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Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention

Volume 454: debated on Monday 11 December 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the extent is of UK participation in the EU action plan on the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention; why action at the EU level is required in this area; and if she will make a statement. (108062)

The EU agreed a strategy against the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction in 2003, which is an important co-ordinating document. The EU action plan on biological and toxin weapons is complementary to that strategy and other EU work on the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention. Itsets out practical steps for EU member states in implementing their strategy. All EU partners, including the UK, have submitted confidence building measures mechanism returns in 2006, which enables the EU to have a firmer base for encouraging other States Parties to submit them. The EU have also agreed to submit lists of experts and laboratories to the UN Secretary-General which is in line with the UN General Assembly's encouragement to the UN Secretary-General to update the list, so as to permit timely and efficient investigation of alleged use of biological and chemical weapons.