DoD’s Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR) Program, executed by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA), aims to peacefully reduce biological threats around the globe but certain countries try to falsely undermine and discredit the program’s efforts to do so.
Take a look at the below video to hear how the United States formally responded to the false allegations targeted at the CTR program. Testimony follows from the U.S. State Department’s Deputy Head of Delegation to the Biological Weapons Convention.
“I find I must take the floor to respond to some statements made this morning by the People’s Republic of China and the Russian Federation statements that included in our view, truly appalling distortions of fact. Now, departures from the truth or even from reality are always unfortunate , but it’s when they’re used to malign my government and those of other States Parties that they require a response.
There are three key points. First, let’s talk about those laboratories. The allegations made today are pure disinformation, plain and simple the hundreds of laboratories they accused of suspicious activity. Those aren’t US at US facilities. Those are facilities owned and operated by developing countries, mostly represented in this room. They’re public and animal health facilities engaged in peaceful scientific endeavors . They’re primarily facilities that have been supported by the US Department of Defense’s Cooperative Threat Reduction Program originally chartered to dismantle the legacy WMD facilities inherited by the States of the former soviet Union. That program continues and it works to build capacity around the world to detect prevent and mitigate infectious disease. It’s a major initiative that directly contributes to the goals of Article 10 and benefits both individual states parties and the international community.
Second, this morning statements criticized the United States for a supposed lack of transparency. The United States has been and remains deeply committed to transparency. We provide extensive information in our CBMS going well beyond the narrow requirements of the forms and we make a wide range of information publicly available. The irony of being lectured on transparency by Russia and China in particular should be missed by no one in this room. We also unequivocally reject the allegations of the Islamic Republic of Iran. The measures adopted by the United States are legal. They include exemptions and relief measures for medicines and humanitarian purposes, and they’re in place to address compelling national and international security concerns.
Finally, we heard today some interesting revisionist history about the Biological Weapons Convention. I won’t go into detail on that history, but the United States has made clear that we are willing to explore the full range of approaches to strengthening the convention, including legally binding measures, Mr Chairman. That’s serious work. And to succeed, it will require a careful exploration of today’s BW threat and today’s science.
We also believe there are steps we can take now without waiting. As Undersecretary Jenkins stated earlier, The first step is to overcome the political impasse and the all or nothing approach that has stopped progress for the last 20 years. My government stands ready to work with other States Parties on these matters in a serious way. Thank you.