Meeting Of States Parties to 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 Chair of the Biological Weapons Convention. My Delegation fully supports you and your team’s work.
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.
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, international security, stability and peace. 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.
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. Turkey attaches great importance to international cooperation during outbreaks of diseases that originate naturally, accidentally or deliberately.
International cooperation is equally central in achieving the goals of universalization.
The geographical position of Turkey makes the issue of universalization an important consideration. Unfortunately, some of the States not party to the Convention are in areas of regional instability, which is reason for additional concern. Therefore, 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 Mauritania and Andorra.
As for the Confidence Building Measures; although there have been considerable improvements in the area of CBMs, the submission of reports has not reached a desirable level yet. CBM reports are imperative tools for mutual understanding and transparency as they aim to prevent and reduce uncertainties regarding compliance. Turkey has submitted reports regularly, and last five year’s data can be found online for public use. We advise all States Parties to do the same.
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.
The outbreaks of the Ebola and MERS Coronavirus were not biological weapons related issues. However, they were stark reminders what is at stake. The spread of a biological agent whether, naturally, accidentally or deliberately, will have terrible consequences.
Outbreak of the Ebola virus in West Africa has also created a humanitarian crisis, posing a potential threat to regional and global security with its social and economic consequences. Since the start of the Ebola virus outbreak, Turkey has been extending its support and financial and medical assistance to the region through bilateral and multilateral channels.
We decided to scale up our contribution to 5 million USD. In this regard, we delivered medical supplies with a total value of 1.2 million USD to the three affected countries. We contributed to work of African Union support to Ebola Outbreak in West Africa (ASEOWA) with a grant of 1 million USD. We also pledged 1.5 million USD to the Multi Partners Trust Fund (MPTF) mechanism.
Preparedness and resilience are indeed key elements in responding to outbreaks and emergencies. In order to prevent any further human suffering, strengthening health systems, capacity building and innovative approaches are needed.
We should keep the focus and join our efforts to continue assisting the societies and economies of the affected countries. Turkey, undoubtedly, to the extent possible, will carry on its support to fight any outbreaks of such unexpected and undesired disasters within the spirit of international solidarity.
We sincerely thank you for your circulation of the non-paper on the possible elements for inclusion in the report of the Meeting of States Parties. We believe that it will contribute to our work ahead.
This is the last inter-sessional meeting before the Review Conference next year. We will take important decisions including arrangements for the 8th Review Conference. In this regard, we look forward to a successful outcome of this meeting. Hence, we support having two Preparatory Committee meetings with a view to have a substantive process.
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