Negotiators open month-long talks on protocol to bio-weapons treaty
The meeting of the Ad Hoc Group of States Parties to the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on their Destruction aims to finalize a verification protocol to the treaty.
The Group is mandated to complete negotiations on the protocol "as soon as possible" before the Convention's next Review Conference, which is scheduled to take place from 19 November to 7 December.
The Biological Weapons Convention was the first treaty in history to ban an entire category of weapons of mass destruction. It opened for signature on 10 April 1972 and came into force on 26 March 1975, after 22 governments ratified it. Currently, under the treaty, 143 States have committed themselves not to develop, produce or possess biological and toxic weapons.