India comments on BWC at Meeting of Experts

Venkatesh Varma, India's representative to the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC), delivered remarks on Aug. 4 at the United Nations Meeting of Experts.

Varma said that India associates itself with the Non-Aligned Movement in regards to the BWC and is committed to the implementation and effectiveness of the Convention.

"India attached high importance to the BWC as the first disarmament treaty banning an entire class of weapons of mass destruction," Varma said.

The representative said that universal implementation of the BWC, and a multilateral mechanism for verification, is necessary for the success of the agreement.

Varma also said that it was important to balance the risks of scientific research with the benefits.

"The measures taken to mitigate biological risks should be proportional to the assessed risk and not hamper legitimate peaceful activities including international cooperation," Varma said. "Further, there should be no hindrance to peaceful activities such as vaccine development, which are important for developing countries to meet their public health needs."

Varma said that national implementation of the BWC should be a high priority for countries, and that India has a broad regulatory framework to prevent the misuse of biological science and technology.

The U.N. meeting of experts concluded on Aug. 8.