Iran delivers opening statement at U.N. Meeting of Experts

The delegation from Iran gave its opening remarks regarding the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) at the United Nations Meeting of Experts on Monday on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM)

The meeting, which began on Monday, runs through Aug. 8 in Geneva.

The Iranian delegation said that while the NAM fully supports the implementation of the BWC, the Convention should not interfere with peaceful pursuits that could advance life-saving technology.

"Developing countries, in particular, could benefit from advances in technologies that make vaccine production simpler, faster, cheaper and more efficient," the delegation said.

The delegation also urged countries to sign the BWC that have not already, calling universality a high priority.

"In this context we emphasize the need for states that are not signatories to the Convention to display political will by joining the BWC," the Iranian delegation said. "We call upon non parties, particularly those with advanced biotechnology, to accede to the Convention without further delay."

Only 16 U.N. member states have not signed or ratified the BWS. Another 10 states have ratified but not signed the Convention.

The Meeting of Experts in Geneva included statements and presentations on a wide range of topics, including an emergency World Health Organization meeting on Wednesday regarding the ongoing ebola virus outbreak in West Africa.