The United States, along with 164 other nations, will take part in the 7th Biological Weapons Review Conference (BWC RevCon) in Geneva, from December 5-22, 2011. The high-level U.S. delegation will include: Ambassador Laura Kennedy, U.S. Ambassador to the Conference on Disarmament and Special Representative for Biological Weapons Convention Issues; Thomas M. Countryman, Assistant Secretary of State for International Security and Nonproliferation; and George Look, Senior Director for Arms Control and Nonproliferation in the National Security Staff.
Ambassador Bonnie Jenkins, Coordinator for Threat Reduction efforts; Andrew Weber, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear, Chemical and Biological Programs; and Daniel Gerstein, the Deputy Under Secretary of Homeland Security for Science and Technology, will also attend portions of the Conference.
At the review conference, States Parties will discuss ways to prevent biological terrorism; build global capacity to combat infectious diseases; new scientific and technological developments; and options to strengthen confidence building data exchanges under the BWC.
Assistant Secretary Thomas M. Countryman will preview the BWC RevCon on December 1 at the Foreign Press Center in Washington, DC. Media must RSVP to HernandezSA2@state.gov.
The BWC RevCon, held once every five years, plays a critical role in reviewing the treaty and charting next steps. Formed in 1975, the BWC is the premier international forum that addresses biological threats, and is evolving to meet changing world needs. Accordingly, the BWC charges members of the security, health, scientific, law enforcement and business fields to better address biological threats, whether intentional, accidental or natural.
Each State Party pledges to never develop, produce, stockpile or otherwise acquire or retain: (1) Microbial or other biological agents with no justification for peaceful purposes; and (2) Weapons, equipment or means of delivery designed to use such agents or toxins for hostile purposes or in armed conflict. Parties also pledge to not assist others in acquiring such weapons, and to take national measures to preclude the acquisition or use of biological weapons by individuals.
Learn more about the BWC: http://www.unog.ch/80256EE600585943/(httpPages)/F1CD974A1FDE4794C125731A0037D96D?OpenDocument
Learn more about the State Department’s Nonproliferation policies and the Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation at: www.state.gov/t/isn.