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. WILPF DISARM joined international WILPF staff at the Sixth Bioweapons Convention Review Conference (BWC) in Geneva where 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 report of the Geneva office on the WILPF seminar presented by U.S. Section WILPF DISARM. Also see details below.
FLASH: A final document was approved by concensus on December 8 that actually was far better than we had dared hope. Read the final document of the Review Conference here. Now our task is to help the U.S. Congress investigate the current rapidly expanding "biodefense program" and bring all such research under legislative controls as required under this final statement. That should mean significant cutbacks in the program as well as much increased transparency and insurance that no research will be used for bioweapons development.
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. Daily reports from the Bioweapons Prevention Project are here as well as on the Geneva WILPF web site.
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. Boston WILPF believes there are strong indications that the lab will feed into a secret biowarfare program instituted by the current Administration. 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.
Susi Snyder, WILPF Secretary General, moderated the discussion and pointed out that WILPF has long called for an end to both biodefense and biowarfare research, since all such research can be used for the same aggressive purposes. She also repeated the need to develop inspection mechanisms as declared in the official WILPF statement to the Conference on November 21.
Carol Urner commended the delegates and NGOs for creative efforts to develop the transparency and universal acceptance of the treaty necessary if inspection mechanisms are to succeed. She especially commended the VERTIC publication Verification Matters on strengthening the treaty through modular mechanisms. She wants WILPF to take the publication to new Committee chairs in the 110th Congress. She also provided a list of NGO web sites monitoring the U.S. Biodefense program (vastly expanded since John Bolton rejected the Inspection Protocol in 2001, with $44 billion advocated since then). To access the information presented click on the links high lighted below.
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Lots more background information 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!