Verex

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VEREX was an ad hoc committee assembled by the Third Review Conference of the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) to research verification measures to enforce the BWC. The committee of experts analyzed strengths and weaknesses of their recommendations, criterion by which activities can be labeled as prohibited or permitted, cost of creating verification measures, and the degree to which measures might impact permitted research and development. Participants met in a series of four sessions from 1992-1993.

In VEREX I, the first session of the committee, government experts assembled 21 potential methods for verification. Measures included surveillance, declaration of activities, and ways to inspect suspicious facilities. VEREX II focused its attention on the uses and limitations of technologies that could be used to implement the methods discussed in the previous session. The third session examined the advantages and disadvantages of each of the methods detailed in VEREX I.

In September 1993, VEREX submitted its report, noting that using a combination of measures would be much more effective in enforcing the BWC than enacting any single all-purpose regulation.

Delegates to the BWC responded by relegating the creation of draft proposals based upon the VEREX conclusions to be considered at the Fifth Review Conference in 2001. However, the United States firmly rejected the proposal fearing that its jurisdiction over the private sector would infringe upon biodefense research.

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