After COVID-19: time to agree a biosecurity code of conduct under the biological and toxin weapons convention (book chapter)

Whitby, Simon, Tang, Cheng, Shang, Lijun and Dando, Malcolm (2020) After COVID-19: time to agree a biosecurity code of conduct under the biological and toxin weapons convention (book chapter). In: COVID-19 analysing the threat. Pentagon Press, New Dehli, pp. 361-379. ISBN 978-93-90095-07-0

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Abstract / Description

Largely out of sight of most people, States Parties to the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC) have been meeting at the United Nations in Geneva over the last two decades trying to find ways to strengthen the Convention following the failure to agree on a Protocol during the 1990s. Given the application of developments in science in the major offensive military biological warfare programmes of the Twentieth Century, where viruses, toxins, bacteria and fungi had been weaponised, one major concern for the States has been the impact of rapid advances in the life sciences on the potential ease with which novel and very dangerous biological and toxin weapons could be developed by States, Non-State Actors, or even individuals. The devastating COVID-19 disease outbreak in early 2020 is likely to cause a major rethink about the dangers of natural, accidental and deliberate disease outbreaks in humans, animals and plants when the outbreak is eventually brought under control. As part of that rethink, it should be possible now, 45 years after the Convention entered into force, to bring the protracted discussions on a Code of Conduct under the Convention to a successful conclusion at the 2021 9th Five-Year Review Conference of the BTWC. This would make a major contribution to the prevention of further such outbreaks by engaging life scientists effectively for the first time in support of the prohibition of biological weapons that are embodied in the BTWC.

Item Type: Book Section
Uncontrolled Keywords: Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC); COVID-19; Corona virus; biosecurity code of conduct
Subjects: 300 Social sciences > 320 Political science
500 Natural Sciences and Mathematics > 540 Chemistry & allied sciences
500 Natural Sciences and Mathematics > 570 Life sciences; biology
Department: School of Human Sciences
Depositing User: Lijun Shang
Date Deposited: 18 Aug 2020 08:20
Last Modified: 14 Sep 2020 14:26
URI: http://repository.londonmet.ac.uk/id/eprint/5996

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