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Governo Italiano

Biological Weapons


Biological Weapons

According to a 1969United Nations definition, biological weapons are living organisms of any sort or infectious substances deriving from those organisms aimed at the production of disease or death in humans, animals or plants and whose effectiveness depends on the ability to be disseminated through the human, animal or plant infected.

There are 5 categories of biological agents:
1) viruses;
2) bacterias;
3) rickettsiae microorganisms;
4) fungi and protozoa;
5) toxins.

The most important multilateral instrument adopted in the context of biological warfare is the Biological Weapons Convention (BTWC) of 10 April 1972, which is a direct descendent of the 1925 Geneva Protocol regarding the use of gas or bacteriological agents in armed conflict; it is the result of the efforts of the entire international community to regulate the ban on weapons of this type. The convention is subject to periodic review conferences in the context of which it is possible to propose amendments and contribute updates regarding scientific developments in that sector. At the latest of these conferences, held in November 2006, Italy played a steering role through the presentation of an Action Plan for universal application of the convention.

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