Tag: WMD

Workshop in preparation for the Eighth Biological Weapons Convention Review Conference

On 19–20 September, ILPI, in cooperation with the Geneva Centre for Security Policy and the Biological Weapons Convention Implementation Support Unit, organised a two-day workshop for Geneva-based diplomats on the science and politics of biological weapons and biology-related security issues.

By Daniel Frederik Mandrella

The Biological Weapons Convention (BWC), which entered into force on 26 March 1975, is the main international legal instrument addressing biological weapons. Its provisions include a total ban of the development, production, and stockpiling of all biological weapons. While the prohibition itself is total, the Convention suffers from not having a formal verification mechanism confirming compliance. In addition, 21st century scientific and technological developments, including the emergence of ‘synthetic biology’ and genetic-engineering techniques such as CRISPR, have brought to the fore the increasing interconnection between international security and science and technology.

1540 and the 2016 Comprehensive Review

A brief history of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1540 in light of the 2016 Comprehensive Review

By Hanne Veel
13 June 2016

On 28 April 2004, the UN Security Council (UNSC) unanimously adopted Resolution 1540,[i] the purpose of which is to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) to non-state actors, in particular for terrorist purposes. The resolution obliges all UN member states to adopt and enforce appropriate legislation to this end, and to put in place domestic controls to prevent such proliferation. The resolution further establishes a committee to oversee its implementation. In accordance with a subsequent resolution from 2011 (UNSC Res 1977), the 1540 resolution will undergo a comprehensive review in 2016, with a view to improving implementation of the resolution. This article briefly outlines the history and implementation of the resolution to date, with the aim of providing a backdrop to the on-going review process.

Rapport fra multilateralismens gravkammer

Hva skal man gjøre med et internasjonalt forhandlingsforum som ikke forhandler?

By Magnus Løvold

Dypt inne i det multilaterale diplomatiets mørke irrganger, fjernt fra offentlighetens oppmerksomhet, sitter representanter fra 65 land og snakker om internasjonal nedrustning av atomvåpen og andre masseødeleggelsesvåpen – nær tjue år på overtid.

The Chemical Weapons Convention

The Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) and the law enforcement exception


The Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) opened for signature in 1993 after more than a decade of negotiations in the Conference on Disarmament (CD). It entered into force in 1997 and has, as of January 2016, 190 States Parties.

The history of chemical weapons

The history and properties of chemical weapons


Chemical weapons are chemicals formulated to inflict harm on humans. Modern chemical weapons are usually delivered by means of missiles, shells, or gravity bombs. By their very nature, chemical weapons are highly indiscriminate and cause superfluous injury. Due to their capacity to cause death and suffering on a wide scale, they are commonly labelled ‘weapons of mass destruction’.

Longing for Armageddon

A brief history of non-state actors’ pursuit and use of weapons of mass destruction

By Kjølv Egeland
2 June 2015

Super-villains armed with a weapon of mass destruction is the stuff of countless on-screen thrillers. But the prospect of non-state actors armed with such weapons is far from fantasy. Chemical and biological weapons have been used by terrorist organizations on several occasions, sometimes to devastating effects. Terrorists have been unsuccessful in their attempts at acquiring nuclear weapons, but not for a lack of trying. In this paper I examine the history of non-state actors’ pursuit and use of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs).