Burma has become the 171st state to pledge support for the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC), ratifying the treaty in Geneva, Switzerland, on 1 December.
Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs Thant Kyaw expressed Burma’s willingness to work with the other member states in advancing the goals of the BWC.
The move by Naypyidaw was welcomed by US Ambassador Robert Wood, special representative to the Conference on Disarmament. “My delegation would like to offer Myanmar [Burma] our heartiest congratulations on taking this important step,” he said.
“Every country that joins the BWC sends a powerful message of solidarity with the international community that the possession and use of biological weapons should not be an option. Should Myanmar so desire, the United States stands ready to assist with implementing the Convention in its domestic laws, regulations, and practices, and in other BWC-related areas,” said Ambassador Wood.
The Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Biological and Toxin Weapons, and on Their Destruction is the first multilateral convention to enforce an outright ban of biological weapons. It was formed in 1972 and came into force in 1975.