The 1972 Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) entered into force in 1975. It has 173 states parties and nine signatory states. States parties are discussing options to improve transparency concerning the implementation of the Convention and means to enhance confidence in compliance, instead of resuming discussions over the merits of revisiting verification options for the Convention. The verification debate remains highly politicised. However, associated verification technologies and techniques have been proven in biological weapons verification activities in Iraq under UNSCOM and UNMOVIC.
BWC verification would be a net benefit to the treaty. The VM programme will, therefore, maintain a watching brief on BWC verification issues. This will allow the charity to engage with state parties, should political will to re-engage on verification and monitoring re-establish itself. The programme will also take every opportunity to participate in collaborative work with interested states and civil society experts on verification, monitoring, transparency and confidence-building initiatives for the Convention.