The Pugwash International Workshops on CBW

These are private invitation-only meetings of experts on pre-selected topical issues held under the auspices of the Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs. The meetings are workshops of the Pugwash Study Group on Implementation of the CBW Conventions, of which HSP is the convenor and guiding spirit.

This study group is the latest in a succession of such groups to have been convened under the auspices of the Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs to study aspects of chemical/biological-warfare (CBW) disarmament. Its membership includes academic, defence and industrial scientists from around the world as well as governmental officials involved in the formation and implementation of public policy regarding CBW. The interest which these participants have in common is the creation and effective operation of an international regime for eliminating CBW weapons.

The series originates in the 5th Pugwash Conference, held in Pugwash, Nova Scotia, Canada, during 24-29 August 1959. This was the first occasion since the onset of the Cold War during which scientists knowledgeable in fields from which CBW weapons derive participated in international conference, coming from both East and West to consider and discuss CBW.

From the conference and its follow-up activities emerged the Pugwash BW Study Group (1964-69), from which in turn emerged the initial CBW project (1966-75) of SIPRI, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. Then came the work, extending throughout the period from conclusion of the 1972 Biological Weapons Convention to the opening for signature of the 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention, of the Pugwash CW Study Group. The present CBW study-group was established immediately thereafter, seeking to promote both a strengthening of the Biological Weapons Convention and a harmonious and effective entry into force of the Chemical Weapons Convention. Over the years some 700 people from nearly 50 countries have participated in these groups. A detailed account of Pugwash work on CBW is to be found in volume 866 (1998) of the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences.

The Study Group is directed by HSP through a steering committee and the good offices of the Pugwash international secretariat. Two-day workshops are its main activity. Until 2012, there were usually two of these each year, hosted by the national Pugwash groups of the Netherlands and Switzerland.

Each workshop is on a particular subject, chosen for its topicality and for the benefit that could result from study-group attention to it. The Secretary-General of Pugwash, advised by the steering committee, invites the participation of individuals who have experience in that subject. There are typically 30-60 participants from maybe half that number of countries. Participants thereby become members of the study group, if they are not members already. The proceedings are private, and, as a further means for stimulating frank discussion, the ground-rules preclude subsequent attribution of what is said during a workshop to the participant who said it.

An account of each workshop, setting out not a consensus summary but simply the personal impressions of a participant, is subsequently produced by HSP. These reports are later published in Pugwash Newsletter and, for a wider readership, on this website.

PSGICC-33: Achieving Realistic Decisions at the Seventh BWC Review Conference in 2011, Geneva Switzerland, 3-4 December 2011.

PSGICC-32: The OPCW in Transition, 30 April to 1 May 2011, Noordwijk, The Netherlands.

PSGICC-31: Getting Ready for the Seventh BWC Review Conference in 2011, Geneva, Switzerland, 4-5 December 2010.

PSGICC-30: Preparing for the Seventh BWC Review Conference, Geneva, Switzerland, 5-6 December 2009.

PSGICC-29: Moving Towards the Seventh BWC Review Conference, Geneva, Switzerland, 29-30 November 2008.

PSGICC-28: The Second CWC Review and After, Noordwijk, The Netherlands, 5-6 April 2008.

PSGICC-27: Moving Forward after the Sixth BWC Review Conference, Geneva, Switzerland, 8-9 December 2007.

PSGICC-26: 10 years of the OPCW: taking stock and looking forward, Noordwijk, The Netherlands, 17-18 March 2007.

PSGICC-25: Implementation of the Chemical and Biological Weapons Conventions: Towards a Successful Outcome for the Sixth Review Conference Geneva, Switzerland, 18-19 November 2006.

PSGICC-24: Implementation of the Chemical and Biological Weapons Conventions: Achieving a Successful Outcome of the Second CWC Review, 13-14 May 2006.

PSGICC-23: Achieving a Successful Outcome of the Sixth BWC Review Conference, Geneva, Switzerland, 3-4 December 2005.

PSGICC-22: Present Trends and Future Policy Choice, Oegstgeest, the Netherlands, 16-17 April 2005.

PSGICC-21: The BWC New Process and the Sixth Review Conference, Geneva, Switzerland, 4-5 December 2004.

PSGICC-20: The BWC Intersessional Process towards the Sixth Review Conference and Beyond, Geneva, Switzerland, 8-9 November 2003

PSGICC-19: The First CWC Review Conference and beyond, Oegstgeest, The Netherlands, 26-27 April 2003

PSGICC-18: The resumption of the Fifth Review Conference 2002 and beyond, Geneva, Switzerland, 9-10 November 2002

PSGICC-17: The impending First CWC Review, Oegstgeest, The Netherlands, 15-16 June 2002

PSGICC-16: The Fifth BTWC Review Conference, Geneva, Switzerland, 24-25 November 2001

PSGICC-15: Approaching the CWC Review Conference, Oegstgeest, The Netherlands, 23-24 June 2001

PSGICC-14: Key Issues for the Fifth Review Conference 2001, Geneva, Switzerlands, 18-19 November 2000

PSGICC-13: CWC and BWC experience sharing, Oegstgeest, The Netherlands, 8-9 April 2000

PSGICC-12: The BWC Protocol: entering the endgame, Geneva, 25-26 September 1999

PSGICC-11: Implications of CWC implementation for the BWC Protocol negotiations, Noordwijk, 15-16 May 1999

PSGICC-10: The BWC Protocol negotiation: unresolved issues, Geneva, 28-29 November 1998.

PSGICC-9: CWC implementation: balancing confidentiality and transparency, Noordwijk, 15-17 May 1998.

PSGICC-8: Strengthening the Biological Weapons Convention, Geneva, 20-21 September 1998

PSGICC-7: The CWC at entry into force, Noordwijk, 6-8 June 1997

PSGICC-6: The Chemical Weapons Convention in its North-South context, Noordwijk, 11-13 October 1996

PSGICC-5: Strengthening the Biological Weapons Convention, Geneva, 21-22 September 1996

PSGICC-4: Strengthening the Biological Weapons Convention, Geneva, 2-3 December 1995

PSGICC-3: The Schedules and the General Purpose Criterion of the CWC, Noordwijk, 19-21 May 1995

PSGICC-2: Law enforcement, domestic riot control, and the Chemical Weapons Convention, The Hague & Noordwijk, 27-29 May 1994

PSGICC-1: Relationships between the scientific community and the CBW Conventions, Geneva, 8-9 May 1993

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