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UNODA Occasional Papers No.8: Disarmament and Non-Proliferation Regimes, September 2004

image of UNODA Occasional Papers No.8: Disarmament and Non-Proliferation Regimes, September 2004
The Department for Disarmament Affairs, renamed United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs in 2007 (UNODA) Occasional Papers is a series of ad hoc publications presenting, in edited form, papers or statements made at meetings, symposiums, seminars, workshops or lectures that deal with topical issues in the field of arms limitation, disarmament and international security. They are intended primarily for those concerned with these matters in Government, civil society and in the academic community.

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Biological weapons

The Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) was concluded in 1972. It has presently 151 States parties. It was challenged in the nineties by revelations about past offensive biological weapons projects by several States, by the suspicion that several countries were conducting BW offensive programmes contrary to the international norm and by the increasing concern that non-state actors might strive to acquire and use biological weapons, as proven by the efforts of the Aum Shinrikyo terrorist sect to produce anthrax and release it into the environment and the anthrax scare in the United States after 11 September 2001. These concerns were sharpened by the growing technical possibilities offered by progress in biogenetic science.

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