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45th Anniversary of entry into force of the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BWC)

March 27, 2020

On the occasion of 45th anniversary of the entry into force of the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BWC), on 26 March 2020, India reiterates the high importance that it has always attached to the BWC as the first global and non- discriminatory disarmament Convention, prohibiting an entire category of weapons of mass destruction. We give a high priority to its universalisation and full and effective implementation by all States Parties to it.

As we approach the 9th Review Conference of the Convention in 2021, we reiterate our call for institutional strengthening of the Convention, including negotiation of a comprehensive and legally binding Protocol, providing for an effective, universal and non-discriminatory verification mechanism to strengthen the implementation of the Convention by States Parties, ensuring full compliance and deterring non-compliance with it.

India strongly believes that the BWC must respond effectively to the challenges posed by the new and emerging scientific and technological developments of relevance to the Convention. India has been submitting an annual Resolution at the UN General Assembly on the "Role of science and technology in the context of international security and disarmament”, which has been adopted by consensus.

The global economic and social implications of the pandemic, caused by Covid-19, have underlined the need for international cooperation, including institutional strengthening of the WHO.

In addition, they have highlighted the need for strengthening cooperation amongst the States Parties to the BWC aimed at full and effective implementation of the Convention in all its aspects. India has been working with fellow States Parties to establish an Article VII database which can play an important role in dealing with bio-threats and bio- emergencies.

India has also been highlighting the dangers from the possible use, in future, of microorganisms as biological weapons by terrorists through its annual Resolution at the UN General Assembly, titled "Measures to prevent terrorists from acquiring the weapons of mass destruction", which has been adopted, annually since 2002, by consensus.

India takes this opportunity to call upon all States Parties to the BWC to recommit themselves to full and effective implementation of the Convention and full compliance with it, in letter and spirit. India reaffirms its unwavering commitment to continue to work together with fellow States Parties towards strengthening the Convention in all its aspects.

New Delhi
March 26, 2020

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