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The Center for Bio-safety Research and Strategy of Tianjin University Attended Biological Weapons Convention

 Global

The 2017 Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) State Parties Meeting was held at the Palais des Nations at the United Nations Headquarters, Geneva, Switzerland, from December 4 to 8. Participants from 114 state parties attended the five-day meeting of the BWC State Parties 2017. Attendees from 69 countries, nine international institutions including the European Union (EU), the World Health Organization (WHO), and 12 nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) shared their insights. The BWC is the first multilateral disarmament treaty banning an entire category of weapons of mass destruction, playing a critical role in international efforts to address the threat posed by biological weapons. 

With the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Center for Bio-safety Research and Strategy of Tianjin University submitted a formal application for registration as an NGO in November and soon obtained approval from the Compliance Support Agency of the BWC and was invited to attend the conference. 

As one of the 12 NGOs gathered in this meeting, the center made an official statement on Dec 5, introducing its mission, research directions and contents to attendees from various countries and organizations.  

Also, it contributed to drafting a code of conduct for Bio-security. The draft of “Model Code of Conduct for Bio-scientists” was written by the Center. This code aims at enhancing bio-security awareness of research personnel and preventing the misuse and misapplication of bio-science and technology to address the challenges brought by the rapid development of bioscience and technology. The initiative proposed by China was successfully adopted as an agenda item of BWC Expert Meeting and formally included in the work plan for a future conference. 

Zhang Weiwen, Dean of The Center for Bio-safety Research and Strategy of Tianjin University  

The Center for Bio-safety Research and Strategy of Tianjin University, established in 2016, is the first non-governmental think tank in China to conduct bio-safety related strategy and policy research. Its members include well-known experts including biology, law, computer science, and sociology fields. The center has maintained communication with academic researchers, think tanks, governments, and international organizations since its establishment. As China’s first NGO participating in the BWC, it attracted a great deal of attention, and several NGOs expressed their willingness to cooperate with it. The Center for Bio-safety Research and Strategy of Tianjin University will also take this opportunity to participate more actively in meetings of the WBC and enhance cooperation with NGOs from all over the world. 

By: Qiu Ya

Editors: Qin Mian and Keith Harrington

Cover Designer: Liu Yang