An example of an international treaty of disarmament and arms control is the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC). This agreement makes it illegal for countries to develop, acquire, or amass biological weapons (Lentzos 4). Biological weapons refers to microorganisms that have been modified and released to intentionally cause diseases or death of plants, animals, or human beings (Kimball). Aside from prohibiting countries from producing or acquiring new weapons, the treaty requires them to destroy any biological weapons already in their possession or divert them to peaceful use. The BWC also requests nations to cooperate in the implementation of the terms of the treaty and help any problems that may arise. For instance, if a state is made vulnerable by a biological weapons attack, parties to the BWC are urged to assist the nation (Kimball). The purpose of the treaty is to mitigate the effects of the use of biological weapons of mass destruction.
Although the Biological Weapons Convention has reduced the use of biological weapons, it has not been a success. Despite being a party to the treaty, the Soviet Union continued to operate a biological weapons program after signing the agreement. The program was responsible for the death of several Russian citizens in 1979 after an accident involving weaponized anthrax (Lentzos 9). Iraq also violated the terms of the treaty by weaponizing aflatoxin and anthrax, among other biological agents. Over the years, numerous countries have been accused by others of violating the treaty. Examples include the United States, North Korea, Iran, Cuba, Libya, and China (Lentzos 19). Due to advancement in technology, countries can develop sophisticated biological weapons (Lentzos 7). Since states continue to develop and acquire biological weapons without any consequences, it is evident that the treaty has not been successful.
Kimball, Daryl. “The Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) at a Glance.” Arms Control Association, Web.
Lentzos, Filippa. “Compliance and Enforcement in the Biological Weapons Regime.” United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research, no. 4, 2019, pp. 3-23.