STATEMENT BY H.E. MR. SUMIO TARUI
AMBASSADOR, PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF JAPAN
TO THE CONFERENCE ON DISARMAMENT
Geneva, 12 December 2007
On Agenda Item 7
Regional and sub-regional cooperation on implementation of the Convention
Japan places great importance on the role regional cooperation plays in the implementation of the BWC, and as we highlighted in our presentation at the last Meeting of Experts, its effectiveness was confirmed through the regional seminars on counter-biological and chemical terrorism that Japan has hosted.
1. Overview (Significance of Regional Cooperation)
It is the responsibility of the States Parties to take the necessary national measures to ensure the full implementation of the BWC. In addition, we believe that regional cooperation is also immensely important for the strengthening of the Convention, which would be useful in preventing and responding to trans-national biological threats, deterring the development and production of biological weapons by non-state actors, such as terrorists, in countries with lax regulations, and ensuring the effective implementation by all regional countries without omission.
2. Japan's position
(1) The area of regional cooperation
From the aforesaid perspectives, Japan thinks the following are necessary as areas of regional cooperation for contributing to the strengthening of the BWC: support for enacting national legislation; capacity building in export and import controls as well as disease surveillance; holding seminars to establish law enforcement systems; constructing regional frameworks of law enforcement institutions and health authorities; and holding regional seminars aimed at researchers and industry. Japan believes that cooperation in these areas will lead to strengthening the Convention by enhancing the regional capacity to implement the BWC.
(2) Ways and means of regional cooperation
With regard to the ways and means of the regional cooperation, Japan has learned through its work to date that it is not always necessary to focus exclusively on the BWC when promoting regional cooperation for implementing the Convention. We would like to point out the importance of raising the significance of the BWC in regional cooperation activities in the security area, such as WMD non-proliferation and counter-terrorism, or the health and hygiene area, such as infectious disease counter measures. Japan is convinced this will broaden the recognition of the BWC's importance among stakeholders and will contribute to strengthening regional coordination among health and law enforcement institutions, which would be useful to the implementation of the Convention.
(3) The secondary effects of regional cooperation (Initiatives for universalization)
Furthermore, we would also like to point out that, as a secondary effect, these various BWC related regional cooperation activities can promote universalization by acting as an incentive for regional BWC non-States Parties to accede to the Convention.
3. Japan's future direction in regional cooperation
For regional cooperation, Japan focuses its activities on regional seminars in the Asia region. In this regard, we have held "The Asian Export Control Seminar" in Tokyo since 1993 as well as seminars on counter-biological and chemical terrorism over the last five years. Japan intends to continue its activities by utilizing such opportunities of regional cooperation related to the BWC to broaden recognition of its importance, and strengthen the implementation capacity of the participating countries.
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