RAZI INSTITUTE PARTICIPATED IN THE SECOND MEETING OF THE WORKING GROUP TO STRENGTHEN BWC AND HELD AN EXCLUSIVE MEETING AT WHO
The second meeting of the Working Group on Strengthening the Biological Weapons Convention was held between August 7 and 18, 2023, in Hall No. 19 of Building E of the European Headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland. Based on the activity plan that was approved in the first meeting of the working group in March 2023, the following topics were examined:
- Basics of cooperation and international assistance.
- Implementation mechanism of international assistance.
- Review of science and technology developments.
- Mechanism of access to new science and technologies.
- National and countrywide implementation.
The Islamic Republic of Iran views the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) as a fundamental instrument for international peaceful cooperation and emphasizes the full implementation of Article 10, which is related to the biological activities of vaccine production institutes. Iran also stresses the need to prevent the application of restrictions such as sanctions to Member States' access to peaceful biological materials and equipment. Iran advocates for international coordination to address microbial threats, and it aims to strengthen cooperation with international authorities and organizations under the title "Technology exchange for the production of biological products to achieve new generation of vaccines". Furthermore, the presence of experts in the field of microbiology in meetings of the BWC is considered proof of the need to benefit from their opinions in the decision-making process related to the convention. Finally, the Supreme National Security Council and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Iran have been following up on this matter for years, with the support of important biological institutes such as the Razi Vaccine and Serum Research Institute and the Pasteur Institute of Iran.
Following an invitation from the General Department of Peace and Security of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Rainak Ghaderi, who represented the Razi Institute and Agricultural Research, Education and Extension Organization (AREEO) of Agriculture-Jahad, attended the meeting.
The objectives of this meeting were to:
- Develop a free and non-discriminatory implementation mechanism for all countries to achieve practical results in the field of Science and Technology (S&T).
- Build international capacity to monitor, diagnose, and identify the threat of infectious diseases and potential and actual microbial risks.
- Discuss defense-related topics, particularly regarding Article 10 of the Convention, with the goal of strengthening international cooperation for peaceful purposes, including scientific and technical exchanges, to reduce the gap between member states in the field of developing biological capabilities in developing countries which is limited and restricted through Western countries.
On the sidelines of this meeting, with the coordination of the World Health Organization Office in Tehran, preparations were made to participate in a special meeting to examine the needs and requests of the Razi Institute in the supply of materials, technology transfer, and registration of Human Vaccines. The meeting was held at the headquarters of the World Health Organization in Geneva on August 15, with officials from various departments in attendance.
Additionally, a meeting was held with the representative of the World Organization for Animal Health (WOAH) Mrs. Madison Wimmers to discuss the selection of veterinarians for specialized commissions and interaction with the Goat and Sheep Pox Reference Laboratory of the Razi Institute, which is a WOAH-approved Laboratory.
Upon completing this mission, a meeting was held with Mr. Ali Bahraini, the Iranian ambassador in Geneva, and Mr. Ebrahim Alikhani, an expert in charge of the World Health Organization at the Iranian Embassy in Geneva to review and scrutinize the actions taken in this meeting.
It is hoped that with the support of the Honorable Deputy Minister and President of the Agricultural Research, Education, and Extension Organization (AREEO) of Ministry of Agricultur-Jahad, the worthwhile chair to be maintained at the European headquarters of the United Nations and the valuable connections made with experts and key people in BWC, the World Health Organization (WHO), and World Animal Health Organization (WOAH) will produce fruitful results for the Razi Institute and the county.