Strengthening the chemical and biological weapons conventions has been difficult to achieve during the last two decades, but there may be the opportunity to achieve progress after the COVID-19 pandemic because there is bound to be a reassessment of the dangers of natural, accidental and deliberate diseases. This must include finding ways to minimise the possibility that the beneficial advances being made in the life sciences are not used by States, sub-State groups, or even individuals, for hostile purposes.
Since 2020, we have been developing a series of projects in an effort to provide a civil society input into these important subjects and the measures we would wish to work on with Parliament under the frameworks of the 2018 UK Biological Security Strategy, the Parliament Joint Committee on National Security Strategy First Report for the Session 2019-21 on Biosecurity and national security, and the broad Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC) and the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) threat spectrum.
For example, one project is entitled Informing Policymakers of the Progress in Strengthening the Chemical and Biological Weapons Non-Proliferation Regime. We developed a report titled Biological and Chemical Security After COVID-19: Options for Strengthening the Chemical and Biological Weapons Disarmament and Non-Proliferation Regimes. This report was selected by London Metropolitan University for funding via the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Strategic Priorities Fund.
Working towards agreement on a Biological Security Code of Conduct/Mandatory Education for Life Scientists at the BTWC 9th Review Conference is another project. This particular project is funded by The Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust starting from 1 January 2021. This webpage is designed to accommodate all the resources on these projects.
Image: Preventing Biological Weapons 2, 2021. Comic (detail)
We would like to invite you to give us your feedback on the project and the webinar.
Read the Biological and Chemical Security report
Chemical and Biological Non-Proliferation Regime after Coviod-19 Webinar
Speakers: Lijun Shang, Tatyana Novossiolova, Michael Crowley, Brett Edwards, Simon Whitby and Malcolm Dando
Biological and Chemical Security After COVID-19
Options for Strengthening the Chemical and Biological Weapons Disarmament and Non-Proliferation Regime.