Strengthening the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention after COVID-19: reaching agreement on a code of conduct and biological security education at the 2021, 9th Review Conference

Shang, Lijun, Whitby, Simon and Dando, Malcolm (2022) Strengthening the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention after COVID-19: reaching agreement on a code of conduct and biological security education at the 2021, 9th Review Conference. In: The Coronavirus Pandemic and the Future: Virology, Epidemiology, Translational Toxicology and Therapeutics. Royal Society of Chemistry, pp. 554-567. ISBN 9781839166785

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Abstract / Description

Following the failure of the 2016 8th Five-­Year Review Conference of the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC) to agree anything other than to meet again at the end of 2017, the 4th Intersessional Process leading up to the 2021 9th Review Conference was rescued by a joint proposal by the three depositary states - the Russian Federation, the UK and the USA. This allowed the 2017 meeting to agree that meetings of experts and meetings of states parties (states who sign to the Convention) would take place in 2018, 2019 and 2020 in order to develop proposals that could be brought to the 9th Review Conference in 2021. Then, however, because of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, the final stages of this process became compressed with the 2020 meeting of experts scheduled for the end of the year rather than in the summer, the 2020 meeting of states parties moved to April 2021 and combined with the first session of the meeting of the preparatory committee for the review conference, and the preparatory committee scheduled to meet again in the summer of 2021 before the Review Conference at the end of the year.

Nevertheless, it might be expected that after the pandemic, health security, including biological security, would be a political priority across the world, but the long history of difficulties in agreeing measures to develop the BTWC suggests that such progress may well not be possible without a concerted effort by states parties and civil society. With that caution in mind, this chapter describes and analyses one of the most likely means by which the BTWC could be strengthened at the 9th Review Conference, namely: agreement of an international aspirational code of conduct supported by mandatory biological security education for life and associated scientists.

Item Type: Book Section
Uncontrolled Keywords: SARS-Cov-2 (COVID-19); Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC); biological security education; code of conduct
Subjects: 300 Social sciences > 320 Political science
300 Social sciences > 370 Education
500 Natural Sciences and Mathematics > 570 Life sciences; biology
Department: School of Human Sciences
Depositing User: Lijun Shang
Date Deposited: 05 Apr 2022 10:04
Last Modified: 05 Apr 2022 10:04
URI: http://repository.londonmet.ac.uk/id/eprint/7374

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