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The Evolution of Biological Disarmament

Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN 0-19-829578-2
203 pp.

In this volume the evolution of the disarmament regime of the 1972 Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC) is described from 1980, when the first BTWC Review Conference was held, until 1998. Nicholas A. Sims analyses the results of the first four review conferences; the meetings of the Ad Hoc Group of Governmental Experts to Identify and Examine Potential Verification Measures from a Scientific and Technical Standpoint; the 1994 Special Conference; the current negotiations of the Ad Hoc Group to produce an additional protocol to the BTWC, which may include verification measures; handling of the 1997 Cuban allegation of US biological warfare; and the implementation of Article X of the BTWC on international exchanges and cooperation for peaceful purposes. The strength of the BTWC regime is assessed in the light of its evolution through the review process and its changing contexts, including Russia's admission that it had inherited an offensive biological weapon programme. The Evolution of Biological Disarmament applies an original sector-by-sector approach to its analysis of the BTWC, studied in a long-term perspective.


1. A treaty regime in full evolution

2. The regime of compliance: the original elements

3. The regime of compliance: the addition of confidence-building measures

4. The regime of compliance: the addition of verification measures

5. The regime of development

6. The regime of permanence

7. Towards convergence: the treaty regime and its future

Annexe A. The 1972 Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention

Annexe B. The 1925 Geneva Protocol

Annexe C. Signatories to the 1972 Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention

Annexe D. Parties to the 1972 Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention

About the author

Nicholas A. Sims is a Senior Lecturer in International Relations at the London School of Economics and Political Science, University of London. He specializes in disarmament diplomacy and institutions, treaty negotiations and review, and international organization in the Commonwealth and United Nations systems. He has written frequently on biological and chemical disarmament since 1970. His books include The Diplomacy of Biological Disarmament: Vicissitudes of a Treaty in Force, 1975-85 (1988) and International Organization for Chemical Disarmament (1987), no. 8 in the series SIPRI Chemical & Biological Warfare Studies. He has also contributed to three later studies in the series, to many symposia and to the publication of the Hague Academy of International Law Colloquium, The Convention on the Prohibition and Elimination of Chemical Weapons: A Breakthrough in Multilateral Disarmament (1995).

About the series editor

Dr Jean Pascal Zanders assumed responsibility for the SIPRI Chemical and Biological Warfare Project in 1996 and is the Series Editor. He was previously Research Associate at the Centre for Peace and Security Studies at the Free University of Brussels. He is the author of a chapter in the 1997 SIPRI volume The Challenge of Old Chemical Munitions and Toxic Armament Wastes, co-author of the SIPRI fact sheets The Chemical Weapons Convention (1997) and Iraq: The UNSCOM Experience (1998), and co-author of chapters in the SIPRI Yearbooks 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000 and 2001. He has also written on regime formation and implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention and on regional security in the Middle East with respect to chemical and biological weapons.

SIPRI Chemical & Biological Warfare Studies is a series of studies intended primarily for specialists in the field of CBW arms control and for people engaged in other areas of international relations or security affairs whose work could benefit from a deeper understanding of particular CBW matters.

Ordering details


This book can be ordered from all good bookshops and online booksellers or directly from OUP

OUP in the UK: (paperback)

OUP in the USA: (paperback)