Логотип ZDES

Third Seminar of the Academic Network for European Security Studies ‘Securing Biological Weapons Convention Regime: Preparing for the Next Steps’

December 16-17, 2019

School of International Relations, St. Petersburg University

The seminar gathered around 50 participants representing Russia, Germany, Switzerland, the UK, and USA. Officers from five international intergovernmental organisations which are playing a critical role in strengthening the BWC regime took part in the workshop.

Four different NGOs which are active in the field of BWC spoke at the event. The multidisciplinary nature of BWC-related issues demands a comprehensive approach and cross-domain cooperation. The diversity of the represented perspectives was one of the most significant achievements of the workshop. 

The format and timing of the workshop gave the participants a unique opportunity to discuss current problems of strengthening BWC two weeks after the annual meeting of the state parties to BWC which usually takes place in Geneva in early December. The deputy head of the BWC Implementation Support Unit reported the results and achievements of his institution. The participants of the workshop discussed how they could improve their collaboration with the BWC Implementation Support Unit. Special attention was dedicated to the role of the academic community and NGOs in preparing for the Ninth BWC Review Conference – 2021.

Filippa Lentzos, King’s College London, coordinator of collaboration within a global non-formal network of BWC-related NGOs and academic institutions, emphasised the uniqueness of this workshop and noted that it is essential to continue involving students as participants of BWC-related events. She also mentioned that BWC-related community lacks people from the Global South. The workshop in St. Petersburg become one of the venues where East meets Weast, and Global North meets Global South.