Professor Addresses U.N. Biological Arms Meeting
Remarks are First Direct Interaction in 30 Years With a Non-Governmental Organization
Dec. 13, 2007
Dr. Marie Chevrier, an associate professor of public policy and political economy at UT Dallas, addressed the State Parties to the Biological Weapons Convention at its annual meeting in Geneva on Monday, Dec. 11.
The Biological Weapons Convention was the first multilateral disarmament treaty to ban production of an entire category of weapons. More than 150 nations are party to its prohibition on the production, development and stockpiling of biological weapons and toxins.
As chair of the Scientists Working Group on Biological and Chemical Weapons at the Center for Arms Control and Nonproliferation, a Washington non-governmental organization (NGO), Dr. Chevrier delivered a prepared statement to the delegates. She also had the rare opportunity to exchange remarks with them at a special roundtable discussion. This was the first time in the 30-year history of the convention that NGOs have been invited to interact directly with the delegates on the floor of the meeting at the United Nations event.
“Typically U.N. meetings are only open to official members of national delegations and some large international organizations such as Interpol or the International Committee of the Red Cross,” said Dr. Chevrier. “By inviting NGOs to interact in the official meeting room with the delegates, the U.N. lent legitimacy to the role of civil society and NGOs that has not always been recognized by the delegates.”
In her remarks to the delegates, Dr. Chevrier stressed the complementary roles of governments and civic organizations to effectively abide by the Biological Weapons Convention ban of all biological weapons.
Dr. Chevrier’s research focuses on bioterrorism, chemical and biological weapons and the political aspects of negotiations and implementation of arms control agreements. She teaches in the School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences at The University of Texas at Dallas.
She is a co-author of the book Incapacitating Biochemical Weapons: Promise or Peril? and the former associate director of the Sussex Program on Chemical and Biological Armaments and Arms Limitations at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University.
Media contact: Meredith Dickenson, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2293, [email protected]