Invitation: Biological Weapons Convention 40th Anniversary Event

Forty years ago, on 26 March 1975, the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BWC)—the first multilateral treaty to effectively prohibit an entire class of weaponry worldwide—entered into force.

The Centre on Conflict, Development and Peacebuilding (CCDP) of the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, the Geneva Centre for Security Policy (GCSP) and the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR) would like to invite you and your colleagues to a seminar to mark the 40th anniversary of this Convention on Monday 30 March 2015.

This academic seminar is convened by the CCDP, GCSP and UNIDIR from 14:00 to 17:00 to reflect on the current challenges and future options for the BWC. It is organised with the support of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

This event will take place in the Council Chamber of the Palais des Nations, Geneva. This venue has historical significance as it is the room in which the BWC was negotiated by the Committee of the Conference on Disarmament before being finalized in 1971. Prior to the seminar, there will be a formal commemorative event organised by the BWC Implementation Support Unit (ISU) with the assistance of the Chairman of the 2015 BWC meetings and the Depositary Governments of the BWC, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America. An invitation from the Chairman of the 2015 BWC Meetings and more details can be found here.

A light lunch will be available to participants and a reception follows the afternoon session.

If you would like to attend the seminar, please register here  by 25 March 2015. Attendees without passes to access the Palais des Nations will need to complete the attached registration form [download here] in order to be cleared through UN security. You will have to present it together with valid identification.

Updated information on the programme will be available from a dedicated page by the BWC Implementation Support Unit.

Yours sincerely,

Dr Keith Krause, Centre on Conflict, Development and Peacebuilding (CCDP)

Dr Gustav Lindstrom, Geneva Centre for Security Policy (GCSP)

Mr Jarmo Sareva, United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research


Point of contact: Mr Marc Finaud, GCSP (

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About JP Zanders

Jean Pascal Zanders (Belgium) has worked on questions of chemical and biological weapon (CBW) armament and disarmament since 1986. He was CBW Project Leader at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), Director of the BioWeapons Prevention Project and Senior Research Fellow responsible for disarmament, arms control and non-proliferation questions at the European Union Institute for Security Studies. He now owns and runs The Trench.