STATEMENT OF THE TURKISH DELEGATION 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
At the outset, I would like to congratulate you on your assumption of the office as the President of the Eighth Review Conference. You have the full support of my Delegation.
Turkey considers the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention as one of the key components of the international non-proliferation and disarmament regime and the cornerstone of efforts to prevent biological agents and toxins to be used as arms. BWC has an essential role to play today and in the future as well.
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, Review Conference provides a good opportunity. We hope to find areas of consensus across the board to strengthen the BWC.
Taking this opportunity, we can assess the achievements of the 7th Review Conference recommendations and decisions. It is obvious that more should be achieved. It was evident during the preparatory process, there is a gap especially in efforts to catch up with the developments in the field of science and technology. Lack of a remarkable increase on the level of CBM reports provided, seem to be another challenge. Stepping up universalization efforts maybe another area to concentrate. We think that these areas as well as some others might necessitate more careful consideration of the intersessional work program and decision making mechanism. We support efforts aimed at establishing stronger structures that would enable a better functioning of the Convention, including taking decisions between Review Conferences. More focused assessment of scientific and technological developments with regard to the Convention is also needed.
We share the expectations towards having better Exchange of CBMs both in terms of quality and quantity. We welcome
submissions of reportsby 80 State Parties, but despite the improvement, submission level has not reached a desirable stage yet. Turkey has submitted CBM reports regularly. We continue to encourage all States Parties to do the same.
On the other hand, a verification regime in the Convention would 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. Cognizant of the differences of opinion on the matter, States Parties should 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. We welcome accession of all ten State Parties, as well as Liberia and Nepal, to the Convention since the 7th Review Conference.
Globalization and information technology renders scientific knowledge more accessible; which in turn increases the chances of its possible misuse by ill-intended people or organizations, including terrorists. In this regard, bio-terrorism, as with other forms of weapons of mass destruction 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 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 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, strengthening the ISU would be an important outcome of this Review Conference. We would like to take this opportunity to commend the ISU for the successful work it has conducted in the preparation process for the Conference.
We are of the view that the positive atmosphere of the PrepCom meetings have set the scene for the Review Conference. Now, we hope that our collective efforts will result with a successful Review Conference which will also pave the way for a fruitful inter-sessional period.
I thank you Mr. President.
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