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Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention

Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention -- Ministerial Statement from Canada, Australia and New Zealand

Disarmament Minister Marian Hobbs and the foreign ministers of Canada and Australia have welcomed the successful conclusion of the Fifth Review Conference of the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC) in Geneva.

"In particular, we welcome the decision to convene more frequent meetings of States Parties to work together to promote common understanding and effective action on a number of key issues," the ministers said. "We believe that these multilateral efforts will help us to achieve our common goal of strengthening the effectiveness and implementation of the Convention.

"We also reaffirm our shared conviction that:

Biological weapons are repugnant;

The Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention remains a relevant and vital pillar of the global disarmament and non-proliferation framework, essential both to the campaign to rid the world of the scourge of biological weapons and to the pursuit of international peace and security;

Biological weapons must not be developed, produced, retained, stockpiled, otherwise acquired, used or transferred by States or any non-State entities under any circumstances whatsoever;

Bio-terrorism, in any of its manifestations, is abhorrent and unacceptable.

"Canada, Australia and New Zealand look forward to continuing to work within and to strengthen the BTWC. We commit our governments to participate actively in all BTWC meetings leading up to the next Review Conference in 2006 and to accelerate the universalisation of the Convention."

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