MOSCOW, March 26. /TASS/. Signatories to the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on their Destruction (usually referred to as the Biological Weapons Convention) should undertake collective measures to tackle challenges the convention is facing, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement marking the 45th anniversary since the convention entered into force.
“The Russian Federation, being an initial founder of the convention and its depositary, attaches a great deal of significance to the BWC’s universalization and improvement of compliance with it. The BWC today requires urgent institutional and practical strengthening,” the ministry emphasized. “We are earnestly calling on the member states to take collective measures to combat legal, financial, technical and other challenges that the convention continues to face.”
The diplomatic agency pointed out that to this end member states need to concentrate their efforts on achieving significant results and solutions at the upcoming ninth BWC review conference scheduled for 2021.
The ministry underscored that Russia had put forward a number of specific initiatives – revival of works to sign a legally-binding protocol to the convention with an effective verification mechanism, creation of a mobile medical and biological units as well as a scientific consultative committee in the convention’s framework and also improvement of the existing confidence-building measures.
“We believe that only decisions agreed multilaterally and adopted by consensus between member states can guarantee that the convention is observed and threat or use of biological weapons is restrained,” the agency said.
The ministry then noted that the BWC has been one of the pillars of the disarmament in international security since 1975. The convention was the first international treaty that outlawed a whole category of weapons of mass destruction. Currently, the convention unites 183 countries. Russia, the United States and the United Kingdom are its depositaries.