skip to navigation skip to content skip to footer



The Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention

A soldier cehcks a vehicle for contamination

The The Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC) was the first major multilateral treaty to outlaw an entire class of weapons, prohibiting parties developing, producing, stockpiling or otherwise acquiring or retaining biological weapons and their means of delivery.

The BTWC does not explicitly ban the use of biological weapons, which are already banned by the Geneva Protocol, but the prohibitions it contains and the requirement that states parties destroy any stockpiles accumulated before accession, amount to an effective ban on use.

The BTWC also prohibits states parties from assisting other countries to acquire biological weapons, directly or indirectly. Further, it requires states parties to facilitate technical and scientific cooperation in the use of biotechnology for peaceful purposes.