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Biological Weapons Convention

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 3:10 pm on 1st November 2001.

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Photo of Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean Minister of State (Middle East), Foreign & Commonwealth Office, Minister of State (Trade), Department of Trade and Industry, Minister for Trade and Investment and Deputy Leader of the House of Lords (also Department of Trade and Industry), Minister of State (Trade and Investment) Deputy Leader of the House of Lords (also FCO) 3:10 pm, 1st November 2001

My Lords, I have no problem agreeing with what the noble Lord says. Indeed, the United Kingdom supported the protocol very vigorously indeed. We, together with our European partners, expressed some regret that the United States did not find itself in a position to do so. But we must look on the positive side. The United States has now come forward with some encouraging proposals--in particular, regarding the investigation of suspect outbreaks of disease and possible ways in which the international community can come together. If there are to be international verification procedures, that suggests that all countries must make up their minds where they stand on the issue of sovereignty. I believe that the United Kingdom has already made that very clear.