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Countering Biological Threats: Challenges for the Department of Defense’s Nonproliferation Program Beyond the Former Soviet Union Appendix G Activities of International Organizations SELECTED INTERGOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS WITH PROGRAMS TO REDUCE THE THREAT POSED BY BIOWEAPONS AND BIOTERRORISM UN 1540 Committee In 2004, the United Nations Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 1540, which requires member states “to refrain from supporting by any means non-State actors from developing, acquiring, manufacturing, possessing, transporting, transferring or using nuclear, chemical or biological weapons and their delivery systems.” The resolution requires that member states establish domestic controls to prevent the proliferation of biological, chemical, or nuclear weapons; delivery systems; and related materials. The UN 1540 Committee has a mandate to oversee compliance with the resolution. This mandate was extended in April 2006 for another 3 years, with provisions for assistance expanded. (www.un.org/sc/1540/) G-8 Global Partnership Against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction The G-8 global partnership was an initiative agreed to at the 2002 G-8 Summit in Canada. It is designed to provide funding for cooperative projects, initially in the former Soviet Union, focused on nonproliferation, disarmament, counterterrorism, and nuclear safety issues. The Canadian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the UK Ministry of Defense have played leadership roles in the organization. (cns.miis.edu/research/globpart/)
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Countering Biological Threats: Challenges for the Department of Defense’s Nonproliferation Program Beyond the Former Soviet Union Australia Group The Australia Group is an informal forum of countries promoting the harmonization of export licensing procedures in an attempt to ensure that exports of chemicals, biological agents, and dual-use equipment do not contribute to the development of chemical or biological weapons. A list of common technologies with the potential to be used in chemical and biological weapons programs has been developed and is used as the basis for export restrictions. Member countries are all states parties to the Biological Weapons Convention and the Chemical Weapons Convention. Members provide funding for the group’s activities. The activities of the Australia Group have been supported by major chemical and biological industries that are concerned about the possibility of inadvertently providing supplies or equipment that could be used to develop chemical or biological weapons. (www.australiagroup.net/en/index.html) Interpol—Biocriminalization Project Interpol, the world’s largest police organization, assists law enforcement agencies in more than 180 member countries to combat all types of transnational crime. The Biocriminalization project was launched in September 2006 to identify legislative and regulatory gaps in member countries—seen as a key obstacle in the fight against bioterrorism—and to assist them with drafting and enacting legislation to prohibit and prevent the misuse of biological agents and toxins. (www.interpol.int/) SELECTED INTERGOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS WITH PROGRAMS ON BIOSECURITY, BIOSAFETY, OR DISEASE SURVEILLANCE (NOT SPECIFIC TO BIOWEAPONS OR BIOTERRORISM) World Health Organization (WHO) Programs of Relevance International Health Regulations The revised International Health Regulations went into effect in June 2007. The regulations are designed to support the international management of public health emergencies with a focus on preventing the international spread of diseases. Countries are required to develop and strengthen their capacities to detect, report, and respond to public health threats. For low-resource countries, financial and technical assistance is to be available. The shortage of this assistance is seen as a potential barrier to the effective implementation
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Countering Biological Threats: Challenges for the Department of Defense’s Nonproliferation Program Beyond the Former Soviet Union of the regulation, together with fear of the potential economic consequences of reporting public health emergencies. (www.who.int/csr/ihr/en/) (See also Appendix H.) Biosafety and Laboratory Biosecurity Program The Biosafety and Laboratory Biosecurity Program helps member states adopt and implement biorisk management strategies, including workplace practices; the use of protective equipment; and the handling of pathogens in laboratories, during transportation, in field investigations, and in vaccine-manufacturing facilities. There are five collaborating centers, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health, and also joint programs with regional biosafety networks, such as the African Biosafety Network and the Asia-Pacific Biosafety Network. The program publishes several manuals, including Guidance on Regulations for the Transport of Infectious Substances and Biorisk Management: Laboratory Biosecurity Guidance. (www.who.int/csr/bioriskreduction/biosafety/en/) Life Science Research and Development for Global Health Security The Life Science Research and Development for Global Health Security project is designed to raise awareness and provide information and guidance to WHO member states on the possible options for risk management to address dual-use life science research and development activities. It has established a network of experts and prepared a working paper on relevant issues. In addition, it has sponsored or cosponsored several regional meetings and is now preparing a guidance document to evaluate needs and capacities for risk assessment. (whqlibdoc.who.int/hq/2007/WHO_CDS_EPR_2007.4_eng.pdf) Biorisk Reduction Program The WHO Biorisk Reduction Program promotes “the use of safe and secure workplace practices, appropriate protective equipment, engineering and administrative controls in the handling of pathogenic organisms in laboratories, during transportation, in field investigations and in vaccine manufacturing facilities, to protect workers, the environment and the community from exposure, infection, and subsequent development of disease.” (www.who.int/csr/bioriskreduction/biosafety/en/index.html) Epidemic and Pandemic Alert and Response Program The Epidemic and Pandemic Alert and Response Program is a global system to address epidemics and other public health emergencies based on
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Countering Biological Threats: Challenges for the Department of Defense’s Nonproliferation Program Beyond the Former Soviet Union strong national public health systems and capacity and an effective international system for coordinated response. It is designed to strengthen biosafety, biosecurity, and readiness to respond to dangerous and emerging pathogens, including severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). (www.who.int/csr/disease/en/) Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations FAO supports numerous activities related to biosecurity and biosafety focused largely on protecting against plant and animal pests and diseases as well as zoonoses, genetically modified organisms, and alien species. It has developed biosafety best practices, supported capacity-building programs, and created a Web portal on food safety and animal and plant health. It also has created a Biosafety Resources Web site that links a variety of manuals, reports, and guidelines. (www.fao.org/biosecurity and www.fao.org/sd/2003/biosafety) World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) The OIE focuses on preventing the spread of animal diseases, including those transmissible to humans, while also supporting trade in animals and animal products. It has been an active participant in the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) intercessional processes and has worked with other international organizations to develop generic biosafety and safe transport guidance. The OIE produces international health standards for animals and animal products, as well as trade standards and biological standards. The standards address the following issues: risk management approaches and principles, identification and traceability of live animals, hygiene, and disinfection. It also produces guidelines for veterinary laboratories in testing infectious animal diseases. Following are examples of OIE publications: Terrestrial Health Code; the Manual of Diagnostic Tests and Vaccines for Terrestrial Animals; the Aquatic Animal Health Code; Quality Standards and Guidelines for Veterinary Laboratories: Infectious Diseases; and the Handbook on Import Risk Analysis for Animals and Animal Products. (www.oie.int/eng/en_index.htm) Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Two sections of the OECD have programs of relevance—the Biotechnology Division and the International Futures Program. The OECD Best Practice Guidelines on Biosecurity, developed by the Biotechnology Division, provide guidance for member countries operating biological resource centers—repositories of biological materials required for research and development activities and for biotechnology applications. The guidelines cover risk management, physical security, management of personnel
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Countering Biological Threats: Challenges for the Department of Defense’s Nonproliferation Program Beyond the Former Soviet Union and visitors, training, materials control, transport security, incident response, and information security. (www.oecd.org/dataoecd/6/27/38778261.pdf) The International Futures Program has conducted several workshops and meetings promoting responsible stewardship in the biosciences as well as assessing long-term risks. The Futures group maintains a Web site that includes a broad range of information on the activities of national governments, international organizations, and others related to biosecurity issues, as well as examples of codes and background readings. (www.biosecuritycodes.org) INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT BANKS World Bank The World Bank supports several relevant programs, including major health loans, assistance projects related to avian and human influenza, and extensive work on biosafety. The bank’s new strategy for health, nutrition, and population reflects dramatic changes in health assistance over the last decade, with many organizations earmarking funds for priority diseases such as HIV/AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis. It emphasizes the bank’s comparative advantage by focusing on health systems strengthening at the country level, including health financing and economic considerations. Total health, population, and nutrition funding in 2007 was $1.8 billion, or 10 percent of the bank’s total annual lending. In some cases, these efforts included supporting disease surveillance and response activities, such as a project in India that is establishing a central government surveillance unit, strengthening state and district level efforts, and upgrading local laboratories. The bank has two mechanisms to address avian and human influenza. The first is the Global Program for Avian Influenza (GPAI) (up to $500 million in loans and credits) and the second is a multidonor-financed trust fund (now $125 million). Countries can access GPAI funding to strengthen veterinary and health services to deal with avian flu outbreaks among animals, minimize the threat posed to people, and prepare for and respond to any potential human flu pandemics. The trust fund is designed to help countries (1) prevent or control and eradicate avian influenza and (2) increase preparedness for human influenza pandemics. The World Bank (through the Global Environment Facility, with support from the UN Development Program and the UN Environment Program) has financed the development of regional biosafety projects in West Africa and Latin America. The West Africa project will support common approaches to biosafety, establish a national reference laboratory in Burkina Faso, and strengthen the ability of local institutions to implement regional laws and regulations on biosafety. (www.worldbank.org)
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Countering Biological Threats: Challenges for the Department of Defense’s Nonproliferation Program Beyond the Former Soviet Union African Development Bank An interesting project of the African Development Bank is designed to strengthen institutions for risk management of transboundary animal diseases in southern Africa by establishing a surveillance network, upgrading diagnostic laboratories, and enhancing preparedness for the spread of animal diseases. A special focus is improving a laboratory in Tanzania to serve as a regional reference laboratory. However, the bank allocates less than 4 percent of its funding for health activities, with most of those funds used for expanding primary health care and HIV/AIDS-related services. (www.afdb.org) Asian Development Bank The Asian Development Bank has provided several health-oriented loans. It also provides technical assistance for health activities and supports conferences to promote the information sharing among Asian countries on their experiences in implementing policies and regulations on biotechnology and biosafety. Its relatively small health program is currently focused on helping countries meet Millennium Development Goals. (www.adb.org) SELECTED REGIONAL ORGANIZATIONS African Networks for Health Research and Development (AFRO-NETS) Organized in 1997, the African Networks for Health Research and Development is designed to facilitate information exchange among health networks in Anglophone Africa. (www.afronets.org/partnet.php) Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation has supported a series of policy dialogues on biotechnology and biosafety. For example, in 2006 the organization hosted a meeting on biosafety policy options in preparation for a high-level policy dialogue on agriculture and biotechnology. (www.apec.org) Bioweapons Prevention Project (BWPP) Initiated by a group of nongovernmental organizations, the Bioweapons Prevention Project works to reduce the threat of bioweapons by monitoring and reporting throughout the world on compliance with relevant international treaties. (www.bwpp.org)
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Countering Biological Threats: Challenges for the Department of Defense’s Nonproliferation Program Beyond the Former Soviet Union VERTIC (Verification Research, Training and Information Center), United Kingdom Founded in 1986, VERTIC is a nongovernmental organization that promotes effective and efficient verification as a means of ensuring confidence in the implementation of international agreements and intranational agreements with international involvement. Its portfolio of interest includes treaties dealing with weapons of mass destruction and biological weapons. (www.vertic.org/) International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) IFPRI and other members of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) carry out a range of activities related to biosafety issues. IFPRI is coordinating a program on biosafety systems to ensure the development of appropriate biosafety regulations within country-led sustainable development strategies. Activities include policy analysis and development, risk assessment, capacity building in regulatory systems, and communication and public outreach. The program is focused on Africa and Southeast Asia. (www.ifpri.org/pbs/pdf/pbsbrochure.pdf) (www.sciencecouncil.cgiar.org/publications/pdf/Biosafety%20Report%20no%20cover.pdf) InterAcademy Panel on International Issues (IAP) The IAP’s biosecurity initiative focuses on the potential impact of biosciences research on global society and, particularly, on the risks associated with the misuse of such research. In 2005, IAP released a statement of principles that could guide development of appropriate biosecurity codes of conduct. Using the results of the 2006 Sixth Review Conference of the States Parties to the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC), the IAP prepared a draft statement on “Considerations, Lessons, Perspectives, and Recommendations.” These include the following provisions: Scientists who become aware of activities that violate the BWC or international customary law should raise their concerns. Scientists should be aware of, disseminate, and teach national and international law and regulations aimed at preventing the misuse of biological research. Scientists with responsibility for oversight of research should promote adherence to these principles and act as role models. (www.interacademies.net)
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Countering Biological Threats: Challenges for the Department of Defense’s Nonproliferation Program Beyond the Former Soviet Union International Council for Science (ICSU) ICSU’s mission is to promote international science and encourage the scientific community to address issues of science and society. It has hosted or cosponsored several workshops related to biosecurity, including one on science and technology developments and the BWC. (www.icsu.org)