Biosecurity and biosafety are important aspects of the life sciences and they have been discussed in the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) on several occasions. Moreover, several initiatives are underway to advance biosecurity and safety. However, these initiatives are often context specific and the effective implementation of biosecurity and biosafety measures around the globe remains inadequate. 

To address this gap, in 2022, France, Senegal and Togo submitted a revised proposal to the BWC for the “establishment of an international platform dedicated to biosecurity and biosafety: SecBio”. The proposal includes three pillars: a searchable repository for biosafety- and biosecurity-related materials; a learning module; and a forum for expert networking to exchange information, data and best practices. To this end, this report draws lessons from past initiatives to develop repositories, learning modules and expert forums in order to inform the development of the SecBio platform (and any such similar initiatives).

The report begins with an overview of the importance of biosafety and biosecurity in the context of the BWC. It then proceeds to look at each of the platform pillars in turn, drawing from past experiences to identify lessons and develop options for state parties to consider. 

Citation: Kai Ilchmann and James Revill (2022) “Assessing the SecBio Platform Proposal for the Biological Weapons Convention”, UNIDIR, Geneva.