Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO)
Press Release on the First Thematic Consultations of the SCO Member States on Biological Security
On 20 November 2019 under the chairmanship of the Russian Federation in the SCO the first thematic consultations of the SCO Member States on biological security took place in Moscow with participation of SCO Member States experts and representatives from capitals and embassies in Moscow as well as with the contribution of the SCO Secretariat.
The SCO Member States exchanged views on the situation in the field of biological security and considered further practical steps for strengthening biological disarmament and non-proliferation regime and international biosecurity at the relevant multilateral venues, including UN General Assembly, Conference on Disarmament, Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC) meetings. They highlighted the need to comply with and strengthen the BTWC, including by adopting a legally binding Protocol to the Convention, which provides for, inter alia, an effective mechanism to verify compliance with the BTWC. They agree that the establishment of international mechanisms duplicating the functions of the BTWC and circumventing the UN Security Council was unacceptable.
The consultations confirmed the unity of approaches of the SCO Member States on the issue of biological security. The sides noted the need for further close coordination on this issue at specialized multilateral platforms. The majority of the SCO Member States expressed readiness to hold further consultations on biological security within the SCO format on a regular basis.