Under the patronage of the President of the Royal Scientific Society (RSS) of Jordan, HRH Princess Sumaya Bint El Hassan, the RSS and the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs (ODA) held a Regional Workshop on the Implications of Developments in Science and Technology for the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) in the Middle East and North Africa.
In the opening remarks at the Workshop, which was held on 11 July in Amman, HRH Princess Sumaya made reference to the potential that the innovative capacity of the scientific community has to advance peace and security. HRH Princess Sumaya highlighted the “Science for Peace” theme, championed by Jordan as the host of the World Science Forum in November 2017, and which underlines the deep inter-linkages between peace and prosperity and scientific and technological progress.
The Minister Counsellor of the European Union Delegation to Jordan, Koenraad Dassen, echoed the same peace and science inter-linkages in his opening remarks and highlighted the importance that the European Union attaches to the promotion of closer interactions between the science and technology communities and the traditional BWC actors and processes. The workshop was funded by the European Union under Council Decision 2016/51 in support of the BWC.
The Deputy Chief of the BWC Implementation Support Unit, Alex Lampalzer, also delivered remarks on behalf of ODA. In addition, Ana Izar, ODA Political Affairs Officer and Project Officer for the EU Council Decision, presented an overview of the support provided by the European Union to advance the implementation of the BWC, as well as a description of the activities conducted since the Decision was adopted in 2016.
The workshop was the third in a series of five regional events on this subject to be organised by ODA under the auspices of the EU Council Decision. It brought together more than 50 participants, including Jordanians who work in different national and academic institutions, as well as regional experts from different Middle Eastern and North African countries.
The States Parties that were represented included Algeria, Iraq, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, the State of Palestine, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates. Representatives from The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS), the EU CBRN Centre of Excellence for the Middle East, the EU CBRN Centre of Excellence for North Africa and the Group of Experts established pursuant to United Nations Security Council resolution 1540, as well as independent experts from Algeria, Lebanon, Morocco and Saudi Arabia also attended the workshop.
The fourth and fifth regional workshops in the series will be held in South Africa and the Philippines, respectively.