List of parties to the Biological Weapons Convention

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Participation in the Biological Weapons Convention

The list of parties to the Biological Weapons Convention encompasses the states who have signed and ratified or acceded to the international agreement outlawing biological weapons.

On 10 April 1972, the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC), also known as the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC) was opened for signature. The Netherlands became the first state to deposit their signature of the treaty that same day. The treaty closed for signature upon coming into force on 26 March 1975 with the deposit of ratification by 22 states. Since then, states that did not sign the treaty can only accede to it.

A total of 196 states may become members of the Biological Weapons Convention, including all 193 United Nations member states, the Cook Islands, the Holy See, and Niue. As of September 2017, 179 states have ratified or acceded to the treaty, most recently Samoa in September 2017.[1] As well, the Republic of China (Taiwan), which is currently only recognized by 19 UN member states, deposited their instruments of ratification of the BWC with the United States government prior to the US's decision to switch their recognition of the sole legitimate government of China from the Republic of China (ROC) to the People's Republic of China (PRC). A further six states have signed but not ratified the treaty.

Several countries made reservations when ratifying the agreement declaring that it did not imply their complete satisfaction that the Treaty allows the stockpiling of biological agents and toxins for "prophylactic, protective or other peaceful purposes", nor should it imply recognition of other countries they do not recognise.

Ratified or acceded states[edit]

According to a Report to the Meeting of States Parties to the Convention, as of September 2017 179 states have ratified the BWC.[2] However, the status of the succession of a number of additional states to the BWC is unclear. For further details, see the Succession of colonies to the BWC section below.

Multiple dates indicate the different days in which states submitted their signature or deposition, varied by location. This location is noted by: (L) for London, (M) for Moscow, and (W) for Washington D.C.

State[3][4][5][6] Signed Deposited Method
 Afghanistan Apr 10, 1972 (L, M, W) Mar 26, 1975 (L) Ratification
 Albania Jun 3, 1992 (W)
Aug 11, 1992 (L)
Mar 26, 1993 (M)
Accession
 Algeria Sep 28, 2001 (W) Accession
 Andorra Mar 2, 2015 (W) Accession
 Angola Jul 26, 2016 (W) Accession
 Antigua and Barbuda Jan 29, 2003 (L) Accession
 Argentina Aug 1, 1972 (M)
Aug 3, 1972 (L)
Aug 7, 1972 (W)
Nov 27, 1979 (W)
Dec 5, 1979 (L)
Dec 27, 1979 (M)
Ratification
 Armenia Jun 7, 1994 (M, W) Accession
 Australia Apr 10, 1972 (L, M, W) Oct 5, 1977 (L, M, W) Ratification
 Austria Apr 10, 1972 (L, M, W) Aug 10, 1973 (L, M, W) Ratification
 Azerbaijan Feb 26, 2004 (M, W) Accession
 Bahamas Nov 26, 1986 (L) Accession
 Bahrain Oct 28, 1988 (L) Accession
 Bangladesh Mar 11, 1985 (M)
Mar 12, 1985 (W)
Mar 13, 1985 (L)
Accession
 Barbados Feb 16, 1973 (W) Feb 16, 1973 (W) Ratification
 Belarus Apr 10, 1972 (M) Mar 26, 1975 (M) Ratification as  Byelorussian SSR
 Belgium Apr 10, 1972 (L, M, W) Mar 15, 1979 (L, M, W) Ratification
 Belize Oct 20, 1986 (L)
Nov 25, 1986 (W)
Jan 13, 1987 (M)
Succession from  United Kingdom
 Benin Apr 10, 1972 (W) Apr 25, 1975 (W) Ratification
 Bhutan Jun 8, 1978 (W) Accession
 Bolivia Apr 10, 1972 (W) Oct 30, 1975 (W) Ratification
 Bosnia and Herzegovina Aug 15, 1994 (W) Succession from  SFR Yugoslavia
 Botswana Apr 10, 1972 (W) Feb 5, 1992 (W) Ratification
 Brazil Apr 10, 1972 (L, M, W) Feb 27, 1973 (L, M, W) Ratification
 Brunei Jan 31, 1991 (L) Accession
 Bulgaria Apr 10, 1972 (L, M, W) Aug 2, 1972 (L)
Sep 13, 1972 (W)
Sep 19, 1972 (M)
Ratification
 Burkina Faso Apr 17, 1991 (W) Accession
 Burundi Apr 10, 1972 (M, W) Oct 18, 2011 (L) Ratification
 Cabo Verde Oct 20, 1977 (M) Accession
 Cambodia Apr 10, 1972 (W) Mar 9, 1983 (W) Ratification
 Cameroon Jan 18, 2013 (W) Accession
 Canada Apr 10, 1972 (L, M, W) Sep 18, 1972 (L, M, W) Ratification
 Chile Apr 10, 1972 (L, M, W) Apr 22, 1980 (L) Ratification
 China Nov 15, 1984 (L, M, W) Accession
 Colombia Apr 10, 1972 (W) Dec 19, 1983 (W) Ratification
 Republic of the Congo Oct 23, 1978 (W) Accession
 Cook Islands Dec 4, 2008 (L) Accession
 Costa Rica Apr 10, 1972 (W) Dec 17, 1973 (W) Ratification
 Côte d'Ivoire May 23, 1972 (W) March 23, 2016 (M)
April 26, 2016 (L)
Ratification
 Croatia Apr 28, 1993 (W) Succession from  SFR Yugoslavia[a]
 Cuba Apr 12, 1972 (M) Apr 21, 1976 (M) Ratification
 Cyprus Apr 10, 1972 (L, W)
Apr 14, 1972 (M)
Nov 6, 1973 (L)
Nov 13, 1973 (W)
Nov 21, 1973 (M)
Ratification
 Czech Republic Jan 1, 1993 (M)
Apr 5, 1993 (L)
Sep 29, 1993 (W)
Succession from  Czechoslovakia
Signed 10 April 1972
Deposited 30 April 1973
 Democratic Republic of the Congo Apr 10, 1972 (M, W) Sep 16, 1975 (L)
Jan 28, 1977 (W)
Ratification as  Zaire
 Denmark Apr 10, 1972 (L, M, W) Mar 1, 1973 (L, M, W) Ratification
 Dominica Aug 1, 2016 (L) Succession[b]
 Dominican Republic Apr 10, 1972 (W) Feb 23, 1973 (W) Ratification
 Ecuador Jun 14, 1972 (W) Mar 12, 1975 (W) Ratification
 El Salvador Apr 10, 1972 (W) Dec 31, 1991 (W) Ratification
 Equatorial Guinea Jan 16, 1989 (M)
Jul 29, 1992 (W)
Accession
 Estonia Jun 21, 1993 (W)
Jul 1, 1993 (M)
Accession
 Ethiopia Apr 10, 1972 (L, M, W) May 26, 1975 (L, M)
Jun 26, 1975 (W)
Ratification
 Fiji Feb 22, 1973 (L) Sep 4, 1973 (W)
Oct 1, 1973 (L)
Oct 5, 1973 (M)
Ratification
 Finland Apr 10, 1972 (L, M, W) Feb 4, 1974 (L, M, W) Ratification
 France Sep 27, 1984 (L, M, W) Accession
 Gabon Apr 10, 1972 (L) Aug 16, 2007 (W) Ratification
 Gambia Jun 2, 1972 (M)
Aug 8, 1972 (L)
Nov 9, 1972 (W)
May 7, 1997 (L)
Jun 10, 1997 (M)
Aug 1, 1997 (W)
Ratification
 Georgia May 22, 1996 (L, M) Accession
 Germany Apr 10, 1972 (L, M, W) Apr 7, 1983 (L, W) Ratification as  West Germany
Also ratified by  East Germany on 28 November 1972 prior to German reunification
 Ghana Apr 10, 1972 (M, W) Jun 6, 1975 (L) Ratification
 Greece Apr 10, 1972 (L)
Apr 12, 1972 (W)
Apr 14, 1972 (M)
Dec 10, 1975 (W) Ratification
 Grenada Oct 22, 1986 (L) Accession
 Guatemala May 9, 1972 (W) Sep 19, 1973 (W) Ratification
 Guinea Nov 9, 2016 (L)[c] Accession
 Guinea-Bissau Aug 20, 1976 (M) Accession
 Guyana Jan 3, 1973 (W) Mar 26, 2013 (W) Ratification
 Holy See Jan 7, 2002 (W) Accession
 Honduras Apr 10, 1972 (W) Mar 14, 1979 (W) Ratification
 Hungary Apr 10, 1972 (L, M, W) Dec 27, 1972 (L, M, W) Ratification
 Iceland Apr 10, 1972 (L, M, W) Feb 15, 1973 (L, M, W) Ratification
 India Jan 15, 1973 (L, M, W) Jul 15, 1974 (L, M, W) Ratification
 Indonesia Jun 20, 1972 (M, W)
Jun 21, 1972 (L)
Feb 4, 1992 (M)
Feb 19, 1992 (L)
Apr 1, 1992 (W)
Ratification
 Iran Apr 10, 1972 (M, W)
Nov 16, 1972 (L)
Aug 22, 1973 (L, W)
Aug 27, 1973 (M)
Ratification
 Iraq May 11, 1972 (M) Jun 19, 1991 (M) Ratification
 Ireland Apr 10, 1972 (L, W) Oct 27, 1972 (L, W) Ratification
 Italy Apr 10, 1972 (L, M, W) May 30, 1975 (L, M, W) Ratification
 Jamaica Aug 13, 1975 (L) Accession
 Japan Apr 10, 1972 (L, M, W) Jun 8, 1982 (W)
Jun 18, 1982 (L, M)
Ratification
 Jordan Apr 10, 1972 (W)
Apr 17, 1972 (L)
Apr 24, 1972 (M)
May 30, 1975 (M)
Jun 2, 1975 (W)
Jun 27, 1975 (L)
Ratification
 Kazakhstan Jun 15, 2007 (M) Accession
 Kenya Jan 7, 1976 (L) Accession
 Kuwait Apr 14, 1972 (M, W)
Apr 27, 1972 (L)
Jul 18, 1972 (W)
Jul 26, 1972 (L)
Aug 1, 1972 (M)
Ratification
 Kyrgyzstan Oct 15, 2004 (M) Accession
 Laos Apr 10, 1972 (L, M, W) Mar 20, 1973 (M)
Mar 22, 1973 (W)
Apr 25, 1973 (L)
Ratification
 Latvia Feb 6, 1997 (L) Accession
 Lebanon Apr 10, 1972 (L, W)
Apr 21, 1972 (M)
Mar 26, 1975 (L)
Apr 2, 1975 (M)
Jun 13, 1975 (W)
Ratification
 Lesotho Apr 10, 1972 (W) Sep 6, 1977 (L) Ratification
 Liberia Apr 10, 1972 (W)
Apr 14, 1972 (L)
Nov 4, 2016 (W) Ratification
 Libya Apr 10, 1972 (M) Jan 19, 1982 (M) Ratification
 Liechtenstein May 30, 1991 (W)
May 31, 1991 (M)
Jun 6, 1991 (L)
Accession
 Lithuania Feb 10, 1998 (L) Accession
 Luxembourg Apr 10, 1972 (L, M)
Apr 12, 1972 (W)
Mar 23, 1976 (L, M, W) Ratification
 Macedonia Dec 26, 1996 (M)
Mar 14, 1997 (L)
Apr 23, 1997 (W)
Succession from  SFR Yugoslavia[d]
 Madagascar Oct 13, 1972 (L) Mar 7, 2008 (M, W) Ratification
 Malawi Apr 10, 1972 (W) Apr 2, 2013 (W) Ratification
 Malaysia Apr 10, 1972 (L, M, W) Sep 6, 1991 (L, M)
Sep 26, 1991 (W)
Ratification
 Maldives Aug 2, 1993 (M) Accession
 Mali Apr 10, 1972 (W) Nov 25, 2002 (W) Ratification
 Malta Sep 11, 1972 (L) Apr 7, 1975 (L) Ratification
 Marshall Islands Nov 15, 2012 (W) Accession
 Mauritania Jan 28, 2015 (L) Accession
 Mauritius Apr 10, 1972 (W) Aug 7, 1972 (W)
Jan 11, 1973 (L)
Jan 15, 1973 (M)
Ratification
 Mexico Apr 10, 1972 (L, M, W) Apr 8, 1974 (L, M, W) Ratification
 Moldova Jan 28, 2005 (M, W) Accession
 Monaco Apr 30, 1999 (L) Accession
 Mongolia Apr 10, 1972 (L, M, W) Sep 5, 1972 (W)
Sep 14, 1972 (L)
Oct 20, 1972 (M)
Ratification
 Montenegro Jun 3, 2006 (M)
Dec 12, 2006 (L)
Succession from  Serbia and Montenegro[e]
 Morocco May 2, 1972 (L)
May 3, 1972 (W)
Jun 5, 1972 (M)
Mar 21, 2002 (L) Ratification
 Mozambique Mar 29, 2011 (L) Accession
 Myanmar Apr 10, 1972 (L, M, W) Dec 1, 2014 (L, M, W) Ratification
 Nauru Mar 5, 2013 (W) Accession
   Nepal Apr 10, 1972 (L, M, W) Nov 4, 2016 (L, W)
Nov 11, 2016 (M)
Ratification
 Kingdom of the Netherlands Apr 10, 1972 (L, M, W) Jun 22, 1981 (L, M, W) Ratification, for the whole Kingdom
 New Zealand Apr 10, 1972 (L, M, W) Dec 13, 1972 (W)
Dec 18, 1972 (L)
Jan 10, 1973 (M)
Ratification
 Nicaragua Apr 10, 1972 (L, W) Aug 7, 1975 (W) Ratification
 Niger Apr 21, 1972 (W) Jun 23, 1972 (W) Ratification
 Nigeria Jul 3, 1972 (M)
Jul 10, 1972 (L)
Dec 6, 1972 (W)
Jul 3, 1973 (W)
Jul 9, 1973 (L)
Jul 20, 1973 (M)
Ratification
 North Korea Mar 13, 1987 (M) Accession
 Norway Apr 10, 1972 (L, M, W) Aug 1, 1973 (L, W)
Aug 23, 1973 (M)
Ratification
 Oman Mar 31, 1992 (W) Accession
 Pakistan Apr 10, 1972 (L, M, W) Sep 25, 1974 (M)
Oct 3, 1974 (L, W)
Ratification
 Palau Feb 20, 2003 (W) Accession
 Panama May 2, 1972 (W) Mar 20, 1974 (W) Ratification
 Papua New Guinea Oct 27, 1980 (L)
Nov 13, 1980 (M)
Mar 16, 1981 (W)
Accession
 Paraguay Jun 9, 1976 (W) Accession
 Peru Apr 10, 1972 (L, M, W) Jun 5, 1985 (L, M)
Jun 11, 1985 (W)
Ratification
 Philippines Apr 10, 1972 (L, W)
Jun 21, 1972 (M)
May 21, 1973 (W) Ratification
 Poland Apr 10, 1972 (L, M, W) Jan 25, 1973 (L, M, W) Ratification
 Portugal Jun 29, 1972 (W) May 15, 1975 (L, M, W) Ratification
 Qatar Nov 14, 1972 (L) Apr 17, 1975 (L) Ratification
 Romania Apr 10, 1972 (L, M, W) Jul 25, 1979 (W)
Jul 26, 1979 (L)
Jul 27, 1979 (M)
Ratification
 Russia Apr 10, 1972 (L, M, W) Mar 26, 1975 (L, M, W) Ratification as  Soviet Union
 Rwanda Apr 10, 1972 (M, W) May 20, 1975 (L, M, W) Ratification
 Saint Kitts and Nevis Apr 2, 1991 (L) Accession
 Saint Lucia Nov 26, 1986 (L) Succession from  United Kingdom
 Saint Vincent and the Grenadines May 13, 1999 (L) Succession from  United Kingdom
 Samoa September 21, 2017 (W) Accession
 San Marino Sep 12, 1972 (W)
Jan 30, 1973 (M)
Mar 21, 1973 (L)
Mar 11, 1975 (L)
Mar 17, 1975 (W)
Mar 27, 1975 (M)
Ratification
 Sao Tome and Principe Aug 24, 1979 (M) Accession
 Saudi Arabia Apr 12, 1972 (W) May 24, 1972 (W) Ratification
 Senegal Apr 10, 1972 (W) Mar 26, 1975 (W) Ratification
 Serbia Apr 27, 1992 (M)
Jun 5, 2001 (W)
Jun 13, 2001 (L)
Succession from  SFR Yugoslavia
Signed 10 April 1972
Deposited 25 October 1973
[11]
Succession from  Serbia and Montenegro[f]
 Seychelles Oct 11, 1979 (L)
Oct 16, 1979 (W)
Oct 24, 1979 (M)
Accession
 Sierra Leone Nov 7, 1972 (W)
Nov 24, 1972 (L)
Jun 29, 1976 (L, M, W) Ratification
 Singapore Jun 19, 1972 (L, M, W) Dec 2, 1975 (L, M, W) Ratification
 Slovakia Jan 1, 1993 (M)
May 17, 1993 (L)
Jun 10, 1993 (W)
Succession from  Czechoslovakia
Signed 10 April 1972
Deposited 30 April 1973
 Slovenia Apr 7, 1992 (L, M)
Aug 20, 1992 (W)
Succession from  SFR Yugoslavia
 Solomon Islands Jun 17, 1981 (L) Succession from  United Kingdom
 South Africa Apr 10, 1972 (W) Nov 3, 1975 (W) Ratification
 South Korea Apr 10, 1972 (L, W) Jun 25, 1987 (L, W) Ratification
 Spain Apr 10, 1972 (L, W) Jun 20, 1979 (L, W) Ratification
 Sri Lanka Apr 10, 1972 (L, M, W) Nov 18, 1986 (L, M, W) Ratification
Signed as Ceylon
 Sudan Oct 17, 2003 (L)
Oct 20, 2003 (M)
Nov 7, 2003 (W)
Accession
 Suriname Jan 6, 1993 (L, M)
Apr 9, 1993 (W)
Accession
 Swaziland Jun 18, 1991 (L) Accession
 Sweden Feb 27, 1974 (M)
Feb 27, 1975 (L, W)
Feb 5, 1976 (L, M, W) Ratification
  Switzerland Apr 10, 1972 (L, M, W) May 4, 1976 (L, M, W) Ratification
 Tajikistan Jun 27, 2005 (M) Accession
 Thailand Jan 17, 1973 (W) May 28, 1975 (W) Ratification
 Timor-Leste May 5, 2003 (W) Accession
 Togo Apr 10, 1972 (W) Nov 10, 1976 (W) Ratification
 Tonga Sep 28, 1976 (L) Accession
 Trinidad and Tobago Jul 19, 2007 (L) Accession
 Tunisia Apr 10, 1972 (L, M, W) May 18, 1973 (W)
May 30, 1973 (M)
Jun 6, 1973 (L)
Ratification
 Turkey Apr 10, 1972 (L, M, W) Oct 25, 1974 (M)
Nov 4, 1974 (L)
Nov 5, 1974 (W)
Ratification
 Turkmenistan Jan 11, 1996 (M)
Mar 8, 1996 (W)
Accession
 Uganda May 12, 1992 (W) Accession
 Ukraine Apr 10, 1972 (M) Mar 26, 1975 (M) Ratification as  Ukrainian SSR
 United Arab Emirates Sep 28, 1972 (L) Jun 19, 2008 (L) [13] Ratification
 United Kingdom Apr 10, 1972 (L, M, W) Mar 26, 1975 (L, M, W) Ratification
 United States Apr 10, 1972 (L, M, W) Mar 26, 1975 (L, M, W) Ratification
 Uruguay Apr 6, 1981 (W) Accession
 Uzbekistan Jan 26, 1996 (M) Accession
 Vanuatu Sep 6, 2016 (L) Succession[g]
 Venezuela Apr 10, 1972 (W) Oct 18, 1978 (L, M, W) Ratification
 Vietnam Apr 10, 1972 (M) Jun 20, 1980 (M) Ratification as the  Socialist Republic of Vietnam
Signed by the  Democratic Republic of Vietnam and  Republic of Vietnam on 10 April 1972 prior to Vietnamese reunification[14]
 Yemen Apr 26, 1972 (M)
May 10, 1972 (L)
Jun 1, 1979 (M) Ratification as  South Yemen
Also signed by  North Yemen on 10 April 1972 prior to Yemeni unification
 Zambia Jan 15, 2008 (L) Accession
 Zimbabwe Nov 5, 1990 (L) Accession
Notes
  1. ^ Croatia's effective date of succession was 8 October 1991.[7]
  2. ^ Dominica's effective date of succession was 3 November 1978.[4]
  3. ^ The Chairman of the Meeting of the States Parties to the BWC reported that Guinea had submitted an instrument of accession in 2011 that the depositaries deemed to be legally insufficient to become a party to the treaty.[8]
  4. ^ Macedonia's effective date of succession was 17 November 1991.[9]
  5. ^ Montenegro's effective date of succession was 3 June 2006.[10]
  6. ^ The FR Yugoslavia's (later Serbia and Montenegro) effective date of succession from the SFR Yugoslavia was 27 April 1992, while Serbia's effective date of succession from Serbia and Montenegro was 3 June 2006.[12]
  7. ^ Vanuatu's effective date of succession was 30 July 1980.[4]

State with limited recognition, abiding by treaty[edit]

The Republic of China (Taiwan), which is currently only recognized by 19 UN member states, deposited their instruments of ratification of the BWC with the United States government prior to the US's decision to switch their recognition of the sole legitimate government of China from the Republic of China (ROC) to the People's Republic of China (PRC) in 1971. When the PRC subsequently ratified the treaty, they described the ROC's ratification as "illegal". The ROC has committed itself to continue to adhere to the requirements of the treaty, and the United States has declared that they still consider them to be "bound by its obligations".[15]

State Signed Deposited Method
 Republic of China 10 April 1972 9 February 1973 Ratification

States that have signed but not ratified[edit]

The following six states have signed, but not ratified the BWC.[2]

State Signed Ratification status[a][2]
 Central African Republic Apr 10, 1972 (W) Process started
 Egypt Apr 10, 1972 (L, M) No action expected in near future
 Haiti Apr 10, 1972 (W) Process well advanced[b]
 Somalia Jul 3, 1972 (M) Waiting for further information, assistance, or have other priorities
 Syria Apr 14, 1972 (M) No action expected in near future
 Tanzania Aug 16, 1972 (L) Process well advanced
Notes
  1. ^ As per the advanced version of the 2017 Report of the Chairman on Universalization Activities to the Meeting of the States Parties to the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on Their Destruction.
  2. ^ As of September 2017, a ratification bill has been approved by the Cabinet of Ministers and submitted to parliament.[2]

Non-signatory states[edit]

The following 11 UN member states have neither signed nor ratified the BWC.[2] In addition, the UN observer State of Palestine has neither signed nor acceded to the convention.

State Ratification status[a][2]
 Chad Process started[b]
 Comoros Waiting for further information, assistance, or have other priorities[c]
 Djibouti Process started
 Eritrea Waiting for further information, assistance, or have other priorities
 Israel No action expected in near future
 Kiribati[d] Waiting for further information, assistance, or have other priorities[e]
 Micronesia Waiting for further information, assistance, or have other priorities[f]
 Namibia Process started
 Niue Process well advanced
 Palestine NA
 South Sudan Waiting for further information, assistance, or have other priorities
 Tuvalu[d] Waiting for further information, assistance, or have other priorities
  Status unclear: see succession of colonies to the BWC below.
Notes
  1. ^ As per the advanced version of the 2017 Report of the Chairman on Universalization Activities to the Meeting of the States Parties to the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on Their Destruction.
  2. ^ Parliamentarians for Global Action reported in June 2017 that Chad's National Assembly had recommended the government ratify the agreement.[16][2]
  3. ^ In 2007, the Chairman of the Meeting of the States Parties to the BWC reported that ratification of the BWC had been approved by the government of Comoros pending signature by the President.[17][18]
  4. ^ a b Neither Kiribati or Tuvalu are listed as parties to the BWC in documents from the Meetings of the States Parties to the BWC,[2] but their status is unclear. See succession of colonies to the BWC below.
  5. ^ Kiribati's Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations committed in 2016 to recommend accession to the treaty.[19]
  6. ^ Jane Jimmy Chigiyal, Permanent Representative to the United Nations of Micronesia, reported in 2016 that a recommendation to accede had been made the prior year.[19]

Succession of colonies to the BWC[edit]

The status of several former dependent territories of a state party to the BWC, whose administrating power ratified the Convention on their behalf, with regards to the Convention following their independence is currently unclear. According to the Vienna Convention on Succession of States in respect of Treaties (to which 22 states are party), "newly independent states" (a euphemism for former colonies) receive a "clean slate", such that the new state does not inherit the treaty obligations of the colonial power, but that they may join multilateral treaties to which their former colonizers were a party without the consent of the other parties in most circumstances. Conversely, in "cases of separation of parts of a state" (a euphemism for all other new states), the new state remains bound by the treaty obligations of the state from which they separated. To date, this Convention has only been ratified by 22 states.

The United Kingdom attached a territorial declaration to their instrument of ratification of the BWC in 1975 stating in part that it applied to:[20]

"... in respect of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Dominica and Territories under the territorial sovereignty of the United Kingdom, as well as the State of Brunei, the British Solomon Islands Protectorate and, within the limits of the United Kingdom jurisdiction therein, the Condominium of New Hebrides [subsequently renamed Vanuatu]."

This declaration bound the territories of Kiribati and Tuvalu to the terms of the Convention.[21] Following their independence, none of these states have made unambiguous declarations of succession to the BWC.[21] Dominica and Vanuatu's statuses were likewise ambiguous from their independence until 2016.

Kiribati[edit]

In 1979, Kiribati gained their independence and subsequently the President of Kiribati sent a note to the UNSG stating that:[21]

... the Government of the Republic of Kiribati declares that, with regard to multilateral treaties applied or extended to the former Gilbert Islands it will continue to apply the terms of each such treaty provisionally and on the basis of reciprocity until such time as it notifies the depositary authority of its decision with respect thereto.”

Since then, none of the depositaries for the BWC have received an instrument of accession or succession to the Convention from Kiribati.[3] However, the Government of Kiribati has made statements suggesting that it does not consider itself a party to the treaty.[21]

Tuvalu[edit]

Following independence in 1978, the Prime Minister of Tuvalu sent a note to the UNSC stating that:[21]

"The Government of Tuvalu desires that it should be presumed that each treaty purporting or deemed to bind Tuvalu before Independence has been legally succeeded to by Tuvalu and that action should be based on such presumption unless and until the Government of Tuvalu decides that any particular treaty should be treated as having lapsed."

Since then, none of the depositaries for the BWC have received an instrument of accession or succession to the Convention from Tuvalu.[3] However, the Government of Tuvalu has made statements suggesting that it does not consider itself a party to the treaty.[21]

Dominica[edit]

After becoming independent in 1978, the Prime Minister of Dominica sent a note to the Secretary-General of the United Nations (UNSG) stating that:[21]

“The Government of Dominica declares that, with regard to multilateral treaties applied or extended to the former British Associated State of Dominica, it will continue to apply such terms of each treaty provisionally and on the basis of reciprocity until such time as it notifies the depositary authority of its decision in respect thereof.”

The Government of Dominica later stated that it did not consider itself bound by the Convention.[21] However, Dominica was listed as a state party to the BWC in documents from the Meetings of the States Parties to the BWC.[18] The UK Treaty Office (as depositary) did not receive an instrument of succession from Dominica until 2016.[4]

Vanuatu[edit]

In 1980, the territory gained their independence. Vanuatu was listed as a state party to the BWC in documents from the Meetings of the States Parties to the BWC,[18] however the Government of Vanuatu made statements suggesting that it did not consider itself a party to the treaty[21] and the UK depositary had no record of receiving an instrument of succession to the BWC from Vanuatu until 2016.[21][22]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Latest Information". United Nations Office at Geneva. Retrieved 2017-09-24. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h "Report on universalization activities". Meeting of the States Parties to the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on Their Destruction. 2017-09-25. Retrieved 2017-10-31. 
  3. ^ a b c "Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on their Destruction". United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs. Retrieved 2013-03-03. 
  4. ^ a b c d "Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on their Destruction". Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-01-04. Retrieved 2015-02-10. 
    "Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on their Destruction". Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Retrieved 2013-07-23. 
  5. ^ "Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on their Destruction" (PDF). United States Department of State. 2013-03-26. Retrieved 2013-07-23. 
  6. ^ Конвенция о запрещении разработки, производства и накопления запасов бактериологического (биологического) и токсинного оружия и об их уничтожении (in Russian). Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia. 2013-04-17. Retrieved 2015-08-28. 
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