As for Israel, it must be asked why the country has snubbed both the CWC and BTWC
in light of the arguably minimal difference this would make, in relative terms, to its security given the country's possession, unlike any other in the region, of nuclear weapons.
The United States, in particular, has argued that the unique characteristic of life science research renders a BTWC
verification protocol largely ineffectual.
Beyond this, the ministers covered old ground, "reaffirming" the importance of the nuclear testing moratorium, "reiterating" the objective of total elimination of nuclear weapons, and "acknowledging" the importance of promoting universality of the CWC and BTWC
Recently state parties to the convention have been negotiating a Verification Protocol for the BTWC
, but significant challenges remain, including the need to weigh the requirements of international security against national sovereignty and the need for transparency to be weighed against secrecy for commercial reasons (both issues that have been raised by the United States.
In 1975, the BTWC
was set up to try to provide some form of protection over biological weapons.
A constructive exchange on national practices relevant to the BTWC
[Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention] occurred this summer, and we expect to see further action to strengthen this critical prohibition at next month's Annual Meeting.
South Africa has been a party to the BTWC
since 1975 and since 1991 South African experts have been taking part in BTWC
meetings to draw up a verification procedure for the Convention.
Mark Wheels, Agricultural Biowarfare & Bioterrorism: An Analytical Framework & Recommendations for the Fifth BTWC
Review Conference, September 1999, n.
The Bush Administration has also made it harder to detect violations of current international law by effectively blocking an international draft agreement to create an inspections regime to enforce the BTWC
In this way, the US operated within the exceptions of the BTWC
uk/acad/sbtwc/, the department's BTWC
Web site is a primary source of information on the convention, which was first negotiated in the early 1970s, and the protocol being developed to make the convention a more potent and timely defense against the proliferation of biological weapons.
We remain fully committed to pursue efforts to ensure that the BTWC
is an effective instrument to counter the growing threat of biological weapons.