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The Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC) prohibits the development, production and stockpiling of bacteriological (biological) and toxin weapons. The convention also regulates the destruction of these weapons.

The Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC) was signed in 1972 by Great Britain, the United States and the Soviet Union and entered into force in 1975. The convention, which has been recognised and accepted by 173 countries, prohibits the possession and development of biological and toxin weapons. The BTWC was the first multilateral disarmament treaty banning the production and use of an entire category of weapons. The treaty is still one of the cornerstones of the multilateral framework of non-proliferation and disarmament.

The BTWC’s Seventh Review Conference took place at the end of 2011. During this conference, chaired by the Netherlands, a plan of action was developed for the period until the next review conference in 2016. The Parties to the Convention strive to ensure that the BTWC remains a relevant instrument and that it can respond effectively to scientific, technological and political developments. The main topics in the plan of action are as follows:
• Developments in the field of science and technology;
• International collaboration and assistance;
• Improvements to national implementation of the Convention.