Switzerland: Signature of Biological Weapons Convention

Action type
Government of the United States of America
10 April 1972

The Government of Switzerland made three declarations at the time of signature, the texts of which were transmitted to the Secretary of State in the Swiss Ambassador’s note of April 7, 1972.  A translation of the Ambassador’s note reads as follows:

 “The Ambassador of Switzerland presents his compliments to His Excellency the Secretary of State and, with reference to the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on Their Destruction, which will be signed April 10, 1972 by Switzerland, has the honor to inform him that the Swiss Government will make the three following declarations at the time of signature:

“1.  In Switzerland, the Convention will not be submitted to the parliamentary procedure of approval preceding ratification until it has achieved the degree of universality deemed necessary by the Swiss Government.

“2.  Owing to the fact that the Convention also applies to weapons, equipment or means of delivery designed to use such biological agents or toxins, the delimitation of its scope of application can cause difficulties since there are scarcely any weapons, equipment or means of delivery peculiar to such use; therefore, Switzerland reserves the right to decide for itself what auxiliary means fall within that definition.

“3.  By reason of the obligations of its status as a perpetually neutral StateSwitzerland is bound to make the general reservation that its collaboration within the framework of this Convention cannot go beyond the terms prescribed by that status.  This reservation refers especially to Article VII of the Convention as well as to any similar clause that could replace or supplement that provision of the Convention (or any other arrangement).

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