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UAE reiterates support for international efforts to develop effective measures to protect bio-security

posted on 10/08/2016: 2268 views

GENEVA: The UAE is participating in the meetings of the Preparatory Committee for the 8th Review Conference of the States and Parties to the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on their Destruction.

The meeting will continue in Geneva till 12th August. The 8th Review Conference will be held from 7th to 25th November.

The UAE's statement at the meetings was delivered by Deputy Director of International Security Cooperation at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Mohammed Ali Al Shamsi.

In the statement, Al Shamsi expressed the UAE's appreciation for the efforts being made by the stakeholders in preparing for the 8th review conference, exchanging views about strategies relating to the convention.

He also expressed the UAE's special appreciation for the efforts of the United Nations.

Al Shamsi stressed that the UAE has an increasing regional and international importance in various spheres and has become a major hub for global trade, passengers and commodities, which, he noted, calls for meeting requirements to control biological materials.

Based on this, the UAE set up a national committee for bio-security in 2012 and developed the national bio-security strategy 2013-2017 which meets the best possible international practices relating to development and enhancement of measures for control, preparedness and response to prevent risks and contain their negative consequences, and contribute to strengthening national security, a pillar of UAE Vision 2021, he said.

The UAE's national strategy for bio-security is based on three pillars: reducing the potential dangers of natural and planned and unplanned man-made bio-agents, building capabilities for detecting and handling various types of biological hazards and threats and accidents, he noted.

The UAE enacted and updated relevant laws, legislation, plans and capabilities to ensure that bio-agents will not transform into threats and handle their negative impact in the aftermath of incidents that may affect the safety of society, policy, economy and tourism in the country.

Al Shamsi explained that a study was conducted to identify and tackle biological dangers and threats facing the UAE.

Based on its belief in the importance of stronger international co-operation, and to contribute towards building national capabilities, the UAE organised its first conference on bio-security in 2014 followed by a second in 2015, he said, adding that some 40 international organisations and national government departments participated in first conference.

He noted that organising such a conference is aimed at enhancing the UAE's bio-security, promoting national awareness about all biological risks and dangers, exchanging knowledge between involved international organisations and institutions. These conferences, he added, is an important scientific platform for dialogue and exchange about security-related issues.

He stressed that one of the important foundations of the sustainability and success of the UAE's bio-security strategy included protecting the UAE from bio-agents, enhancing effective co-ordination and convergence between federal and local departments, following up the activities of these departments by providing information and involving international organisations in developing knowledge about bio-security, as well as supporting the government to spread awareness while focussing on attracting specialised nationals to work in bio-security sectors.

The UAE, he further stressed, is committed to facilitating the widest exchange of scientific and technological relevant equipment, materials and information as per Article 10 of the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC).

Within this context, the UAE launched a programme to promote a healthy lifestyle and treat school students with communicable diseases in countries that are parties to the convention.

Moreover, the UAE launched awareness programmes to promote a healthy lifestyle and prevent exposure to disease. One programme aims to treat 410,000 children aged between 5 and 15 years for bilharzia, intestinal worms, and tropical diseases.

Al Shamsi stressed that the UAE will back the efforts being made by all states to develop effective bio-security measures, strengthen national capabilities, protect security in a responsible manner and promote social development in order to have a world free of biological threats. - Emirates News Agency, WAM -


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