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28 March 2005

U.S., U.K., Russia Reaffirm Support for Biological Weapons Pact

Mark 30th anniversary of Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention

To mark the 30th anniversary on March 26 of the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention, the United States, the United Kingdom and the Russian Federation have issued a joint statement reaffirming their strong support for the pact and their determination to press “for full implementation of, and compliance with, the Convention by all its States Parties.”

They also stress the necessity of all parties adopting “relevant penal legislation” for violations of the convention and note the opportunity the Sixth Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention Review Conference in 2006 offers for reviewing progress and renewing commitments.

Currently, 153 states are parties to the convention, which came into force in 1975.

More information on the convention is available at http://www.opbw.org/

Following is the text of the joint statement as released March 28 by the State Department:

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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Office of the Spokesman
March 28, 2005

Statement by Adam Ereli, Deputy Spokesman

BIOLOGICAL AND TOXIN WEAPONS CONVENTION DEPOSITARIES
JOINT STATEMENT ON 30TH ANNIVERSARY

Following is the text of a joint United States/United Kingdom/Russian Federation statement in support of the 30th anniversary, on March 26, of the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention.

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On the occasion of the 30th Anniversary of the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC), the United States, United Kingdom and Russian Federation, as Depositary Governments, reaffirm their strong support for the Convention.  We seek practical realization of all Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention obligations.  Our Governments will continue to work to strengthen the Convention by participating fully in the current three-year work program, by encouraging its universality, and by pressing for full implementation of, and compliance with, the Convention by all its States Parties.

In particular, we stress the necessity of adoption by all States Parties of relevant penal legislation for violations of the Convention.  The Sixth Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention Review Conference in 2006 will give all States Parties an opportunity to review steps taken to counter the biological weapons threat since the last Review Conference and to renew their commitment to the Convention and its full implementation, to their compliance, and to strengthening further the Convention.

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