Balanced Minimalism

In PRIF Report No 120 Una Becker-Jakob investigates progress and setbacks for the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) after its 7th Review Conference in 2011

Since 1972 the BWC has been in force – and it urgently needs short-term improvements as well as new instruments and common conceptual understandings of multilaleralism in the long term. This was evident recently at the 2011 Review Conference, when deep conflicts concerning technical issues as well as conceptual understandings manifested itself.


In PRIF Report 120 "Balanced Minimalism – The Biological Weapons Convention after its 7th Review Conference", Una Becker-Jakob argues that the regime’s monitoring and verification system needs to be strengthened. Besides these technical questions, the state’s general view on multilateral action should be revised, because the discussions showed some deeper conflicts concerning a different understanding of concepts like sovereignty, justice and governance. These hint at different notions of multilateral action, which are not restrained to biological arms control. That is why Becker-Jakob claims a long-term dialogue besides technical short-term issues.

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