SPRU - Science Policy Research Unit

Preparing for next review of the Biological Weapons Convention

On 27 June Dr Caitríona McLeish participated in a one day ‘Introductory workshop on the 8th Review Conference of the Biological Weapons Convention’. The meeting was held in Geneva and co-hosted by the Biological Weapons Convention’s Implementation Support Unit, International Law and Policy Institute and Geneva Centre for Security Policy.

At the workshop, Dr McLeish gave a presentation on biological weapons under international law. This is an ongoing area of research within the Harvard Sussex Program on Chemical and Biological Weapons (HSP) and also connected with a current HSP project on the history of the Biological Weapons Convention. Dr McLeish was one of two academics speaking at the meeting which ended with a discussion on strategies for taking forward the Biological Weapons Convention led by Ambassador Michael Biontino of Germany and Ambassador Venkatesh Varma of India.

Dr McLeish is a Senior Research Fellow at SPRU and director of the Sussex component of HSP, an inter-university collaboration for research, communication and training in support of informed public policy towards chemical and biological weapons. The Program links research groups at Harvard University in the United States and the University of Sussex in the United Kingdom. It began formally in 1990, building on two decades of earlier collaboration between its co-directors.

Dr McLeish’s recent work has included co-organising a one-day international workshop at University College London (UCL) to explore the role that history has had, or could have, for arms control and security. This workshop was the last in a series of events associated with the AHRC-funded project ‘Understanding Biological Disarmament: The Historical Context of the Biological Weapons Convention’, for which Dr McLeish is the Co-Investigator.

The workshop was aimed at supporting newly arrived delegates from Permanent Missions who deal with BWC-matters in becoming more familiar with the processes and structures, as well as the main issues for discussion, so as to maximise their participation at November's BWC Review Conference.


Further information

Read more about the Biological Weapons Convention on the United Nations Office at Geneva website

Read about the Harvard Sussex Program on Chemical and Biological Weapons (HSP)

Read a news story on the recent 'History, Security and Arms Control' workshop