CBW Events -- November 2011 selections
Each month, entries for a few anniversaries of notable CBW Events are posted. All will appear in the relevant final versions of the chronologies.
40 years ago:
16 November 1971 In New York, the United Nations General Assembly adopts resolution 2826 (XXVI) which commends the Biological Weapons Convention to member states. The text of the BWC is annexed to the resolution.
17 November 1971 The representative of Finland addresses the First Committee of the United Nations General Assembly. He says: "In the opinion of the Finnish Government the chances of success in the negotiations on chemical weapons should be improved by paying special attention ... to following issues: (1) one should, in international co-operation, study and develop methods which would make available to all interested governments expert information on verification and control of the chemical agents and chemical weapons ... (2) technical capacity should be developed and the facilities should be acquired on a national basis for verification of chemical agents and for control of their prohibition, having in mind the eventuality that this kind of practical capacity would be needed for international use".
29 November 1971 The French Representative to the United Nations tells the First Committee of the UN General Assembly why France will not be signing the Biological Weapons Convention [see 16 November]: "What we fear is that on the international level this would be the first step towards a policy of disarmament without control. Such a policy would limit itself to prohibiting the manufacture of weapons, the use of which is unlikely in any case. It would have the serious shortcoming of giving credence to the idea that disarmament is forging ahead, whilst the true dangers will not have been allayed, and in the field of verification it will be based on the use of national means of observation and will therefore be discriminatory, since not all states have sufficient means. International control as a principle is the indispensable corollary to any disarmament measure of a contractual nature, albeit partial. If this element is ignored, the draft convention on the prohibition of the manufacture of biological weapons is an extremely dangerous precedent, the existence of which will weigh heavily upon all disarmament work. A State cannot merely have faith in the goodwill of other Powers in a field where its security is at stake".
30 November 1971 The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) releases the first three books of its six-volume series entitled The Problem of Chemical and Biological Warfare. Published today are: Volume I, "The Rise of CB Weapons"; Volume IV, "CB Disarmament Negotiations, 1920–1970"; and Volume V, "The Prevention of CBW". Pre-publication drafts of the volumes had been circulated earlier in the year to assist in negotiations for the Biological Weapons Convention.
45 years ago:
5 November 1966 Gambia deposits its instrument of succession to the 1925 Geneva Protocol with the French government.
50 years ago:
24 November 1961 In New York, the UN General Assembly adopts resolution 1653 (XVI). The resolution reaffirms aspects of international law: "The use of weapons of mass destruction, causing unnecessary human suffering, was in the past prohibited, as being contrary to the laws of humanity and to the principles of international law, by international declarations and binding agreements, such as the Declaration of St. Petersburg of 1868, the Declaration of the Brussels Conference of 1874, the Conventions of the Hague Peace Conferences of 1899 and 1907, and the Geneva Protocol of 1925".
65 years ago:
2 November 1946 The freighter Empire Woodlark is scuttled with a cargo that includes chemical munitions being disposed of by the United Kingdom [see 1 October]. The location is given as 59 00.00N, 07 40.00W at a depth of 800m. The freighter was formerly known as the Emma Alexander.
11 November 1946 The freighter Lanark is scuttled with a cargo that includes chemical munitions being disposed of by the United Kingdom [see 2 November]. The location is given as 48 00.00N, 08 21.00W at a depth of 800–900 metres.
(last update, RG, 6 November 2011)