FA89 / 13 June 2002
New Measures to Fight the Spread of Chemical and Biological Weapons
I welcome the decision by Australia Group countries to tighten
their export controls on materials, equipment and technology which
could be used in chemical or biological warfare.
Australia, as permanent chair of the Group, continues to play a
pivotal role in international efforts to tackle this grave threat
to global security.
The agreement last week by the Groupís 34 participants aims to
prevent the inadvertent or illicit spread of chemical and biological
weapons, including to terrorist groups.
All members of the Group ñ which includes countries from Europe,
the Americas and the Asia-Pacific ñ are parties to the Chemical
Weapons Convention and the Biological Weapons Convention. These
conventions legally oblige state parties not to aid the development
and production of such weapons. Export controls play a central
role in fulfilling this obligation.
Other key decisions at the Groupís annual meeting in Paris included:
To adopt formal guidelines governing the licensing of sensitive
chemical and biological items, consistent with the Groupís strong
commitment to transparency;
- To include in these guidelines a ëcatch-allí provision, reflecting
the resolve of participating national governments to use all means
at their disposal to fight the spread of chemical and biological
- To apply more rigorous controls to the export of fermenters;
- To add eight new toxins to the Groupís biological control list;
- To control technology associated with dual-use biological equipment
which could be used to manufacture biological weapons; and
- To control the intangible transfer of relevant information and
The Group, created in 1985, has also released a booklet to promote
awareness of the CBW threat. The booklet, Fighting the spread
of chemical and biological weapons: strengthening global security,
will complement the Australia Group website at www.australiagroup.net.
Media enquiries: Chris Kenny (Ministerial) 02 6277 7500 / Julie
McDonald (Departmental) 02 6261 1555
Saturday, 08-Mar-2014 18:23:50 EST