Brussels, 26/03/2015

Statement by High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini on the 40th anniversary of the entry into force of the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention

The Convention is a cornerstone of international efforts to prevent biological agents or toxins from ever being developed, produced or otherwise acquired and used as weapons. As such it is a crucial element of our collective security and strongly supported by the European Union as one of the key instruments of multilateral disarmament and non-proliferation.

The universalisation of the Convention remains a priority for the EU: its recent ratification by Myanmar and the accession of Mauritania and Andorra are a sign we are on the right path. I call on those remaining States not yet Parties to the Convention to ratify or accede to it as soon as possible. The European Union provides tangible support to the BTWC by engaging politically under the Convention and by allocating financial resources to its Implementation Support Unit for the development of specific projects.

The EU and its Member States are also engaged in supporting improvements in bio-safety and bio-security around the globe.  In this regard, as a key part of the international response to the recent Ebola epidemic outbreak in West Africa, the EU and its Member States have mobilised political, financial and scientific resources to help contain, control, treat and ultimately defeat Ebola. The EU's total financial contribution to fight the epidemic is over € 1.4 billion.

As we move towards the Eighth Review Conference in 2016, we seek agreement on a substantive agenda of measures to enhance confidence in the Convention and inject new dynamism into the BTWC process. The EU will spare no effort to make the Eighth Review Conference a success.