Bio-Technology Prospects for Governance through Arms Control
is about the role of arms control in the governance of dual-use
technology. It assesses this role by looking at one type of dual-use
technology - bio-technology - and two arms control and disarmament
treaties - the 1972 Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) and the
1993 Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC). It aims at understanding
whether governance of dual-use technologies is possible through
an arms control regime, a multilateral tool of governance, and hence
preferable to unilateral governance tools.
is important for at least two reasons: first, despite the rejection
of the BWC Protocol, there is still a need to strengthen the BWC.
This study suggests measures that would tend towards such a purpose.
Secondly, it furthers our understanding of dual-use technologies
and of their control. This research first examines whether it is
possible to identify a set of 'critical' dual-use bio-technologies
for a governance system to focus on. It then analyses what lessons
can be learned from the current technology control of dual-use chemicals
for the governance of dual-use bio-technologies, and examines two
systems of governance - the Australia Group and the CWC - with a
special emphasis on the latter.
explores the role the CWC may have in the governance of dual-use
bio-technologies and shows how dual-use bio-technologies may be
controlled by the CWC and BWC General Purpose Criterion (GPC) -
a special tool upon which the CWC and the BWC are both rooted. This
research shows that given the difficulty of identifying 'critical'
dual-use bio-technology and the experience of controlling chemical
dual-use technologies, arms control will not be good at controlling
dual-use bio-technologies unless there is full implementation of
the GPC. This would be achieved by involving three sectors (the
public, private and civil sectors), particularly with the participation
of civil society.