PRODUCTION AND STOCKPILING OF BIOLOGICAL AND TOXIN WEAPONS AND THEIR DESTRUCTION
SECOND PREPARATORY COMMITTEE MEETING FOR THE EIGHTH REVIEW CONFERENCE OF
THE CONVENTION ON THE PROHIBITION OF THE DEVELOPMENT, PRODUCTION AND STOCKPILING OF BIOLOGICAL AND TOXIN WEAPONS AND THEIR DESTRUCTION.8 AUGUST 2016
At the outset, I would like to congratulate you on your assumption of the office as the Chair of the Eighth Review Conference. You have the full support of my Delegation. We have taken the floor to make a general statement.
Turkey considers the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention as one of the key components of the international non-proliferation and disarmament tool-box and the cornerstone of efforts to prevent biological agents and toxins to be used as arms.
We are of the opinion that it is important to establish structures that contribute to effective functioning of the Convention, and to strengthen its implementation in all its provisions. In this regard, upcoming Review Conference provides a good opportunity.
We share the expectations towards having better Exchange of CBMs both in terms of quality and quantity. We welcome submissions of reportsby 75 State Parties, but despite the improvement, submission level has not reached a desirable stage yet. Turkey has submitted CBM reports regularly. We encourage all States Parties to do the same.
On the other hand, a verification regime in the Convention could be useful for its purpose. Turkey believes that an improved system like the one in Chemical Weapons Convention might strengthen the efficacy of the Convention. Nevertheless, since there is no consensus on a verification regime within the BWC for the time being, States Parties need to focus on strengthening current mechanisms of the Convention.
With regard to universalization Turkey calls upon all states not party to the BWC to adhere to it without any further delay. By this token, we welcome accession of Angola as the 175th State Party.
Globalization and information technology renders scientific knowledge more accessible; which in turn increases the chances of its possible misuse by terrorists. In this regard, bioterrorism, as with other forms of WMD-related terrorism, constitutes a major threat to humanity and international security.
The facilitated access to materials, technology and know-how on different forms of weapons of mass destruction has been and continues to be a major cause for concern for the entire international community.
Turkey is fully aware of the positive developments in science and technology which have brought many benefits to areas such as health, environment and agriculture. However, we are also very conscious of the adverse effects that come with this progress.
Science and technology is also highly pertinent to Article X of the Convention. Turkey believes that the language and spirit of Article X provide a solid foundation for international cooperation. We believe that improved implementation of this article would be essential in building confidence between the international society, and in developing the capacities that work to prevent and contain epidemics. We welcome various working papers submitted on this important topic.
In principal, we support regular review of science and technology by experts. In this regard, all papers under this topic include valuable inputs and it would be beneficial to carve out areas of converging ideas. We see merit in establishing a working group on this matter. Although, details such as participants, working methods, agenda etc. should be a matter of further discussion.
Moreover, Turkey supports strengthening the implementation of Article VII, including consideration of detailed procedures and mechanisms for the provision of assistance and cooperation by States Parties. We welcome the recent working papers submitted in this regard as well.
Last but not least, the strengthening of the ISU would be an important outcome of the 8th RevCon. We would also like to take this opportunity to thank the ISU for the work it has provided, including the background documents.
We are convinced that the positive atmosphere of the 1st PrepCom has set the precedence for this PrepCom. Our collective efforts should aim at a successful Review Conference.
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