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Disarmament

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Responding to Alleged Use

Article VI of the Convention provides States Parties with the right to request that the Security Council investigate breaches of the BWC, and obliges them to cooperate with any investigation that the Security Council may initiate. Article VII requires States Parties to assist States which have been exposed to danger as a result of a violation of the Convention. To date, these provisions have not been invoked.

One topic to be discussed under the Assistance and Cooperation standing agenda item is capacity-building for detecting, reporting, and responding to outbreaks of infectious disease or biological weapons attacks, including in the areas of preparedness, response, and crisis management and mitigation.

During the 2012 Meeting of Experts, States Parties discussed the need to promote interagency coordination and multi-sectoral cooperation to prepare for, detect, and respond to infectious disease outbreaks whether natural, accidental, or deliberate in nature. In addition, they discussed the importance of supporting states in building defences against new and emerging diseases and developing national capacity for responding to biological threats through detection, containment, and decontamination.

BWC/MSP/2012/MX/3 Report of the Meeting of Experts

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Similarly, during the 2010 Meeting of Experts, States Parties discussed “the provision of assistance and coordination with relevant organizations upon request by any State Party in the case of alleged use of biological or toxin weapons, including improving national capabilities for disease surveillance, detection and diagnosis and public health systems.”

BWC/MSP/2010/MX/3 Report of the Meeting of Experts

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