LET'S SAVE THE BIOWEAPONS CONVENTION, NOVEMBER 20 TO DECEMBER 8 AT THE UNITED NATIONS IN GENEVA.
THE BIOWEAPONS TREATY IS IN DANGER! U.S. DISARM has participated in a WILPF seminar for national delegates on November 27 at the Sixth Bioweapons Convention Review Conference (BWC). The Sixth Review Conference occurred between November 20 to December 8 at the UN in Geneva. (Note that Convention is the official UN designation for what we in the U.S. usually call UN treaties on disarmament and human rights.) Delegates seek ways to save the treaty endangered by U.S. refusal to support an Inspection Protocol in 2001, followed by a vast expansion of U.S. "Biodefense" programs. Read the final document of the conference here.
Read U.S. WILPF DISARM reports by Disarm Co-chair Carol Urner in Geneva for the Review Conference. Shorter versions appear on the WILPF Blog. Also read both national government and NGO statements delivered at the BWC Review Conference on the Geneva WILPF web site. And read the weekly summaries of the BWC Conference written by our Geneva DISARM staff.
At the WILPF seminar November 27 for official delegates Joan Ecklein of Boston WILPF told the story of Boston's resistance to a new Biosafety Level 4 (BSL 4) "Bio-defense" research lab there. Read the paper prepared by Joan Ecklein and Claire Gosslein of the Boston DISARM committee. The Seminar included a 28 minute video on the Boston "fightback," including strong comments by four scientists opposed to the BSL 4 Lab. View a fifteen minute version of the video on resistance to the BSL 4 Lab co-produced by Boston WILPF. A list of NGO web sites monitoring the BIodefense program vastly expanded since John Bolton rejected the Inspection Protocol in 2001 (with $44 billion advocated since then) was provided to delegates and also shown on the screen by Carol Urner. Also shown and distributed were the map and key of BSL 4 and BSL 3 "Biodefense." To access this information click on the links high lighted below.
For efforts of Boston ACE (Alternatives for Community and Environment) to stop location of the BSL 4 lab in a densely populated Afro-American neighborhood there.
For efforts to stop the lab construction through legislative action explore the Boston Mobilization web site.
For the new BARDA legislation (signed by the President on December 19). It is embedded in the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act as Section 401. It sets up a new Authority which gives new protections and incentives to Pharmaceuticals to gain their participation in Homeland Security's Project Bioshield, and makes the program more secretive than ever. See a wide ranging collection of comments on the BARDA legislation compiled on the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation in December 2005. The Bill took two years to pass because the House objected to some provisions. Budget is over 1 billion dollars with much of it going to the Department of Health and Human Services which, like NIH, is controlled in part by Homeland Security.
The Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation is another bioweapons monitor and has an extensive list of related web sites on Biodefense matters.
For information on monitoring civilian and military "Biodefense" programs check the Sunshine Project. We believe the project is committed to both transparency and adherence to truth, and is the best source for ongoing information reports on U.S. biodefense programs nationwide. A map and list of BSL 3 and 4 labs in the U.S. that are part of the new (since 2001) bio-defense program is available here.
For the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation breakdown of the 44 billion dollars in US government allocations to the "Biodefense" program since 2001 and for their list of web links to other NGOs monitoring the US "Biodefense" programs.
Essential background information on the Biological Weapons Convention is on the Reaching Critical Will web site. You will find there also a copy of the 1972 Biological Weapons Convention which is the subject of this Review Conference. The BWC has been ratified by 155 national governments, including the United States.
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Lots more background information on saving the Bioweapons Treaty for WILPF Branches and members below:
The U.S., in the person of John Bolton, torpedoed the Bioweapons inspection protocol in 2001. During the same period U.S. "bio-defense research was vastly expanded. Explore the WILPF DISARM web pages for information on Biodefense and suspected Bio warfare projects of which most US citizens are unaware. Some of it is pretty scary stuff. If you become seriously interested visit the Sunshine Project web site and subscribe to Edward Hammond's list serve. He is our most committed and savvy watch dog, and you can follow genetic engineering that is creating new forms of small pox for which there is no vaccine, and reconstructing the 1918 flu virus that killed millions. Learn why and how communities like Boston are resisting university labs that are bringing dangerous pathogens into local neighborhoods. If you want to get involved, let DISARM know. We need you!