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Regional Workshop on Biological Weapons Convention

Minister for Defence Media Mail List
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Monday 28 November, 2005 189/2005


Regional Workshop on Biological Weapons Convention

Australia and Indonesia are demonstrating strong commitment to reducing the threat of bio terrorism in the region by agreeing to co-host a second Regional Workshop on the Biological Weapons Convention.

Defence Minister Robert Hill said the workshop, to be held in Indonesia early next year, will build on the first workshop held in Melbourne in February 2005.

Senator Hill said the workshop is part of an ongoing process to reduce the possibility of terrorists acquiring and using biological weapons and prevent countries in the region from inadvertently assisting the development of biological weapons programs elsewhere.
Participants from regional countries are being invited to attend the meeting.

"The workshop will discuss further practical ways that regional nations can cooperate in countering bio-terrorism," Senator Hill said.

"A regional approach is important as the threat of bio-terrorism crosses national borders and jurisdictions.

"The workshops help raise awareness about security at biological facilities and establish a network of key experts to promote the sharing of information.
"Next year's workshop will have a strong focus on continuing these actions in the lead up to the 2006 Biological Weapons Convention Review Conference."

Australia and Indonesia have worked together closely in the past to promote effective implementation in our region of various arms control and disarmament treaties, including the Chemical Weapons Convention.

The Biological Weapons Convention prohibits member states developing, producing, stockpiling or otherwise acquiring or retaining biological weapons or their means of delivery.

ENDS

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