Biological weapons

Biological Weapons Convention

The “Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on their destruction” was the first treaty of multilateral disarmament banning an entire category of weapons. The Convention opened for signature on April 10th  1972,  and entered into force on March 26th 1975.

Besides including provisions on the prohibition of microbial agents and toxins (with some exceptions) and their vector system, The Convention stipulates that the peaceful uses of biological science and technology are to be protected and encouraged.

The Convention lacks a formal verification system, which has limited its development and implementation. Nevertheless, since 1987, it has a confidence-building measures exchange system. States Parties have focused their efforts since the adoption of these measures mostly on the national level implementation level as a way to implement and strengthen this instrument.

The Sixth Review Conference of The Convention, held in 2006, established the Implementation Support Unit for the Convention,  to assist States in implementing the Convention, facilitate communication with relevant organisations and coordinate the requests and offers of assistance. The next Review Conference of this international instrument will take place in 2016.

Colombia and the Biological Weapons Convention

By Law 10 of 1980, incorporating the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on their Destruction to the national laws; and with the deposit of the ratification instrument on December 19, 1983, Colombia became a State Party to it.

Since 2011, Colombia has submitted the National Report on Confidence-building Measures, provided within the framework of the Convention. These, allow both for monitoring the implementation of the Convention at national level, and promoting interagency cooperation.

Colombia established in 2013 an Informal Working Group to consider ways to constitute a National Authority responsible for the Implementation of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on their Destruction.

Acting within the cooperation framework, established by the Joint Action Programme of the European Union, Colombia has convened several events gathering the different government agencies, sectors of the pharmaceutical and agricultural industries, as well as research centers, laboratories and universities that manipulate biological agents, in order to create awareness on the role and responsibilities of different actors in the implementation of this international instrument.

 

PDF: (Spanish) Statement by Colombia at Meeting of Experts on the BWC 4/08/14
PDF: (Spanish) Statement by Colombia at the Meeting of States Parties to the BWC 1/12/14
PDF: (Spanish) Statement by Colombia on National Implementation of the BWC 3/12/14

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