India: Signature of Biological Weapons Convention

Action type
Government of the United Kingdom
15 January 1973

Statement on signature:

"India has stood for the elimination of both chemical and bacteriological (biological) weapons.  However, in view of the situation that developed in regard to the discussions concerning biological and chemical weapons, it became possible to reach agreement at the present moment on a Convention on the elimination of biological and toxin weapons only.  Negotiations would need to be continued for the elimination of chemical weapons also.  It has been recognised that, both in regard to the Convention on biological and toxin weapons and in respect of future negotiations concerning chemical weapons, the Geneva Protocol of 1925 should be safeguarded and the inseparable link between prohibition of biological and chemical weapons should be maintained. India's position on the Convention on biological and toxin weapons has been outlined in the statements of the representative of India before the Conference of the Committee on Disarmament (CCD) and the First Committee of the General Assembly. The Government of India would like to reiterate in particular its understanding that the objective of the Convention is to eliminate biological and toxin weapons, thereby excluding completely the possibility of their use, and that the exemption in regard to biological agents or toxins, which would be permitted for prophylactic, protective or other peaceful purposes would not, in any way, create a loophole in regard to the production or retention of biological and toxin weapons.  Also, any assistance which might be furnished under the terms of the Convention would be of medical or humanitarian nature and in conformity with the Charter of the United Nations. India's support of the Convention on biological and toxin weapons is based on these main considerations.  It is India's earnest hope that the Convention will be adhered to by all States, including all the major Powers, at a very early date." This statement was reiterated on ratification.

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