China's Amb. calls on certain state party to stop blocking BWC negotiations

China Military Online
Li Jiayao
2019-12-05 18:33:27
The 2019 Meeting of States Parties to Biological Weapons Convention

By Yang Tiehu

GENEVA, Dec.5 (ChinaMil) -- The 2019 Meeting of States Parties to Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) kicked off on December 3 at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland. H.E. Li Song, China’s Ambassador for Disarmament Affairs, led a delegation to the meeting.

Amb. Li Song said at the meeting that a certain State Party is exclusively blocking the negotiation of a protocol that comprehensively enhances the effectiveness of the convention, while at the same time pointing fingers at other countries' compliance of the Convention.

He pointed out that 2019 is a crucial year for the intersessional process. At the expert meeting in August this year, countries held in-depth discussions on issues such as scientific and technological development, cooperation and assistance, national compliance, and the BWC mechanism. Many experiences and practices are worth learning from, and many measures and initiatives are worth promoting.

On the other hand, however, there were very few results although the meeting was halfway through. In particular, on the core issues of formulating a legally binding verification protocol, certain State Party was evading the subject, and obstructing the negotiation of the protocol while dictating their orders of other countries’ compliance, said Li.

China hopes that all parties will take the opportunity of the Meeting of States Parties to fully demonstrate their sincerity and flexibility, strive to find consensus, and promote the intersessional process and the Ninth Review Conference in 2021 to achieve positive results. China supports any efforts that contribute to the above process, said Amb. Li.

As the first international treaty to completely ban a whole class of weapons (i.e. biological weapons), the BWC was reached in 1972 and entered into force in 1975. Currently, it has 183 States Parties. BWC gives States Parties the right to peaceful use of biotechnology, and provides for international cooperation in this regard. In December 2015, China proposed two major initiatives under the BWC—the establishment of a “Biological Non-Proliferation Export Control and International Cooperation Regime” and the development of a “Model Code of Conduct for Bio-scientists”.

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