SECRETARY-GENERAL SAYS BIOLOGICAL WEAPONS CONVENTION HAS MADE IMPORTANT CONTRIBUTION TO EFFORTS TO ELIMINATE WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION

26 March 2000
SG/SM/7341

SECRETARY-GENERAL SAYS BIOLOGICAL WEAPONS CONVENTION HAS MADE IMPORTANT CONTRIBUTION TO EFFORTS TO ELIMINATE WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION

26 March 2000

Press ReleaseSG/SM/7341 DC/2689

SECRETARY-GENERAL SAYS BIOLOGICAL WEAPONS CONVENTION HAS MADE IMPORTANT CONTRIBUTION TO EFFORTS TO ELIMINATE WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION

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The following is the statement of Secretary-General Kofi Annan on the occasion of the twenty-fifth anniversary of the entry into force of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on Their Destruction:

Twenty-six March 2000 marks the twenty-fifth anniversary of the entry into force of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and Their Destruction. The Biological Weapons Convention was the first multilateral disarmament treaty banning an entire category of weapons of mass destruction. Today, 25 years after its entry into force, the Biological Weapons Convention remains more significant than ever and the spirit that inspired it a quarter of a century ago is very much alive. The Convention has made an important contribution towards the world community’s collective efforts to eliminate the threat of weapons of mass destruction.

The strong commitment of States parties to the Convention led them to establish in 1994, an ad hoc group open to all States parties to consider appropriate measures, including possible verification measures to be included in a legally-binding instrument, with a view to strengthening the Convention. I strongly support this initiative. Every effort must be made by the international community to ensure that advancements made in biotechnology are applied towards the improvement of life in our planet and never for purposes that run counter to the provisions of the Biological Weapons Convention. I would, therefore, encourage the States parties to conclude negotiations on a protocol to the Convention at the earliest possible date. At the same time, I would also call upon governments which have not yet acceded to the Convention to do so without delay so that its effectiveness may be further enhanced through universality.

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For information media. Not an official record.