Bio-weapons attack serious security challenge: Clinton

7th December 2011, Comments 0 comments

The risk of a bio-weapons attack is a serious challenge to national security, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told a key conference in Geneva on Wednesday.

Clinton was addressing a meeting on the Biological Weapons Convention, a ban on bio-weapons currently under review at a three-week conference.

"I am here today because we view the risk of a bio-weapons attack as both a serious national security challenge and a foreign policy priority," Clinton said.

"In an age when people and diseases cross borders with growing ease, bio-weapons are a transnational threat.

"We can only protect against them with transnational action."

Clinton, currently on a European tour, said there was a need to bolster international confidence that member countries were living up to their obligations under the 1975 treaty through more transparency.

The chief diplomat also called for improved international co-ordination to detect and respond to bio-outbreaks.

"Finally, we need thoughtful international dialogue about ways to maximize the benefits of scientific research and minimize the risks that it will be turned against us," Clinton said.

© 2011 AFP

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