Unit 4 Section 4. . Non governmental organizations

 

 

 

Section 4. Non Governmental Organizations

 

 

In this section, we will look at the role of non government organizations, called NGOs, in chemical and biological weapons arms control. They have played an important role.

 

We will describe only the NGOs that have just paraded on your screen. These are among the more prominent NGOS in chemical and biological weapons arms control. Much of what we will say was taken directly from their web sites. Their web site addresses, along with many more web sites of interest, may be found in the reading list at the end of this section.

 

Many NGOs are funded by major foundations such as the Carnegie Foundation, which funds this project. For sake of time, the foundations will not be discussed further, even though they are clearly major contributors to chemical and biological weapons arms control.

 

Much of the Center's activity in biological and chemical weapons is carried out by its Scientists' Working Group that also includes public health experts, lawyers, historians, diplomats and international affairs experts.

 

 

 

Some Newer Issue Areas for the

Scientists' Working Group

 

-- Disabling biochemcial agents

-- New Initiatives on CBW Control beyond the Biological Weapons Convention

-- Need for openness in biodefense activities

-- Responses to bioterrorism

-- International responses to infectious disease

 

 

The Working Group's broad focus is on reinforcing the norm against biological and chemical weapons, and broadening the norm to encompass all misuse of biology. This includes the development of disabling agents for control of individuals or groups. The Working Group writes papers and reports on biological and chemical weapons issues. It also holds seminars and briefings for US and international officials.

 

The Department of Peace Studies at Bradford University in England is the largest university center for peace studies in the world. It was established 30 years ago. The Department has nearly 300 full-time undergraduates and a substantial graduate program as well.

 

 

 

Major Research Projects in

Biological and Chemical Weapons

 

-- Strengthening the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention and Preventing Biological Warfare

 

-- The Non-Lethal Weapons Project

 

 

Both the Scientists' Working Group and Bradford Peace Studies have a major focus on so-called "non lethal" chemical and biological weapons. We prefer the name disabling biochemical agents. This is because of the high interest in developing these agents, even though they are banned in warfare by the Biological and Chemical Weapons Conventions.

 

The development of disabling agents is viewed by these two arms-control groups as an early step toward controlling humans through manipulation of their physiology. Preventing future misuse of biology is a major focus of both groups.

 

 

The problem of controlling further proliferation of biological weapons is compounded by the weakness of the Biological Weapons Convention and the

revolution currently underway in biotechnology. This book provides the basis for an assessment of whether biological weapons, and the possibility of

biological warfare, will be of increasing importance.

 

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Malcolm Dando is a senior member of the Bradford Department of Peace Studies. You may find his new book interesting reading.

 

The Arms Control Association was founded in 1971. Its mission is to promote public understanding of and support for effective arms control policies.

 

Its popular magazine, Arms Control Today, reports on arms control proposals, negotiations and agreements, and related national security issues. Recently, the Arms Control Association has begun to focus more on biological and chemical weapons.

 

The Federation of American Scientists was founded by members of the Manhattan Project who were deeply concerned for the future of humankind from the atom bomb. The Manhattan Project was the name given to the project to create the first atom bomb in the 1940s. Endorsed by nearly 60 Nobel Laureates as sponsors, FAS is highly qualified to bring the scientific perspective to public policy.

 

FAS has three program areas: Strategic Security, Information Technologies, and Energy and the Environment. FAS has recently shifted its biological and chemical weapons focus from arms control to strategic security.

 

The Biological Weapons Prevention Project, or BWPP for short, is a new NGO. The BWPP was founded by a group of non-government organizations concerned at the failure of governments to act to reduce the threat of biological weapons—in particular, the failure of the Biological Weapons Convention Protocol negotiations.

 

Similar to the Scientists Working Group and Bradford Peace Studies, the BWPP is dedicated to reinforcing the norm against biological weapons, but with a different focus, which is intelligence gathering. Its global network of partners provides regional or country-specific expertise necessary for the collection and analysis of activities relating to biological weapons. Its findings are published in a periodical, called the BioWeapons Monitor.

 

SIPRI stands for Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. It was founded by the Swedish Parliament in 1966 to commemorate Sweden's 150 years of unbroken peace. It has the legal status of an independent foundation, despite its origin.

 

SIPRI conducts research on questions of conflict and cooperation in international peace and security. Its goal is to contribute to an understanding of the conditions for peaceful solutions of conflicts for a stable peace.

 

SIPRI's educational module is a good next stop if you wish to learn more about arms control strategy and philosophy for chemical and biological weapons. The module may be found on their web site under the "DATA" heading.

 

CBACI stands for Chemical and Biological Arms Control Institute. The Institute was established in 1993 to address the challenges to global security and stability. One of its focuses is the elimination of chemical and biological weapons. The Institute's research program is designed to alert leaders to problems before they become crises.


Michael Moodie is co-founder and President of the Institute. He was a former Assistant Director of the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, where he had the lead responsibility for negotiating the Chemical Weapons Convention.

 

In Biological Weapons Arms Control, Moodie's position is more in line with the US rejection of the Biological Weapons Convention Protocol for reasons outlined in Section 3, and other reasons as well.

 

The Nuclear Threat Initiative was co-founded by Ted Turner, the founder of CNN, the International Cable News Network. The other co-chair is Sam Nunn, a former US Senator. NTI's focus is to reduce the global threats from nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons. NTI makes a point of full transparency in its activities.

NTI funds some outside projects as well. NTI's approach to grant-making differs from traditional foundations, because most of its awards support operational activities that NTI has taken a strong hand in developing.

The Sunshine Project is a small organization with offices in Germany and the United States. Its multilateral focus is in strengthening the global consensus against biological warfare, and to ensure that international treaties effectively prevent development and use of biological weapons.

 

The Sunshine Project is skillful at using U.S. Freedom of Information Act to follow controversial activities related to biological and chemical weapons. As these United States Freedom of Information Act logos attest, different US agencies have their own offices to supply information under the U.S. Act.

 

As a corollary of the Sunshine Project's focus on freedom of information, they strongly advocate transparency in defense activities related to biological and chemical weapons. Recently, it has become more difficult to obtain information under the United States Freedom of Information Act.

 

The long initials, inesap, stand for the International Network of Engineers and Scientists Against Proliferation. The parent organization is the International Network of Engineers and Scientists for Global Responsibility (INES), which currently comprises more than 60 organizations from 25 countries. It was founded in 1993.

 

The network of Scientists against Proliferation organizes several conferences and meetings throughout the world each year. It focus is non proliferation of weapons of all kinds. Like the network, there are a number of other NGOs around the world with an interest in BW control, although their primary focus is on controlling other types of arms or on human rights.

 

This ends our short excursion into the NGO community. We hope you found it useful. The point was simply to make you familiar with some of the NGOs.

 

We urge you to visit their web sites, which are major sources of information on the control of biological and chemical weapons. Perhaps you would like to volunteer your services to one of the NGOs as well.