05/30/2013 - 16:17

Strengthening the Biological Weapons Convention confidence-building measures: Toward a cycle of engagement

Filippa Lentzos

Filippa Lentzos is a senior research fellow in the Department of Social Science, Health and Medicine at King’s College London. Her research focuses on contemporary and historical understandings of...

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Central to the compliance structure of the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BWC) are the confidence-building measures—the means by which States Parties disclose information annually. Improving this process is one of the key agenda items garnering a great deal of interest among State Parties and non-governmental organizations leading up to the Seventh BWC Review Conference in December. This article considers the challenges of enforcing the measures and the current efforts to strengthen them. The author presents additional approaches to enhance these measures and to build greater confidence in national compliance with the BWC, arguing particularly that civil society involvement and periodic, collective reviews of submissions have essential roles to play.