SPRU - Science Policy Research Unit

EU Regional Workshop on the Eighth Review Conference of the Biological Weapons Convention

On 29 August Dr Caitriona McLeish participated in a two day EU South and South East Asia regional workshop on the Eighth Review Conference of the Biological Weapons Convention.

At the workshop, she gave a presentation on the topic of Article X of the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC). This article of the convention, which deals with international cooperation, has become increasingly divisive since the Convention entered into force in 1975. 

The New Delhi workshop is part of a series of measures intended to enable a comprehensive dialogue on issues to be considered at the upcoming Eighth Review Conference. Dr McLeish was the only European academic to be invited by the Government of India, the European Union and the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA) to the workshop, which was attended by the President-designate of the Eighth Biological Weapons Convention Review Conference, Ambassador György Molnár of Hungary, Ambassador Jacek Bylica, the European Union’s Principal Adviser and Special Envoy for Non-proliferation and Disarmament, as well as other government officials from South and South East Asia. The United Nations High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, Kim Won-soo, also attended and addressed the opening session of the workshop.

The workshop was held in New Delhi. India ratified the BWC in 1974 and is a member of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), a groupwith 120 member states from Africa, Asia and Latin America. The Biological Weapons Convention was the first multilateral disarmament treaty banning an entire category of weapons.

The topic of Article X is an on-going area of research within the Harvard Sussex Program on Chemical and Biological Weapons (HSP) with Dr McLeish and Dr Revill recently presenting their briefing paper on the topic at a side-event during the August Preparatory Committee for the Eighth Review Conference at the United Nations in Geneva

Dr McLeish is a Senior Research Fellow at SPRU and director at the Sussex end 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.