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Ensuring Compliance with the Biological Weapons Convention

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There is growing recognition that States Parties to the Biological Weapons Convention engaged in biodefense research and development activities must take active steps to ensure their own compliance with the Convention and to effectively reassure others of their compliance. The Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation, together with the Center for International and Security Studies at the University of Maryland, the AAAS Center for Science, Technology and Security Policy, and the Center for the Study of WMD at the National Defense University (Washington, D.C.), organized a meeting on the processes used by several States Parties to the BWC to assess and ensure their own compliance with the Convention.

The purpose of the meeting, held in Washington, D.C. on 25 February 2008, was to facilitate information sharing and discussion among a small group of governmental and nongovernmental experts about the processes used by various governments and government agencies to ensure their compliance with the BWC. Its goal was to increase participants’ understanding of these processes and their underlying rationales, similarities, and differences, as well as to discuss issues surrounding the sharing of compliance-related information. Meeting participants presented, examined, and discussed compliance mechanisms and processes of Australia, Canada, Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The co-sponsors hope that the results of this meeting, presented in this report, will encourage similar discussions among a widening range of nations.

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