BWPP: "INDIA": BioWeapons Monitor 2011

December 01, 2011

The BioWeapons Monitor is an initiative of the BioWeapons Prevention Project (BWPP)—a global network of civil society actors dedicated to the permanent elimination of biological weapons and of the possibility of their re-emergence—to help monitor compliance with the international norm prohibiting biological weapons, laid down chiefly in the 1972 Biological Weapons Convention (BWC). Particularly, it aims to increase the transparency of activities relevant to the BWC, which the current treaty regime does not accomplish sufficiently.

Preventing states and non-state actors from acquiring and using biological weapons is an urgent, unmet need. The BioWeapons Monitor seeks to provide factual information that will enhance discussions on strengthening implementation of the BWC and other national and international measures that support the biological weapons prohibition. It works in good faith in order to benefit the international community as a whole.

The BioWeapons Monitor is not a technical verification system, but an effort of civil society to hold governments accountable for their obligations to eliminate permanently biological weapons and to prevent their re-emergence. It is meant to complement BWC States Parties’ reporting requirements under the BWC confidence building measures (CBMs). While some states have chosen to make their CBMs available to the public, this is not the case for most states, with the result that civil society is unable, except through the BioWeapons Monitor, to assess treaty compliance.

The BioWeapons Monitor 2011 contains country reports on BWC-relevant activities in eight states: Germany, India, Japan, Kenya, South Africa, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States. In-country researchers collected and analysed relevant information that is distributed through the publication. The researchers used open sources and actively sought to procure information from government departments, research institutions, wide range of sources helps to ensure the project’s success—that is, it does not rely solely on governments being forthcoming with information.

Animesh Roul/BWPP, Geneva, December 2011