Can everyone help verify the bioweapons convention? Perhaps, via open source monitoring

By Gunnar Jeremias, Mirko Himmel, November 1, 2016

The Biological Weapons Convention is the only multilateral treaty to ban an entire class of weapons of mass destruction, and it officially acknowledges no offensive bioweapons programs or stockpiles anywhere in the world. However, it also has no verification mechanism, relying instead on voluntary reporting from its 175 members, only about 40% of which participate. (Of those, only some 30 nations make their reporting public.) It might therefore be worth exploring alternative means of building transparency and confidence, specifically through the collection and analysis of information about compliance from the wide variety of public sources available right now to anyone with an Internet connection. Efforts to responsibly sort and analyze this information, and to use it to develop productive questions for the convention and its members, will admittedly require some expertise, but it is certainly available as well.


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