to convert the decisions of the seventh review conference into a renewed and revitalized intersessional program that makes a genuine contribution to reducing the risks posed to global security by biological weapons," Delmi said.

Other organizations participating in the meeting include the International Committee of the Red Cross, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, INTERPOL, the World Organization for Animal Health, the Food and Agriculture Organization and the World Health Organization.