The meeting of the Council of CIS Heads of State, held as a video-conference on October 15 under the chairmanship of Belarus, proved an efficient platform for much needed talks. ”The Statement of Cooperation in the Field of Biological Safety”, presented here, comes in the context of a pandemic and is aimed at preventing future possible biological threats.
The statement is built upon the ”Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on their Destruction” (link here) which was adopted in 10 April 1972.
The members agreed to strengthen the legal framework of the CIS in the field of biological safety and to strengthen control on the national level “over activities in the biological sphere carried out in the territories of the CIS member states, including by foreign states and their representatives”. This phrase is particularly important because all member states are now responsible for any type of biological research undertaken on their territory by foreign agents, more precisely the US and people and organizations related to them. Considering international law, the aforementioned UN convention of 1972, any type of “Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons” are prohibited from being produced and stockpiled.
The document (translation)
The original (in Russian) can be found at https://e-cis.info/news/564/95418/
heads of state – members of the Commonwealth of Independent States on cooperation in the field of biological safety
Heads of State – members of the Commonwealth of Independent States,
realizing that the sanitary and epidemiological well-being of the population and ensuring health protection from the effects of dangerous biological factors, as well as monitoring biological risks are among the priority areas of state policy of the CIS member states,
Noting that in conditions of common borders, the spread of infectious diseases poses an equal threat to all CIS member states,
taking into account the growing risks to the health of citizens in connection with the spread of new infectious diseases and the need to develop common principles and approaches in responding to them,
stressing the relevance of further development and strengthening of a unified system of monitoring and prompt response to emergency situations of a sanitary and epidemiological nature in the CIS space,
noting the importance of interaction between the CIS member states, the creation and development of a biological risk monitoring system, the exchange of information on issues of biological safety,
in order to increase the responsibility of the CIS member states in the face of future biological threats,
Noting the importance of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on Their Destruction (hereinafter – the Convention) as one of the pillars of the international security architecture,
pursuing the common goal of strengthening the national security of the CIS member states,
taking into account the transboundary nature of the risks and threats to biological hazards,
proceeding from the generality of the task of coordinated counteraction against the risks and threats of biological hazards,
note that the increasing risks in the field of biosafety require joint efforts of all CIS member states to counter threats of a biological nature,
confirm the importance of strengthening the legal framework of the CIS in the field of biological safety, including in order to form the basis for the further development of cooperation in ensuring the sanitary and epidemiological well-being of the population, increasing the effectiveness of the fight against infectious diseases, responding to emergency situations of a sanitary and epidemiological nature, public health, sanitary protection of territories,
recognize the need to strengthen control at the national level over activities in the biological sphere carried out in the territories of the CIS member states, including by foreign states and their representatives, as well as to strengthen cooperation and interaction within the CIS on issues of biological security, including compliance with the Convention and promotion initiatives to institutionalize it,
emphasize the importance of cooperation within the CIS on the study and assessment of the sanitary-epidemiological and epizootic situation, as well as the exchange of information on possible threats and risks to the biological security of the Commonwealth countries,
Reaffirm the importance of respecting and strengthening the Convention regime, including through the adoption of a legally binding protocol to the Convention, which provides, inter alia, an effective mechanism for verifying compliance; support the early resumption of negotiations on such a protocol and call for regular consultations and cooperation in resolving any issues related to the implementation of the Convention,
emphasize the inadmissibility of creating international mechanisms that duplicate the functions of the Convention and operate bypassing the UN Security Council,
urge to continue cooperation and joint work to maintain sanitary-epidemiological and epizootic well-being, prevent the introduction and spread, prevent and eliminate especially dangerous diseases in the territories of the CIS member states, minimize economic damage when they occur,
note the need for joint preventive measures aimed at reducing the risks of the emergence and spread of infectious diseases,
express their readiness for active interaction on the topic of ensuring biosafety at the sites of the UN organizations, including the World Health Organization, in order to form a consolidated line of the CIS member states in this direction.