SPRU - Science Policy Research Unit

UNSGM Designated Laboratories workshop on investigating biological weapons analysis

Dr James Revill served as Rapporteur at the second United Nations Secretary‐General’s Mechanism (UNSGM) Designated Laboratories workshop in Spiez, Switzerland, on 22 – 24 June 2016. The meeting, which was hosted by Spiez Laboratory, brought together experts from laboratories, policy making and other relevant government offices to address a number of questions related to the UNSGM designated laboratories.

Dr James Revill is a Research Fellow at SPRU. His research interests focus on the evolution of the biological weapons treaty regime, especially analysis of the ‘Inter-sessional Process’,  the interplay between science and security and awareness raising efforts amongst life scientists. His recent work has included presenting at both an EU Eastern European regional workshop on the Eighth Review Conference of the Biological Weapons Convention (Kazakhstan) and the 12th International Symposium on Protection against Chemical and Biological Warfare Agents (Stockholm).

During the workshop, participants will introduce and discuss a range of topics, with the aim of clarifying the following questions:

  • What would be considered an unambiguous identification by an off‐site analysis laboratory in the context of a UNSGM fact‐finding mission?
  • What would a mandate look like and how can it be fulfilled by an off‐site analysis laboratory?
  • What would be contained in a report from an off‐site analysis laboratory in order to meet full scientific and political acceptance?

This series of expert workshops aims to discuss the necessary steps to establish a functional laboratory network for investigations of alleged use of biological weapons conducted under the UNSGM. The second workshop follows from the first in the series, which took place in November 2015 and discussed the tasks of designated laboratories in investigating alleged use of biological weapons.

A summary report of the workshop will be made available later this year.


Further information:

Read the second UNSGM Designated Laboratories workshop overview.

Read the report from the first UNSGM Designated Laboratories workshop (November 2015).

See other recent news stories on Dr James Revill’s work:

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

The adoption of chemical and biological weapons by non-state actors