BOX 1-7
Relevant Articles of the Biological Weapons Convention

Article V

The States Parties to this Convention undertake to consult one another and to cooperate in solving any problems which may arise in relation to the objective of, or in the application of the provisions of, the Convention. Consultation and Cooperation pursuant to this article may also be undertaken through appropriate international procedures within the framework of the United Nations and in accordance with its Charter.

Article VI

(1) Any State Party to this convention which finds that any other State Party is acting in breach of obligations deriving from the provisions of the Convention may lodge a complaint with the Security Council of the United Nations. Such a complaint should include all possible evidence confirming its validity, as well as a request for its consideration by the Security Council.

(2) Each State Party to this Convention undertakes to cooperate in carrying out any investigation which the Security Council may initiate, in accordance with the provisions of the Charter of the United Nations, on the basis of the complaint received by the Council. The Security Council shall inform the States Parties to the Convention of the results of the investigation.

Article VII

Each State Party to this Convention undertakes to provide or support assistance, in accordance with the United Nations Charter, to any Party to the Convention which so requests, if the Security Council decides that such Party has been exposed to danger as a result of violation of the Convention.

SOURCE: Text of the Biological Weapons Convention, signed April 10, 1972.

With 170 participating states, the consensus achieved in the BWC is meaningful. Since 2002 the BWC has held a series of annual intersessional meetings between the treaty review conferences held every 5 years. The two annual meetings of experts and states parties provide both an expert and a diplomatic component, with different issues addressed each year along with some standing topics. The BWC 2004 annual meetings, for example, examined mechanisms in place in the event a biological/toxic weapon was used or an allegation of use was made. In the final report of the meetings, states parties agreed on the value of (1) continuing to develop national capacities to respond to, investigate, and mitigate potential use of bioweapons; and (2) of doing so in cooperation with relevant regional and international organizations (Biological Weapons Conven-

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