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Disarmament Diplomacy

Issue No. 24, March 1998

BWC Discussions Continue

The ad hoc group of the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) met in Geneva from 9-13 March to continue its attempts to draw up a verification protocol for the Treaty (for background on the issue, see Malcolm Dando's Guest Analysis paper in Disarmament Diplomacy No. 21, December 1997). According to reports, the Chair of the Group, Tibor Toth of Hungary, told journalists that negotiations might continue into 2001. If so, this would grievously disappoint a number of States hoping for agreement in the first half of 1999 - a target endorsed at the Geneva meeting by the UK, in its capacity as holder of the European Union (EU) Presidency. The head of the UK delegation, Patrick Lamb, delivered a statement to the meeting urging redoubled efforts: "The situation in Iraq has reminded everybody that this requires urgent attention."

Editor's note: see Documents and Sources for details of a 2 March Australian initiative to intensify the negotiations.

Report: Germ warfare treaty may get tougher, Associated Press, 9 March.

© 1998 The Acronym Institute.

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