Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF)

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

2nd Dispatch from Carol in Geneva

From the Bio-Weapons Treaty Sixth Review Conference
Second dispatch from Carol Urner at the United Nations, Geneva, Switzerland: 11/21/06

NOTE: Contact me with questions and comments at carol.disarm@gmail.com. The UN chambers have wireless and I will try to respond.

This second day was more exciting for me since it was my first chance to talk in depth with other NGO reps like Edward Hammond of the Sunshine Project and Loulena Miles, legal representative for Tri-Valley Cares. I've posted a longer report on our DISARM UPDATE at http://disarm.wilpf.org/NovDec06/BWCconference1.htm. My mind was clearer today though my own bio-clock is still upside down (I could only manage 4 hours of sleep), but by tomorrow I hope to be a fully functioning human being.

One of the most interesting items today was the seminar on rapid advances in bio-genetics that will make weaponization even more scary and also harder to detect. The presenters confirmed that it should soon be possible to target specific ethnic groups with bio-weapons agents just as our neo cons suggested in their New American Century Rebuilding America's Defenses report. Adds even more urgency to the work to get inspection and verification underway. But there is much in this review conference to give hope -- a general willingness to cooperate in moving forward, albeit in new and novel ways. And NGOs present are helping to illuminate the path.

I am thinking again of Emily Greene Balch and Jane Addams. The work they started could not be finished in their generation, nor will it be in ours -- this is a task for generation after generation of committed women to carry forward. It is exciting to find here in Geneva all the young WILPF interns at work in the office (I'll introduce you later to some from the USA). Those of us in the older generations must find more of them to join us before we pass on.


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