On Wednesday 27 October, the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA) organized a joint session at the seventh African Conference on One Health and Biosecurity, organized by the Global Emerging Pathogens Treatment Consortium (GET). The Conference, held from 27 to 29 October in Lagos, Nigeria, brought together practitioners, experts, and decision-makers in the public health and security sectors of Nigeria and countries of the West Africa region, regional organizations, biosecurity associations, and academics.
Held under the theme “The Global Non-proliferation Framework and Biosecurity”, the joint session aimed to raise awareness among participants on the international disarmament and nonproliferation regime and obtain their views on means to enhance synergies for effective implementation. Over the course of the session, participants learned about the Biological Weapons Convention, UN Security Council Resolution 1540 (2004), and the United Nations Secretary-General’s Mechanism (UNSGM). The session also introduced the regional and global initiatives supporting the implementation of these instruments in the Africa region, such as Africa CDC Biosafety and Biosecurity Strategic Plan, and the Signature Initiative to Mitigate Biological Threats in Africa, launched by the Global Partnership Against the Spread of Weapons and Material of Mass Destruction.
On the second day of the conference, UNODA representatives and other partners were invited by the Lagos Health Commissioner, Mr. Akin Abayomi, to visit the newly established Lagos State Biobank and to learn about plans for the future development, including building an innovative research complex.