November 1-2, 2018
School of International Relations, St. Petersburg State University
The history of the international regime of the Biological weapons convention (BWC) is complicated and controversial. Today, the need to secure the vitality of BWC regime has become even more critical. The mechanism of intersessional consultations was introduced two years ago and adopted a year ago. The State Parties to BWC have started their cooperation within the framework of these improved procedures. Currently, civil society is more actively involved in the arms control diplomacy and therefore has opportunities to raise awareness, suggest possible solutions, and be a part of international efforts to strengthen the BWC regime.
St. Petersburg State University decided to initiate a discussion about the possible ways of supporting the BWC regime. The initiative of SPbSU was encouraged by the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Russian Federal Service for Supervision on Consumer Rights Protection and Human Welfare (Rospotrebnadzor) which have sent their representatives to participate in the Seminar. The event was also supported by the Board of the ‘Strategic Studies’ educational programme and joined by representatives of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Implementation Support Group of the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention; the Pugwash Conference on Science and International Affairs; and King’s College London. The Seminar also involved students and teachers of the programme ‘Strategic Studies’, School of International Relations and the Faculty of Law of St. Petersburg State University.
Participants expressed appreciation of the excellent organization of the event and a constructive atmosphere that contributed to productive work. The format of the round table proposed by SPbSU provided a unique opportunity to discuss the most pressing problems in the BWC strengthening. In particular, it was suggested that such a seminar, if regularly held, could be an important platform for intersessional expert work within the framework of the BWC.