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Reinforce The Global Ban On Biological Weapons

More Than 100 Civil Society Organizations From 28 Countries
Call On All Governments To Reinforce The Global Ban On Biological Weapons

Biological warfare agents are a unique class of weapons, as they include living organisms with the ability to reproduce and perpetuate their destructive mission beyond the intended target area and time. The threat of biological weapon agents to humankind and the environment has led to a global ban of these weapons. The Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC) of 1975, ratified by 143 States Parties, outlaws the development and possession of all biological weapons.

The last decade has been witness to dramatic and rapid changes in bioscience that are likely to facilitate the development of biological weapons. Civil society organizations around the world are concerned that the BTWC has no mechanism to monitor compliance with the Convention. To solve this problem, States Parties to the Convention established an Ad Hoc Group in 1994 to develop a Protocol to strengthen the Bioweapons Convention. The goal has been to complete the negotiations before the 5th Review Conference of the BTWC convenes in Geneva end of this year. We call on all governments to undertake every effort to reach consensus on a strong Protocol, including broad criteria for facility declarations, random visits to all declared facilities, clarification procedures, challenge investigations and an export monitoring system.

The global consensus against the hostile use of living organisms is increasingly endangered. Some programs blur the boundary between peaceful and hostile uses of biological agents, such as pathogenic fungi that are currently being developed for use in drug crop eradication programs. These efforts undermine the global taboo against the development and use of biological weapons.

We call on the 5th Review Conference of the BTWC, to be held in November 2001 in Geneva, to address these issues and

 to reiterate the broad prohibition of all non-peaceful applications of living organisms and toxins, regardless of whether they target humans, animals, plants or materials,

 to reaffirm in their Final Declaration that there is no exemption in the BTWC for law enforcement, and

 to state that any use of biological agents against a nation, a regional group or individuals against their will is not a peaceful purpose and thus banned by the BTWC.

Finally, we call on all governments to undertake every step necessary to reinforce the global ban on biological weapons.

For a world at peace, and a world at peace with the environment,

International Organisations


Friends of the Earth International

Greenpeace International

Indigenous Peoples Council on Biocolonialism

International Association of Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms

International Peace Bureau

International People´s Health Council - IPHC

Nonviolence International

Pacific Campaign for Disarmament and Security

RAFI – Rural Advancement Foundation International

Red Interamericana de Agricultura y Democracia (RIAD)

Regional Committee for the Promotion of Community Health (Central America)

Sunshine Project

Third World Network

Women's International League for Peace and Freedom

Women for peace/femmes pour la paix/mujeres para la paz

49th Parallel Biotechnology Consortium

Local/National Organisations

ANPED, The Northern Alliance for Sustainability; UK

Arbeitsgruppe Schweiz-Kolumbien, Switzerland

AS-PTA - Assessoria e Serviços a Projetos em Agricultura Alternativa, Brazil

Australian Ethical Investment Ltd.

Begegnungszentrum fuer aktive Gewaltlosigkeit, Austria

Biodynamic Agricultural Association; UK; Canada

Biowatch; South Africa

Campaign for Nuclear Disarmamemnt; UK

Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament Cymru; Wales

Campaign for Responsible Transplantation; USA

Campaign for the Accountability of American Bases

CISAS - Centro de Informacion y Servicios de Asesoria en Salud ; Nicaragua

COECOCeiba-Friends of the Earth Costa Rica

Comitato Scientifico Antivivisezionista (CSA); Italia

Community Anti Nuclear Network of Western Australia

Concerned Citizen; Australia

Confederación Sindical de Comisiones Obreras (CC.OO.), Spain

Consumers Union of Japan

Council for Responsible Genetics; USA

Disarmament and Security Centre, Christchurch, New Zealand

Econexus (UK)

EcoPravo-Kyiv Environmental Law NGO, Kyiv, Ukraine

Environment Centre of the Northern Territory, Australia

Environmental Research Foundation; USA

FAIR, New Zealand

Far North Queensland Toxic Link, Australia

Fondo Imperatrice Nuda contro la sperimentazione animale (FIN); Italia

Friends of the Earth; Cyprus

Friends of the Earth; New Zealand

GE-Free Bathurst, Australia

GeneWatch (UK)

German NGO Forum Environment & Development, Working Group on Biodiversity

Global Response; USA

Green Party of Aotearoa; New Zealand

Grupo de Estudios Ambientales; Mexico

Heritage Seed Curators Australia Inc.

IATP - Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, USA

IBASE - Brazilian Institute of Social and Economic Analyses

Indian Institute for Peace, Disarmament & Environmental Protection

Institute of Science in Society; UK

Instituto Sindical de Trabajo, Ambiente y Salud, Spain.

KALIKASAN-People's Network for the Environment, Philippines

Ligue Internationale des Femmes pour la Paix et la Liberté, Section Française

Local Government Training Centre of Latvia

LØS, The Danish Association of Sustainable Communities; Denmark

Mankato Area Environmentalists; USA

Matrix Community Radio Collective, Montreal Quebec

Medact, UK

Medical Association for the Prevention of War, Australia

Medico International, Germany

Mission Pakapieni; Latvia

Mouvement de la Paix, France

Movimiento Autoridades Indígenas de Colombia

National Action Committee on the Status of Women, Quebec

National Ecological Centre of Ukraine

NOAH, Friends of the Earth; Denmark

Northwest Resistance Against Genetic Engineering; USA

OGM dangers, France

Organic Consumers Association, USA

Pacific Institute of Resource Management; New Zealand

Pax Christi im Bistum Fulda; Germany

Peace Foundation, New Zealand

People for Nuclear disarmament, Western Australia

Physicians and Scientists for Responsible Genetics; New Zealand

Programa Cambios-Una, Costa Rica

Proposition One Committee, Washington DC, USA

Quaker Peace & Social Witness, UK

Reforest the Earth, UK

ReproKult - Frauen Forum Fortpflanzungsmedizin, Germany

Roots for Equity, Pakistan

Scientists for Global Responsibility (UK)

Shenandoah Ecosystems Defense Group, Charlottesville, VA, USA

Sociedad Española de Agricultura Ecológica (SEAE), Spain

South Australian Genetic Food Information Network

The Corner House, UK

The Edmonds Institute, USA

The Genetics Forum, UK


The Midwest Anti-Drift Coalition; USA

The Zhaba Collective, Hungary

Ventura county green party; USA

Vereinigung Deutscher Wissenschaftler - Federation of German Scientists

Virginia Forest Watch, Wytheville, VA, USA

Virginians for Wilderness, Staunton, VA, USA

VOICE (Voice of Irish Concern for the Environment)

Voice of Women, Quebec

Washington Biotechnology Action Council

World Court Project, UK

World Disarmament Campaign, UK

Zelenyi Svit - Friends of the Earth Ukraine

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