MEPs call for full compliance on the prohibition of biological weapons

Pressmeddelande   •   Nov 16, 2006 14:16 CET

In adopting a joint resolution on the Convention on the Prohibition of Biological and Toxin Weapons (BTWC), cluster bombs and conventional arms, MEPs underline that the objective of the European Union should be to build on the success of the BTWC regime, to further strengthen the BTWC and to promote a successful outcome to the Sixth Review Conference.

The House calls on the Council and Member States to promote the accession of all States to the BTWC, including by calling on all States not party thereto to accede to the BTWC without further delay and working towards a declaration that the ban on biological and toxin weapons is a universally binding rule of international law.

MEPs call on the Council and Commission to promote full compliance with the obligations under the BTWC and, where necessary, strengthening of national implementation measures, including penal legislation and control over pathogenic micro-organisms and toxins in the framework of the BTWC. The House call on the Council and Member States to contribute to the improvement of the mechanisms for verifying compliance by the States Parties by promoting efforts to enhance transparency through increased exchange of information among States Parties, including identifying measures to assess and enhance the country coverage and the usefulness of the Confidence Building Measures mechanism. Parliament also calls on the Council and Member States to promote compliance with obligations under UN Security Council Resolution 1540, in particular to eliminate the risk of biological or toxin weapons being acquired or used for terrorist purposes, including possible terrorist access to materials, equipment and knowledge that could be used in the development and production of biological and toxin weapons.

MEPs call on the Council and Member States to support a further intersessional work programme during the period between the Sixth and Seventh Review Conferences, to identify specific areas and procedures for further progress under this work programme and to promote the convening of a Seventh Review Conference of the BTWC to be held no later than 2011.

The House calls upon the EU and the Member States to demand – in the spirit of the CCW's aim of establishing protocols on relevant weapon-systems when the need arises and pending a specific Convention on this issue – the creation of a specific Protocol VI to unambiguously ban the production, stockpiling, transfer and use of all types of cluster munitions (fragmentation bombs).

Finally, Parliament calls upon all EU Member States, the Council and the Commission to work hard to ensure that, within the foreseeable future, both the BTWC and the CCW are equipped with a permanent secretariat to oversee their successful implementation, along the lines of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, OPCW, created for this purpose by the Chemical Weapons Convention.

Ref.: 20061113IPR12543
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