The Ninth Biological Weapons Convention Review Conference

The Ninth Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) Review Conference concluded on December 16 with the adoption by consensus of a final document, which launches a new, expert-led process to strengthen the BWC to address the challenges of the future. We congratulate Special Representative Ken Ward and his team for their hard work during the three weeks of the Review Conference and the numerous preparatory meetings over the past year. We also commend Ambassador Leonardo Bencini, President of the Review Conference, for his dedication in bringing the States Parties to consensus on a final document.

The Review Conference established a new Working Group that will make recommendations on measures to strengthen the BWC. These will address advances in science and technology, confidence-building and transparency, compliance and verification, as well as national implementation measures, international cooperation, and preparedness and response.

While the final consensus document did not include all the improvements proposed by the United States, we are confident this document is a step forward in improving implementation of the Convention. We will continue to work with other countries who share the goal of a world free of biological weapons, while ensuring that legitimate biological and public health research continues under effective safety and security guidelines and assisting other countries to meet that goal.

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