With the World Health Organization (WHO), the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), and the U.S. Blue Ribbon panel publishing reports on the emerging risks of biological weaponry in past months, there is a new sense of urgency regarding biological weapons. In August 2016, the United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki Moon told the Security Council that “non-state actors are actively seeking chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons.”
This report presents the changing dynamics of the development and use of biological weapons and the preparation against them. The dynamics relate to technological advances in biotechnology and the concomitant attraction to non-state actors to use biological agents as weapons due to their financial appeal and diverse impact. The relative ease with which biological weapons can be produced, and the intent of non-state actors to use biological weapons- based on historical precedent and recent surge in international terrorism- call for a renewed focus on this field and an increased effort to respond to these developments. We provide illustrations of new policy initiatives in a variety of countries and outline the current state of play in the Netherlands, providing a point of departure to discuss whether the current approach is sufficient to tackle the upcoming issues.
The report can be downloaded using the button.