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Building a Civil Society Coalition to Strengthen the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC)

On 11-12 December 2015, Chatham House, King’s College London (KCL), International Law and Policy Institute (ILPI) and GCSP organised a workshop on building a global civil society coalition to strengthen the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC). 

In association with:

Location

Starling Hotel and Conference Center

This meeting builds on some of the previous work GCSP has conducted in Geneva on BWC compliance and related issues. Held in the days leading up to the last BWC Meeting of States Parties (MSP) before the 2016 Review Conference of the BWC, the workshop sought to strengthen and support the BWC by initiating discussions on the role and contribution of civil society organisations.

Key summary points of the workshop include:

  • 33 participants from a wide variety of civil society organisations, research institutions, international organisations and a selected group of states.
  • Primarily policy-focused meeting, with discussions on the important role that civil society plays in upholding and strengthening the BWC and the norm against the use of these weapons.
  • The workshop demonstrated that it is possible to move discussions about civil society’s role in the field of biological weapons in a more constructive and actionoriented direction. Actors within the biological weapons control community are open to the ideas and suggestions of actors from other fields, and actors not previously exposed to this issue can be interested in further engaging with the BWC.
  • More work needs to be done to provide a clearer rationale and objective for civilsociety and to develop an action-focused, young community in the context of the BWC.
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