I am very pleased to take the floor today, on behalf of the 31 member countries of the Global Partnership (GP) Against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction, to highlight some of the shared positions of - and important contributions made by - the GP community to strengthen the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC) and enhance global biological security.
Mr. Chairman, for the past two decades the Global Partnership has been working to mitigate risks associated with biological weapons and pursuing cooperative solutions to address deliberate biological threats. Our work is guided by five common “Deliverables”, which encourage mutually reinforcing, complementary and multisectoral cooperation. These Deliverables provide the parameters for common and coordinated action by GP members to:
In developing and delivering biological programming with partner countries, GP members place great importance on cooperation and assistance under Article X of the BTWC.
GP members assess that Article X-relevant international cooperation and collaboration delivered through the Global Partnership contributes significantly to mitigation of global biological threats, whether naturally occurring, accidental (including releases from laboratories) or a deliberate biological weapons attack.
In accordance with the Final Document of the Eight Review Conference, in which States Parties were encouraged to submit detailed information on Article X implementation, I am pleased to confirm that GP partner nations continue to support a broad range of Article X-relevant projects.
Specifically, in 2021 a total of 55 projects valued at more than €237 million were implemented or funded by GP partners. These projects, which were implemented in dozens of countries in every region of the world, serve to underscore to BTWC States Parties the nature and scale of GP efforts.
Mr. Chairman, in this same context let me also highlight the ongoing efforts of the Global Partnership to develop and implement the Signature Initiative to Mitigate Deliberate Biological Threats in Africa. The aim of the initiative, which is being developed and implemented in the closest collaboration with African partners, is to reduce bio-threats through aligning the activities of Global Partnership and African countries. Indicative of the importance of the GP’s collaborative relationship with African partners, the GP and Africa CDC have also entered into a Dialogue Partnership, with the aim of advancing our shared objective of strengthening health-security and mitigating biological threats in Africa.
Substantial progress has been made in the past few months in advancing collective action under each of the Signature Initiative’s four inter-connected pillars: i) biosafety and biosecurity; ii) national frameworks; iii) surveillance and epidemic intelligence; and iv) non-proliferation.
An important accomplishment of the Signature Initiative is the launch of a major new effort on Supporting Universalization and Effective Implementation of the BTWC in Africa. This new program of work, which is being delivered in collaboration with the BTWC Implementation Support Unit (ISU), is focused on promoting and supporting universalization and effective implementation of the BTWC in Africa. I am pleased to announce that a side event on the Signature Initiative and the BTWC Project will be convened this Thursday from 1-3 PM. We hope to see you there.
Mr. Chairman, I trust that this brief summary of contributions by the Global Partnership community clearly demonstrates the significance of the collective contribution of GP members to global biological threat reduction and to fulfilment of respective national commitments under the BTWC.
Should anyone have questions or wish to discuss specific contributions of the GP, please feel free to contact the delegations of Germany or Canada, who are current co-chairs of the GP's Biosecurity Working Group. We also encourage you to consult the Global Partnership website (www.gpwmd.com).