§ Ms McCafferty
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how the Government will promote proposals for a strengthened Biological Weapons Convention by the year 2000 at the forthcoming negotiations in Geneva. 
§ Mr. Tony Lloyd
Strengthening the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) is a key Government objective in the field of arms control. The UK is playing a leading role in the negotiations on a legally-binding Protocol where we are chairing the sessions on compliance measures. This section will be at the heart of the future verification regime. With a total of 16 weeks of negotiations in 1999, the UK will be working closely with its EU partners, and all other countries actively seeking completion of a Protocol during 2000. Consistent with the importance we attach to this work, the UK has offered to host the Signing Ceremony of the Protocol in London.