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Bio-Terror Conferences (2012)

BIOTERRORBIBLE.COM: Bio-terror and pandemic related conferences have occurred on a regular basis since 9/11, but have recently started occurring on a monthly basis since March of 2011. 

Title: The Philippines May Hold Regional Biological Weapons Convention
Date: January 13, 2012
Source: BioPrepWatch

Abstract: The Philippines may hold a regional Biological Weapons Convention later this year following the Seventh Review Conference of the BWC held in Geneva in December.

The Philippine Permanent Mission to the United Nations actively participated in the review conference and the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs recently expressed interest in holding the regional meeting, according to GMANetwork.com.

“The United Nations and other participants expressed strong interest in convening a second regional BWC Conference in the Philippines later in 2012, and in supporting the Philippines’ efforts in Southeast Asia in synergizing implementation activities for the BWC and other Weapons of Mass Destruction Conventions,” the DFA said, GMANetwork.com reporta.

During the BWC review conference, the Philippines was lauded for its work putting together the BWC Conference Week held in Makati City in June. The DFA and the Philippines Anti-Terrorism Council organized the event with cooperation from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, the European Union and the UN.

The Philippine delegation to the BWC review conference included Ambassador Evan Garcia, Minister Jesus Domingo and attache Hossana dela Cruz. Defense and Armed Forces attache Colonel Inincencio Mayangao and Department of Justice State Council Attorney Paulito De Jesus also attended.

The Philippines was elected as vice president during the conference and Minister Domingo was selected to act as a facilitator for discussions related to assistance and cooperation (BioPrepWatch, 2012) 

Title: 
Thousands Of Scientists To Convene In Vancouver, B.C., For 2012 AAAS Annual Meeting
Date: 
January 23, 2012
Source: 
AAAS

Abstract:
 It is a question that frames the 21st century scientific enterprise: As the world population moves toward 9 billion, will it be possible to provide food, water, and energy for everyone without dangerously depleting natural resources and damaging the environment? These challenges will be the focus of the 178th AAAS Annual Meeting, which convenes from 16-20 February in Vancouver, British Columbia.

The meeting will feature thousands of top scientists, engineers, educators, policymakers, and science journalists from some 50 nations and a full spectrum of disciplines. More than 170 plenary addresses, lectures, seminars, and symposia—plus more than two dozen briefings and interview sessions for reporters—are scheduled under the theme “Flattening the World: Building a Global Knowledge Society.”

“The theme... is intended to focus the program on the complex, interconnected challenges of the 21st century and on pathways to global solutions through international, multidisciplinary efforts,” said AAAS President Nina V. Fedoroff in her letter of invitation.

The program will be rich and ambitious: Daily plenary addresses and panels featuring international science leaders such as climate expert James Hansen, director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, and Frans B. M. de Waal , the Dutch behavioral biologist and author known for his work on the social intelligence of primates. Lectures by influential researchers in topics ranging from water security and volcanism to molecular motors and the genetic revolution. Full-day seminars featuring international panels of researchers focused on climate change in northern latitudes, understanding the universe, and the potential future impact of biology. Symposia tracks from a broad spectrum of disciplines, with special attention on energy, food security, communication, education, development, and international collaboration,

The AAAS Annual Meeting also will feature the traditional Family Science Days, free and open to the public, on Saturday and Sunday, 18-19 February. Hands-on activities will focus on alien planets, sea creatures, rocketry, and other areas, and kids (along with their parents) will have the chance to meet and talk with scientists (AAAS, 2012)

Title: WHO Director-General Addresses Unprecedented Meeting On Neglected Tropical Diseases
Date: January 30, 2012
Source: WHO (World Health Organization)

Abstract


Dr Margaret Chan
Director-General of the World Health Organization

Ladies and gentlemen,

Today’s event sends a strong message of encouragement.

At a time of severe financial constraints, it is still possible to set ambitious targets for diseases, secure unprecedented commitments, and accelerate action to meet those targets.

This message is all the more heartening given the people who will benefit. The bottom billion. The poorest of the poor. People with  little visibility and even less political voice.

For decades, WHO has been the champion of these people, steadily working to give them the vision of a better life. This leadership, supported by research, partners, and industry donations, has changed the face of NTDs.

Once considered inevitable companions of poverty, many NTDs are now being brought to their knees, with stunning speed.

Last week, WHO issued a roadmap for accelerating work to overcome these diseases. The targets for implementation are ambitious yet feasible, based on the best science available, but also on impressive results under some of the most challenging conditions in the world.

With the boost to this momentum being made today, I am confident almost all of these ancient diseases can be eliminated or controlled by the end of this decade.

The strategies set out in the WHO roadmap are tested and proven to be effective. Let me assure you: WHO knows how to deliver on these commitments in ways that bring results.

The roadmap follows two overarching approaches being covered today.

That is, using what exists while maximizing the impact through smart programme management. And innovation to improve or repurpose existing tools and develop better ones.

We know that programmes for disease elimination or eradication that stress innovation have the best chance of success. This is what we all want: success in relieving the misery of more than a billion people.

The payback will be enormous.

Thank you (WHO, 2012).  

TItle: Europe’s Largest, General Science Meeting In Dublin This July
Date: February 4, 2012
Source: Digital Hub

Abstract: The Euroscience Open Forum (ESOF) - Europe’s largest, general science meeting - will be hosted by Dublin this summer from the 11th to the 15th of July.
 
Held in a leading European city every two years the ESOF was last held in Turin in 2010 and Copenhagen will host then event in 2014.Dublin was awarded the honour of hosting ESOF in 2012, following an open competition.
 
The event is unique in the diversity of delegates who attend: it attracts top researchers from the natural sciences and the social sciences; business leaders; senior EU and government officials; and international scientific media. They come to discuss the best of European science and to address all of the current major global scientific challenges, including Energy, Climate Change, Food and Health.
 
The programme for this year’s ESOF includes programmes on Science, Science 2 Business, Careers, a Social programme and a Science in the City Festival which will celebrate “where creativity and great science meet”. 

The Science 2 Business programme includes interactive workshops (which will debate the key issues facing nascent and existing entrepreneurs from a scientific background), advisory booths, business speed-dating opportunities, and a vibrant market place buzzing with the anticipation of potential collaborations. 
The diverse range of speakers at the ESOF 2012 includes Rolf-Dieter Heuer, Director General of CERN, Jocelyn Bell Burnell, President of the Institute of Physics, Mary Robinson Former President of Ireland and Former UN High-Commissioner, Marcus du Sautoy, Professor for the Public Understanding of Science at Oxford University and five Nobel Laureates amongst others (Digital Hub, 2012)

Title: Decision Time For Researchers Of Deadly Bird Flu
Date:
 February 14, 2012
Source:
 
MSNBC

Abstract: When 22 bird flu experts meet at the World Health Organization (WHO) this week, they will be tasked with deciding just how far scientists should go in creating lethal mutant viruses in the name of research.

The hurriedly-assembled meeting is designed to try and settle an unprecedented row over a call to ban publication of two scientific studies which detail how to mutate H5N1 bird flu viruses into a form that could cause a deadly human pandemic.

But experts say whatever the outcome, no amount of censorship, global regulation or shutting down of research projects could stop rogue scientists getting the tools to create and release a pandemic H5N1 virus if they were intent on evil.

"It doesn't matter how much you restrict scientists from doing good, bad people can still do bad things," said Wendy Barclay, an expert in flu virology at Imperial College London.

The WHO called the meeting, for February 17 and 18 in Geneva, to work out how to break a deadlock between scientists who have studied the mutations needed to make H5N1 transmit between mammals and U.S. biosecurity chiefs who want their work censored or "redacted" before it goes into scientific journals.

Since the two research teams, one in the Netherlands and one in the United States, have found that just a small number of mutations would allow H5N1 to spread like ordinary flu between mammals - and remain just as deadly as it is now - the meeting is likely to be tense and highly secretive. WHO officials repeatedly stress it will be a "closed door" event.

The United Nations health body has said it is "deeply concerned about the potential negative consequences" of work by the two leading flu research teams who in December said they had found ways to make H5N1 into a easily transmissible form capable of causing lethal human pandemics.

Flu researchers from around the world - more than 30 teams in all - declared a 60-day moratorium starting on January 20 on "any research involving highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N1 viruses" that produce easily contagious forms of the virus.

The WHO has invited 22 people to this week's meeting, including the researchers who carried out the work, editors of the two journals, Science and Nature, who were asked to hold publication, and representatives from the U.S. National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity (NSABB) which asked for the papers to be censored.

Keiji Fukuda, the WHO's Assistant Director-General for Health Security and Environment, who will chair the meeting, says he would like to secure agreement on whether the studies should be published, in full or part, and who should have access to them.

The scientific know-how is seen as vital for scientists to be able to develop vaccines, diagnostic tests and anti-viral drugs that could be deployed in the event of an H5N1 pandemic.

"It is important that research on these viruses should continue," Fukuda told Reuters. "They do pose a risk. There's a lot of things we don't know about them. The question is not really should we continue to do research ... but under what conditions can we do it so we don't unnecessarily create fears and risks."

The H5N1 virus, first detected in Hong Kong in 1997, remains entrenched among poultry in many countries, mainly in Asia, but so far remains hard for humans to catch. It is known to have infected nearly 700 people worldwide since 2003, killing half of them, a far higher fatality rate than the H1N1 swine flu which caused an influenza pandemic in 2009/2010.

Ron Fouchier, the scientist leading the Dutch team that gave H5N1 various genetic mutations and made it transmissible in mammals, argues the research must be published to help public health officials better prepare for a scenario where the virus could mutate and become more deadly, spreading from person to person via coughs and sneezes.

He has also said other research teams around the world are close to the same findings, some of them inadvertently, and should be warned in advance how the virus could become airborne.

In the short term, most scientists agree the moratorium is "a good gesture," as flu expert and former WHO health security adviser David Heymann describes it, one that offers the research community space to think.

But can it, or should it, go on forever?

Heymann, Barclay and many other scientists argue that stopping this type of research into flu viruses and other potentially lethal pathogens would set a dangerous precedent.

Although adding and deleting genes can create super-strains that put the entire world at risk, Heymann said, such work is also vital to developing tools such as effective vaccines and diagnostic tests which are needed quickly if a pandemic hits.

Preventing this research would also prevent legitimate and well-intentioned researchers from using all possible scientific options to prepare for naturally occurring, or deliberately caused, outbreaks.

John Edmunds, who heads the department of infectious disease epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, describes studies on genetic mutations of H5N1 as "very, very important work" that should not be stopped.

"This flu strain has the potential to cause such enormous damage, and it's important to know how far away we are from a horrible event like that," he said. "It appears we're not that far off it. That doesn't mean it's inevitably going to happen, but it makes it more important that we're vigilant."

Heymann, who now leads the Center on Global Health Security at the Chatham House think-tank in London, says the best possible outcome would be a globally-agreed "best practices framework on how you conduct this research and how you provide the information to others."

"It's also crucial to get understanding that even if you don't provide this research information, there are ways that rogue scientists can get it if they want to," he said (MSNBC, 2012).

Title: Asia Pacific CBRN Conference Kicks Off This Week
Date: February 21, 2012
Source: Bio Prep Watch

Abstract: The SMi Group has announced the details for its 2nd annual Chemical, Biological, Radioactive, Nuclear and Explosives Asia Pacific conference, which will be held from February 21 through February 24 in Singapore.

The conference, which will be located at the Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel, will include high level speakers from all over the world discussing CBRN-E issues. The conference will focus on initiatives to prepare for and prevent CBRN-E attacks in the Asia Pacific region of the world.

The four day event will discuss topics that range from medical countermeasures to regional programs. Attendees will see just how  governments deal with such terrorist threats. The program will include presentations from various Asian countries, including South Korea, India, Japan, Singapore, Australia and Vietnam, as well as Emergent BioSolutions’ Allen Shofe. There will also be a special pre-conference workshop focusing on the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant incident one year later, including lessons learned from the disaster and regulations related to nuclear safety.

Speakers scheduled for the conference include

The event will also feature a post-conference workshop to discuss how to counteract a bioterrorism attack on a populated city in Asia. The workshop will have sessions on different bioterrorism agents, how they spread and how to contain a threat through first responder techniques. Emergent Biosolutions, a global biopharmaceutical company, will moderate the workshop.

“CBRN-E Asia Pacific is the leading CBRN-E event in Asia Pacific and is the largest gathering of high level government, military and industry CBRN-E experts,” the SMi Group said. “CBRN-E Asia Pacific serves as a platform for decision makers, influencers and those at the forefront of current operations to come together to give attendees the crucial feedback and lessons learned. A vibrant exhibition runs parallel to the conference where vendors have the opportunity to showcase their latest products, technology and solutions for the CBRN-E community"  (Bio Prep Watch, 2012)

Title: Discussion Of NSABB’s Publication Recommendations For The NIH-Funded Research On The Transmissibility Of H5N1
Date: February 29, 2012
Source: ASM Bio-Defense

AbstractModerated by the Chair of the National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity (NSABB), Paul Keim, Ph.D., this newly added session at the ASM Biodefense and Emerging Diseases Research Meeting will include discussions of the NSABB’s recommendations for the publication of the controversial H5N1 research. This session will also provide an open forum for attendees to give their feedback on such policy issues as the appropriate mechanisms to allay public concerns about the safety of dual use research.

Presentations will include:

osterholmNSABB Recommendations

Michael T. Osterholm, Ph.D., MPH 
University of Minnesota School of Public Health, Minneapolis, MN
Director, Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP)

 

fauciGovernment Response to the Recommendations

Anthony S. Fauci, M.D.
Director, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)

 

 

albertsScience’s Response to the Situation

Bruce Alberts, Ph.D. 
Editor-in-Chief of Science

 

 

fouchier_1Perspective from an Investigator

Ron A.M. Fouchier, Ph.D.
Erasmus MC, Rotterdam, Netherlands



(ASM Bio-Defense, 2012)

Title:
 Agroterrorism Summit Stresses Vigilance
Date: April 6, 2012
Source: Bio Prep Watch

Abstract: Experts meeting at an agroterrorism summit held recently in Parlier, California, gave farmers and farm workers advice on how to prevent a potential terrorist act.

They suggested keeping a ledger available to record the license numbers of suspicious vehicles or other information about suspicious activity. Heightened situational awareness, they said, is the key to safety, according toWesternFarmPress.com.

“Your employees are your eyes and ears, and it’s okay to question somebody,” Ryan Jacobsen, the executive director of the Fresno County Farm Bureau, said, WesternFarmPress.com reports.

Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims told participants at the summit to take note if people are taking photographs, videotaping, using binoculars or sketching, especially at places such as storage areas.

“We’re not talking about people taking pictures of blossoms,” Sheriff Mims said,WesternFarmPress.com reports. “See if people are doing surveillance or asking probing questions about security. Trust your gut.”

Farmers were also told to harden likely targets of theft or terrorism and to identify and mark vulnerable assets. The establishment of controlled access points for delivery vehicles and visitors was recommended.

Tom Knowles, a retired agent with the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation, said that authorities needed to know of any large livestock or crop losses that are not related to weather (Bio Prep Watch, 2012).

Title: Counter Terror Expo 2012 Returns To London
Date: April 25, 2012
Source:
BioPrepWatch

Abstract: The Counter Terror Expo 2012, a premier event for private and public sector professionals who ensure effective responses against terrorism threats, returns for its fourth year on Wednesday and Thursday at the London Olympia.

CTX 2012 is the only event that gathers top industrialists from around the world with the world’s top experts in counterterrorism in an environment meant to foster close cooperation in the fight against terrorism at the local, regional and transnational level.

The principal conferences at the event include tactical counterterrorism, critical national infrastructure protection, protection of crowded places, cybersecurity, electronic terrorism and global counterterrorism. More than 100 internationally recognized speakers in counterterrorism will connect with more than 400 leading technologists in the industry to debate about issues, operational strategies and to shape future counterterrorism policy. Experts from government, private sector, security services, emergency services, law enforcement and military will attend the event.

The first day of the conference includes workshops on CBRNE protection and detection, CCTV and monitoring, human factors and training, building and facilities protection, electro optics, thermal imaging and night vision, and personal protection equipment. The second day features workshops on access control, identification and biometrics, perimeter protection and intrusion, surveillance, data and intelligence, communication systems, the disposal of improvised explosive devices, and screening and scanning (BioPrepWatch, 2012)

Title: Experts Worry About Obama’s Food Security Approaches
Date: May 14, 2012
Source:
BioPrepWatch

Abstract: President Barack Obama recently invited a number of African leaders to join the G8 summit for a discussion on food security, despite claims that he has failed to adequately address food security issues at home.

The Pew Health Organization recently claimed that President Obama has failed to protect the United States against agroterrorism or to adequately monitor domestic food security, according to Examiner.com.

Several months after the Obama Administration claimed it enacted sweeping legislation to protect the nation’s food supply, experts at a federal symposium claimed that half of what Americans currently eat comes from countries not covered by FDA measures aimed at guarding the food supply.

According to experts participating in the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s International Symposium on Agroterrorism, the United States is vulnerable to bioterrorism via tainted food.

“Because it’s nearly impossible to know where 50% of our food comes from, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to protect consumers from tainted supplies as well as intentional bioterrorism attacks,”  former intelligence and police officer Sid Franes said, Examiner.com reports.

The annual symposium, held this year in Kansas City, was held to help foster information-sharing and collaboration between government agencies, the private sector and academia. The complex nature of the relationships, however, limits the nation’s ability to respond effectively to an attack, according to experts (BioPrepWatch, 2012)

Title: Government Panel Debates Protecting Children From Bioterrorism
Date: May 18, 2012
Source:
BioPrepWatch

Abstract: A presidential panel for the Obama Administration will help to decide if the anthrax vaccine and other stockpiled treatments for bioterrorism should be tested on children.

Kathleen Sebelius, the Health and Human Services secretary, said that officials cannot simply assume that treatments for adults will work in children. Sebelius recommended that the nation develop protection for children in a way that makes childhood safety the top priority, Associated Press reports.

Debate over whether or not to open anthrax vaccine pediatric studies prompted Sebelius to request the Presidential Commission that the Study of Bioethical Issues to take on the controversy. According to Sebelius, the issue involves more than just anthrax.

If studies to test the vaccine were to be offered, there is no way to know how many parents would consent to enrolling their children. While treatments for cancer and other childhood disease are tested in a fairly straightforward manner, if a child won’t receive a direct medical benefit from a study, the risks to participating children must be made as minimal as possible. The National Biodefense Safety Board recommended child testing of the anthrax vaccine this past fall, but only if outside ethical experts agreed that the studies could be done in an appropriate way.

The commission will start its deliberations on Thursday and its recommendations are anticipated by the end of the year, according to Associated Press (BioPrepWatch, 2012)

Title: Sixty-Fifth World Health Assembly
Date: 
May 21-26, 2012
Source: 
WHO

Abstract:
 The Sixty-fifth session of the World Health Assembly will take place in Geneva during 21-26 May 2012. At this session, the Health Assembly will discuss a number of public health issues such as universal health coverage, Millennium Development Goals, noncommunicable diseases, mental disorders, nutrition and adolescent pregnancy. The Health Assembly will also discuss the programme budget, administration and management matters of WHO (WHO, 2012). 
 

Title: BARDA Head To Discuss Strategy At Upcoming Conference
Date: May 24, 2012
Source:
BioPrepWatch

Abstract: Carol Linden, the director of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority is expected to lay out the agency’s future strategy for protecting the public against bioterrorism at an upcoming conference in Washington.

Linden will speak about plans for the procurement of medical countermeasures under Project BioShield at the 10th Annual Biodefense Vaccines & Therapeutics Conference, to be held June 5-8 in the capital.

The meeting comes as the Pandemic All-Hazards Preparedness Act Reauthorization moves to conference committee following its unanimous approval in the Senate. The bill increases BARDA’s focus on the development of biodefense technology and provides $2.8 billion to Project BioShield for the purchase of medical countermeasures.

Deputy Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Chemical and Biological Defense at the U.S. Department of Defense Dr. Gerald Parker will be the keynote speaker at the conference.

Senior government representatives from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, the Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute for Infectious Diseases will also be in attendance.

The conference is expected to provide a forum for debate over the federal government’s strategy for investing in prevention and preparedness against both bioterrorism and major infectious disease outbreaks (BioPrepWatch, 2012)

Title: Experts Discuss Applying U.S. Biodefense Strategies Internationally
Date: May 31, 2012
Source:
BioPrepWatch

Abstract: Emergent BioSolutions, Inc., the makers of the only U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved anthrax vaccine, recently hosted a biodefense workshop in Washington attended by representatives of a number of European and Asian countries.

The workshop, held at the Washington offices of Emergent BioSolutions, Inc., provided a forum to discuss how the development of U.S. biodefense policies could be applicable in other nations.

Emergent BioSolutions, Inc.’s Senior Vice President for Government Affairs Allen Shofe called the event a means to share critical knowledge between friendly nations. The company is currently working at full capacity for the U.S. government and will continue to do so for years, but as Shofe said, “Noah started building the ark before it started raining.

“We are ready to go to every country we can to discuss the threat of bioterror so they can learn from our experience”

Colonel Zoltan Bone, the representative from the Hungarian Armed Forces, said that each nation would undoubtedly take a different approach to biodefense, one that reflects national character as well as priorities.

“It would be interesting to know, and I would like to see, if you could name each nation on how it approaches the issue,” Bone said.

Dag Liden, the Swedish military attaché to the United States, said that with limited resources, it can be difficult for some countries to prioritize spending on biodefense. He felt that regional cooperation, perhaps among Nordic countries, could be investigated.

Japan’s Assistant Defense Attaché to the United States, Yoshihiro Iseri, said that he was surprised to learn the extent of U.S. strategic planning involving the use of biological agents as offensive weapons.

Captain Timo Junttila of the Finnish Defense Forces said that, ultimately, each country assesses threats according to its particular geostrategic position and plans accordingly. He said that Finland has created a mobile rapid response biodefense unit that can respond globally to emergencies.

Supporting a biodefense infrastructure has proven to be a costly undertaking for the United States, and one that requires a great deal of planning. Internationally, it remains to be seen how many U.S. allies will allocate resources to the threat of biological weapons.

Shofe said that advanced preparation would be the critical element in how nations prepare for a worst case scenario.

“We cannot just turn on the spigot for protection,” Shofe said (BioPrepWatch, 2012)

Title: WHO To Hold Meeting On Dual Use Research
Date: June 1, 2012
Source:
BioPrepWatch

Abstract: The WHO plans to hold a meeting in the late fall to discuss dual use research issues that surfaced following the announcement of lab-modified H5N1 viruses with increased transmissibility.

“We hope to hold a second meeting to discuss the broader concerns related to potential dual [use] research in the late fall, if resources are available,” Keiji Fukuda,the WHO’s assistant director-general for health security and environment, said, according to CIDRAP News.

The WHO also released a statement about its activities related to the H5N1 controversy this week. It originally held a meeting in Geneva in February on the research, with the majority of its participants supporting publishing the studies.

“WHO is planning an international consultation on broader issues highlighted by the debate surrounding the two H5N1 research studies,” the agency said, CIDRAP News reports. “A discussion engaging multiple stakeholders, including the scientific, public health and security communities, government agencies, international agencies, and the public is envisaged.”

In addition to its meetings in February, the WHO launched a “comprehensive communications plan focusing on the two H5N1-affected countries and other member states,” it said in a statement.

The plan focuses on improving understanding of H5N1 researching, ensuring that member countries have information to respond to public anxiety about biosafety and biosecurity issues related to lab-modified viruses, and supporting the continuation of responsible research with appropriate safeguards (BioPrepWatch, 2012).

Title: Maritime CBRN Conference Scheduled For September
Date: June 7, 2012
Source:
BioPrepWatch

Abstract: The SMi Group has scheduled its CBRN in the Maritime Environment conference for September 26-27 in London in response to concerns at seaports over access to the best threat prevention solutions for terrorist attacks.

The London event will focus on recovery, response and detection at sea for government and naval practitioners. While hazardous materials are the same across the board, fighting the issue at sea requires different training, equipment and approach.

Because the United Kingdom is an island nation, critical infrastructure is placed close to the coast. As a result, the correct responses to attacks using chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear materials must be determined.

The speaker line-up for the conference includes Lauri Luht, a representative of the crisis and management policy department of the Estonian Ministry of the Interior, Richard Murray, a superintendent and the deputy divisional commander of the south division of the Civil Nuclear Constabulary, Youri Linden, a lieutenant and seariding instructor at the CBRNDC/FF School of the Royal Netherlands Navy, and Bernd Allert, a lieutenant commander with the WMD Non-Proliferation Center at NATO headquarters.

A pre-conference workshop will be held on September 25 that will be completely interactive that covers counter-piracy and maritime security strategy. The SMi Group is a worldwide company dealing in business-to-business information that creates highly targeted workshops, publications and conferences (BioPrepWatch, 2012).

Title: USAMRICD Holds Biennial Conference
Date: June 13, 2012
Source:
BioPrepWatch

Abstract: The U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Chemical Defense recently hosted the 18th Biennial Medical Defense Bioscience Review held in Hunt Valley, Maryland.

The event was sponsored by the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command, the parent organization of USAMRICD. The conference provided a means to highlight new developments in medical countermeasures to protect against chemical warfare agents, toxic chemicals and biological neurotoxins.

“Bioscience Review is significant in that it represents the only opportunity for the entire medical chemical defense community to gather for focused scientific exchanges,” Dr. John Graham, MRICD’s deputy to the commander for research, said. “A broad range of pertinent topics was discussed, in both platform and poster presentations. There were plenty of opportunities for further discussion of experimental results and planning for future collaborative research efforts among the attendees.”

Graham, who also chaired the event, opened the meeting and introduced a special lecture conducted by Dr. Petrali, a research anatomist and 50-year member of USAMRICD. Petrali’s lecture gave attendees a personal look at life at the institute.

The keynote address was given by USAMRICD’s commander, Colonel Peter Schultheiss, and covered animal welfare regulations from an historical perspective.

Dr. David Lenz, an expert in the development of bioscavengers as a pretreatment to nerve agent victims, was this year’s recipient of USAMRICD’s Clarence A. Broomfield Award (BioPrepWatch, 2012).

Title: BWC Experts Meet In Geneva
Date: July 17, 2012
Source:
BioPrepWatch

Abstract: The 2012 Biological Weapons Convention Meeting of Experts began on Monday in Geneva and will run through Friday at the United Nations office.

The meeting is the first part of a four year program that was made compulsory by the BWC’s seventh review conference in December. The program is meant to improve the convention’s effectiveness as a barrier against the development and use of biological weapons. The BWC prohibits stockpiling, producing and developing toxic and biological weapons.

Subjects to be discussed at the meeting include international cooperation and assistance, a review of technological and scientific advances in fields related to the BWC, methods for strengthening national implementation of the convention and the enhancement of participation in confidence building methods.

Boujemâa Delmi, an ambassador from Algeria, is the chairman of the meeting.

“I am confident that we will be able to convert the decisions of the seventh review conference into a renewed and revitalized intersessional program that makes a genuine contribution to reducing the risks posed to global security by biological weapons,” Delmi said.

Other organizations participating in the meeting include the International Committee of the Red Cross, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, INTERPOL, the World Organization for Animal Health, the Food and Agriculture Organization and the World Health Organization (BioPrepWatch, 2012)

Title: BWC Experts Meet In Geneva
Date: July 31, 2012
Source:
BioPrepWatch

Abstract: A meeting of experts from the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention occurred between July 16 and 20 in Geneva to discuss topics agreed upon during the review conference in December.

Experts from non-governmental organizations, observer entities, international organizations and states parties participated in the meeting. The topics discussed at the meeting included furthering BWC goals through cooperation and assistance, advances in science and technology, national implementation and confidence-building measures, Vertic reports.

The experts from different states shared information related to their international assistance programs during the meeting. They noted that the promotion of peaceful research and international security could improve by enhancing cooperation and assistance in exchanging materials and technologies.

Advances in science and technology were found to have both negative and positive security and health implications. The experts decided that policies to actively monitor risk were more favorable than reactive policies that could get in the way of beneficial and peaceful research, according to Vertic.

The experts discussed recent efforts meant to nationally implement the BWC in different states such as in Malaysia, Morocco and France. A low percentage of the states were found to have participated in confidence-building measures.

Ambassador Boujemâa Delmi, the chair of the meeting, suspended the formal session on the fourth day of the meeting for states to have informal and open discussions on matters relating to the BWC.

Delmi called the meeting was very fruitful.

A final draft report will be submitted and discussed at the next BWC intersessional states parties meeting (BioPrepWatch, 2012).