Cuba Reiterates Importance on Biological Weapons Convention

Cuba Reiterates Importance on Biological Weapons Convention+Geneva, Jul 19.- Cuba has insisted here in the importance of the strengthening and implementation of the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC), whose objective is to prevent the development and proliferation of those arsenals.

Addressing a BTWC meeting, Cuba representative Juan Antonio Quintanilla explained some actions his country has implemented to comply with what was established by that accord and protect human being and environment.

The island has been uninterruptedly participating since 1992 in the exchange of information through the annual presentation of forms to promote confidence, in which a high number of the country's institutions and centers have taken part.

The current legislation on that matter and the actions and implementation programs have been reinforced by a control mechanisms system to be extended to all facilities with biological risk, Quintanilla said.

About 44 safeguard inspections with different objectives and staggered by complexity level were implemented between 2007 and 2011.

A key element for the successful BTWC application in Cuba is training. It has been developed by the National Center for Biological Security, as well as other institutions and main State bodies, Quintanilla stated. The Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment, as a national authority of the Biological Weapons Convention, has an indisputable strength in function of this task, he noted.

A master's degree on biosecurity in Cuba allows preparing and raising the scientific level of experts, and the National Center for Biological Security annually trains inspectors on that matter.

The Convention, which came into force in 1975, has been ratified by 163 States. It prohibits the development, production and storage of biological weapons.

Signers promise not to develop biological or toxin agents that have no justification for prophylactic, protection or other peaceful purposes. It also facilitates exchange of equipment, materials and scientific and technological information. (Radio Cadena Agramonte).