HSP seeks to
instil the traditions, practice and benefits of scholarship into
the formation of public policy on issues involving biological and
chemical weapons. University-based research and publication, other
forms of international communication, constructive association with
people in policy-shaping and policy-making circles, and training
of young people are the means HSP uses. In addition, HSP maintains
national and international frameworks for discourse, study and consensus-building
that bring together scientists and other scholars with officials
of governmental and intergovernmental bodies.
is the urgency of concerns raised by biological and chemical weapons
as potential instruments of terror, coercion and mass killing, whether
in the hands of warring nations or of non-state entities. HSP therefore
favours efforts to eliminate these weapons globally and to prevent
the hostile exploitation of biotechnology. It supports efforts to
maintain and enhance the moral, political and legal constraints
and prohibitions against the hostile use of disease. If the existing
norms against CBW were to fail, biological and chemical weapons
of the kinds developed during the years of East-West cold war could
furnish relatively simple means for the attack of people, animals
and crops over large areas. Even more menacing, in the longer term,
would be a world in which the dual-use nature of new biotechnology,
now advancing very rapidly, were exploited for those purposes.
programs are dedicating their efforts to ameliorating the possible
effects of biological or chemical attack should it happen, the emphasis
of HSP has been and remains maintaining and strengthening the constraints
against development and use of the weapons.
In order to
be effective, policies for such prevention must be based on a scientifically
sound understanding of the potentials and limitations of existing
and possible future weapons, recognising that political and social
contexts may either weaken or strengthen the constraints. The policies
must be fashioned so far as possible in a genuinely international
and co-operative manner; and they must be built on shared interests
in domestic and international stability across regional, national
and other divides. From policy-makers around the world, all of this
will demand clear and careful thought, well founded in historical
experience and sensitive to technological and political change.
This is what HSP seeks to promote.