HC Deb 19 December 1995 vol 268 c1107W
Dr. David Clark

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what progress has been made at the ad hoc group meeting of states parties to the biological and toxic weapons convention in Geneva; what work has been carried out on compliance measures; and when the ad hoc group will complete its owrk. [6992]

Mr. Arbuthnot

The second substantive meeting of the biological and toxic weapons convention ad hoc group, which was held in Geneva from 27 November to 8 December 1995, made useful progress, building upon the work of the previous meeting in July. On compliance measures, a number of issues were explored on mandatory declarations; on-site visits/inspections, in particular regarding the role of non-challenge visits; and investigation of alleged biological weapon use. Much work remains to be done, however, and it is not possible at this stage to predict when the process will be concluded. The ad hoc group is mandated to complete its work as soon as possible and to submit its report to be considered at the fourth review conference, scheduled for November-December 1996, or later at a special conference.