Myanmar set to ratify Biological Weapons Convention
Minister for Foreign Affairs Wunna Maung Lwin told the UN General Assembly in New York yesterday that Parliament had approved the government’s proposal to ratify the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) of 1972. Parliament approved the country’s accession to the convention – which bans the development, production and stockpiling of such biological weapons – on September 29, he said. Myanmar signed the convention in 1972 but never ratified it. The proposal to ratify the convention was submitted to Parliament by Thant Kyaw, deputy minister for foreign affairs. “Over 170 countries have already ratified the BWC. All Asean countries have except us,” Thant Kyaw said, adding that the move would demonstrate to the world Myanmar’s commitment to banning such weapons. The convention requires countries that ratify it not to acquire or stockpile biological weapons under any circumstances. However, it has no verification system for monitoring compliance, which critics say undermines its effectiveness. Myanmar announced it was planning to ratify the convention late last year.
[source: Eleven (Myanmar)]