Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on their Destruction

The Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on their Destruction, commonly known as the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) or Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC) was the first multilateral disarmament treaty banning an entire category of weapons and is a key element in the international community’s efforts to address the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction1. The convention entered into force on 26th March 1975. Until now, there are 110 signatory states and 168 States Parties2.

Goal: The Convention aims to prohibit the development, production, acquisition, transfer, retention, stockpiling and use of biological and toxin weapons3.

Relevant Clauses:4

 

Article I

Each State Party to this Convention undertakes never in any circumstance to develop, produce, stockpile or otherwise acquire or retain:

Microbial or other biological agents, or toxins whatever their origin or method of production, of types and in quantities that have no justification for prophylactic, protective or other peaceful purposes;

Weapons, equipment or means of delivery designed to use such agents or toxins for hostile purposes or in armed conflict.

Article II

Each State Party to this Convention undertakes to destroy, or to divert to peaceful purposes […], all agents, toxins, weapons, equipment and means of delivery […], which are in its possession or under its jurisdiction or control. […]

Article III

Each State Party to this Convention undertakes not to transfer to any recipient whatsoever, directly or indirectly, and not in any way to assist, encourage, or induce any State, group of States or international organizations to manufacture or otherwise acquire any of the agents,

toxins, weapons, equipment or means of delivery specified […]

Article IV

Each State Party […] takes any necessary measures to prohibit and prevent the development, production, stockpiling, acquisition or retention of the agents, toxins, weapons, equipment and means of delivery […]

 


  1. UNOG (2014): The Biological Weapons Convention: www.unog.ch []
  2. UNODA (2014): Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on their Destruction- Status of the Treaty []
  3. UNOG (2014): The Biological Weapons Convention []
  4. UNODA (2014): Convention on the Prohibition oft he Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on their Destruction; text of the treaty []

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