Convention on Bacteriological Weapons

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Convention on Bacteriological Weapons


(full name, Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, and Stockpiling of Bacteriological [Biological] and Toxic Weapons and on Their Destruction), prepared by the Committee on Disarmament in 1971 and approved by the 26th session of the UN General Assembly. The convention was opened for signature in Moscow, Washington, and London on Apr. 10, 1972. It went into effect on Mar. 26, 1975, and by July 1, 1975, more than 50 states had signed the convention. The convention is termless; a member state must notify the other parties to the convention and the UN Security Council of its desire to leave three months in advance, with an explanation of the exceptional circumstances, such as threat to the country’s higher interests, that prompted it to take such a step.

The states that signed the convention, which consists of a preamble and 15 articles, pledged (1) not to develop, produce, stockpile, acquire, keep, or supply microbiological or other biological agents or toxins of such types and in such quantities as are not designated for use in preventive medicine, protection, or other peaceful ends; (2) not to develop, produce, stockpile, acquire, keep, or supply weapons, equipment, or means of delivery intended for the use of such agents or toxins for hostile ends or in armed conflicts; (3) to destroy within nine months or to convert to peaceful uses, with the observance of necessary safeguards, all agents, toxins, equipment, and means of delivery (arts. I–III); (4) to consult and cooperate with each other, as well as to use the appropriate international procedures within the UN, in resolving any questions that may arise in connection with the implementation of the provisions of the convention (art. V); (5) to cooperate in carrying out any investigations that may be undertaken by the UN Security Council on a complaint about violations of the provisions of the convention by any party (art. VI); and (6) to promote in every way possible the exchange of equipment, materials, and scientific and technical information on the peaceful use of biological agents (art. X).

The parties to the convention pledged to promote in every way possible and in the shortest possible time the conclusion of an agreement on the prohibition of chemical weapons (art. IX).


Pravda, Apr. 11, 1972.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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