Wednesday, July 23, 2014

ISS Paper 258: Biological Weapons Convention: Confidence, the prohibition and learning from the past

Confidence in the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) needs to be strengthened. When thinking about how to do this, hard questions must be asked about why confidence building measures aren't working and what else is needed to establish and maintain confidence between states parties. This paper reflects on how those involved in the BWC process collectively assess issues affecting the convention. It focuses on the prevalence of defensive reasoning, which inhibits robust enquiry and encourages anti-learning practices. It argues that instead of more of the same, alternative types of discussions needed to be nurtured.

Authors: Brian Rappert and Chandre Gould

Click here to download Paper No 258

The authors are grateful for a research grant award from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl), and the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC). The ISS is grateful for support from the following members of the ISS Partnership Forum: the governments of Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the USA

Sub-regional Training on Technical Aspects of the CWC Transfers Regime Held in South Africa

The OPCW and National Authority of South Africa jointly organised a training course for customs officers in east and southern Africa on the technical aspects of the transfers’ regime of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC). It was held from 15 to 18 July 2014 in Centurion and attended by 38 participants from 18 States Parties* and two non-States Parties, Angola and Egypt.

The course was conducted under the auspices of the Programme to Strengthen Cooperation with Africa on the CWC (“Africa Programme”) with additional funding from the government of Norway. Mr. Daan van Beek of the South African Council for the Non-Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction, Department of Trade and Industry, opened the proceedings.

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