Biochemical Security 2030: S&T at the BTWC

Biochemical Security 2030: S&T at
the BTWC, Neuroscience, and
Malcolm Dando
• Section A: Research Questions/Briefing Papers
– Slides 1 - 4
• Section B: Ideas and Outcomes in the ISP
– Slides 5 - 10
• Section C: Why the Failure of the ISP?
– Slides 11 - 14
• Section D: Conclusion
– Slides 15 - 20
A1. Research Question 1: S&T at the
• How are the risks stemming from S&T
assessed and addressed in the two CBW
• Briefing Paper 6: An analysis of the S&T
deliverables agreed by BWC State Parties at
the end of 2013.
• LATE 2013.
A2. Research Question 2:
• What are the plausible trajectories of the
three key S&T areas…[including] neuroscience
…and how are the security implications of
these interpreted by different groups?
• Briefing Paper 10: differing perceptions of
neuroscience, its societal implications and
potential for international cooperation.
• SUMMER 2014.
A3. Research Question 4: Education of
• How can current multilateral practice be
improved by transition to a science-based
multilateral governance that takes account of
different institutional, cultural, historical and
other social factors?
• Briefing Paper 12: How can implementation of
the BWC be improved so that effective action can
be taken to more effectively develop awareness,
education and…any necessary measures…
• SUMMER 2014
B5. Related Work
• Kelle, A., Nixdorff, K. and Dando, M.R. (2013)
Science and Technology in the Third BWC
Intersessional Process: Conceptual
Considerations and the 2012 ISP Meetings.
University of Bath.
• Nixdorff, K. Interviews at the 2013 Meeting of
• Chan, S. et al (2013) AHRC UK Neuroethics
B6. Objectives of the SAI on Science
and Technology
• United States, Developments in Science and
Technology, BWC/MSP/2012/MX/WP.6:
– “While the agenda item consists of a number of
sub-items, it has two major elements. The first is a
review of S&T developments potentially relevant
to the BWC….The second addresses how such
developments should be managed – questions of
national oversight, scientific responsibility,
outreach and education...”
B7. Action Orientation
• United Kingdom, Decision-Making in a future
BTWC intersessional work programme,
– “…we argue that future expert and State Party
meetings should be able to make decisions of an
appropriate nature to ensure that ‘effective
action’ is taken on those issues where there is
clearly consensus that this is a proper course to
B8. Effective Processes
• Australia, Japan and New Zealand, Proposal for
the annual review of advances in science and
technology relevant to the Biological Weapons
Convention, BWC/CONF.VII/WP.13:
– “The S&T Working Group Facilitator’s Report would be
circulated prior to the subsequent MSP to allow States
Parties to consider any actions required. Actions taken
by the MSP relevant to the implementation and
operation of the BWC arising from the S&T Working
Group would be subject to review at the subsequent
Review Conference…”
B9. The ISU
• Germany, BWC/CONF.VII/WP.15:
– “The Intersessional Bureau should consist of
representatives from the regional groups, including
the group coordinators, the three depositaries and the
designate chairman as members and the head of the
ISU as its secretary. Two or three sessions before the
MXP would be ideal…”
• South Africa, BWC/CONF.VII/WP.17:
– “…The ISU structure and budget should be based on
proper planning once there is consensus on its role
and functions…”
B10. The Outcome in 2012
• South Africa, The intersessional process:
comments and proposals, BWC/MSP/2012/WP.7:
– “Some excellent presentations were given by experts
in which very complicated scientific issues were
explained in simple terms. However, there was no
substantive engagement on these presentations and
therefore, opportunities to come to useful common
understandings were lost. A number of very useful
discussions took place during lunchtime side events,
but they were not attended by all delegations or part
of the formal MXP.”
C 11 . Noel-Baker, 1979
• Preface to The First World Disarmament
Conference 1932-33: And Why it Failed:
– “…the purpose of this historical outline is to show
that international disarmament negotiations have
not failed because of any inherent technical
difficulty in drawing up the necessary Treaty; they
have failed because men in positions of authority
or influence have wanted them to fail, and have
striven successfully to make them do so.”
C12. Alva Myrdal, 1976
• Preface to The Game of Disarmament: How the
United States and Russia run the Arms Race:
– “This book is an attempt to study the policy questions
of disarmament from an international point of view. It
has grown out of a gradually increasing feeling of near
despair after twelve years of participating in
multilateral disarmament negotiations. There the
superpowers have indulged in subterfuges and halftruths, with their closest and usually dependent allies
following suit or keeping silent. On balance, there has
been no real advance towards limitation of
armaments….The militarization of the economy and
national life of almost all countries has intensified.”
C13. China, India, Iran, Pakistan, Russia
• Draft Proposal on structure of ISP (Section B1
– “6. The annual meetings of State Parties will
discuss and promote common understandings on
the following agenda items to be considered in all
Meetings of the State Parties:
– a) Review of developments in the field of science
and technology related to the Convention.”
C14. China, India, Iran, Pakistan, Russia
– “9. Each meeting of the States Parties will be prepared
by a one-week meeting of experts…
– 10. The meeting of experts will prepare a factual
report describing their work, which will be discussed
by the annual meeting of States Parties…
– 12. All meetings, both of experts and of States Parties,
will work on the basis of consensus.
– 13. The work and outcome of the annual meetings of
States Parties will be considered by the Eighth Review
D15. Conclusions (i)
• Given the structure and organisation of the ISP,
and therefore the SAI on Science and Technology,
it is no great surprise that no useful practical
actions have been agreed so far.
• This outcome was not the result of unfortunate
accident, but the deliberate choice of some
powerful delegations.
• It is unlikely that any significant change in the
structure and organisation of the ISP will be
possible before 2016.
D16. Conclusions (ii)
• Imaginative ways will have to be found to get
around the blockage on effective actions being
taken through the ISP.
• For example, progressive State Parties and Civil
Society can carry out projects to develop and
implement best practices in key areas such as
education and report them in side events that are
then fed back into the MXP/MSP so that other
concerned State Parties can copy and develop
these models - and actually get something done
on the ground around the world.
D17. Side Event BTWC MXP, 2013
• Ambassador Urs Schmid: Introduction
– “Life sciences and corresponding technologies have been
experiencing exponential growth over the past years and
brought extraordinary advances in healthcare. At the same
time, they are also accompanied by unprecedented threats
to biosecurity as the same knowledge and technologies
can be misused to cause harm. The dual-use nature of life
science research therefore requires awareness-raising
among life scientists of the potential dangers linked to
their work and the promotion of a culture of responsibility.
Biosecurity education constitutes a crucial element for
achieving responsible conduct of research and that is an
important measure for the implementation of the
Biological Weapons Convention”.
D18. Side Event BTWC MXP, 2013
Ambassador Urs Schmid: Introduction
– “The crucial role life scientists play in the prevention of
misuse of biotechnology and the important role of
education and awareness-raising have been recognized in
successive Review Conferences of the Biological Weapons
Convention. The centrality of this issue was confirmed by
the the 7th Review Conference which decided that
“education and awareness-raising about risks and benefits
of life sciences and biotechnology” under the Standing
Agenda Item “review of developments in the field of
science and technology related to the Convention” would
be addressed at the meetings of the intersessional
programme every year from 2012 – 2015”.
D19. Side Event BTWC MXP, 2013
Ambassador Urs Schmid: Conclusion
“It is clear that the education of life scientists about the
Biological Weapons Convention and the responsibilities
they have under that convention needs our continued
attention and requires further efforts. Important deficits
still exists today in this area, as highlighted by several
In this context, a variety of projects have demonstrated
that the biosecurity education of life scientists and
associated scientists can be improved by a number of
methods that have been implemented successfully, as
demonstrated in the presentations this morning”.
D20. Side Event BTWC MXP, 2013
Ambassador Urs Schmid: Conclusion
“Finally, and this is probably a central element that I retain
from this side-event, is that a coherent long-term coordinated effort by States is required to implement
biosecurity education at a number of levels. It is also
important that States Parties report on their efforts to
meetings of the Biological Weapons Convention, both to
facilitate the development of best practice in biosecurity
education and to increase confidence in compliance.
In this context, it would be desirable that common
understandings could be developed in the BWC intersessional
process on the issue of implementing biosecurity education
nationally, and that specific action would be adopted in this

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