A workshop on regional bio-security and the role of the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention was hosted by the Middle East Scientific Institute for Security (MESIS) in Amman, Jordan from 24 to 27 January 2011. The workshop was organized and funded by the US Department of Energy and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratories in cooperation with MESIS. Participants came from national public health institutions and the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) authorities of Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Yemen and the United States as well as from the World Health Organization (WHO), World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA), including the Implementation Support Unit for the Biological Weapons Convention (ISU/BWC).
The topics of the Workshop included interaction between arms control, scientific-, health- and law enforcement and security communities with focus on capacity building for disease surveillance, preparedness and response, assistance in case of alleged use of biological weapons, national implementation measures and issues related to the 7th Review Conference of the State Parties to the BWC with particular emphasis on Confidence-Building Measures (CBM).
Mr. Franz Kolar, ODA representative from the Weapons of Mass Destruction Branch (WMDB) presented the Secretary-General’s mechanism for the investigation of alleged use of chemical, biological or toxin weapons and ODA organized outreach activities related to the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction in support of UNSCR 1540 (2004).
The Managing Director of MESIS indicated that the Institute would be interested in hosting and organizing similar regional events in the future.
See also: Biological weapons