Why a congress?
As part of the promotion of biosafety and biosecurity in Mali, the Malian Association for Biosafety and Biosecurity (MABB) was born from the union of human, animal and environmental health professionals; researchers and scientists working on biomedical sciences; biotechnology, environment, and agriculture. MABB is a scholarly, national, apolitical, non-denominational, and non-profit organization.
“Biological Safety and Security for all in Mali and West Africa.”
• Support the development and implementation of relevant policies, standards and procedures;
• Collaborate with governmental departments and agencies, local and international partners (civil society organizations and other stakeholders;
• Raise awareness among citizens and other stakeholders through research and training, and sensitization campaigns.
Considering the report of the joint external evaluation of the main capacities of the International Health Regulations (IHR), very little capacity has been put in place to enhance biological safety and security , including the lack of a registry and inventory of pathogens to be monitored as well as mechanisms to ensure staff safety and control of sensitive information . However, significant efforts have been made in some countries. Indeed, there is a biosafety framework focusing on genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in accordance with the Cartagena Protocol. The Mali in particular has developed a multi-sectoral global biosafety framework as well as the plan for Organizing Civil Security Response (ORSEC).
The Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA ) is an initiative of the United States of America , international organizations and of civil society to accelerate the progress towards a safe and secure world against disease infectious threats; to promote global health security as an international priority; and to stimulate progress towards the full implementation of the World Health Organization (WHO) International Health Regulation core components, the Performance of Veterinary Services (PVS) of the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) ; and other relevant global health security frameworks. These initiatives have given rise to the concept of "One Health" to address issues by integrating human, animal and environmental health dimensions as an inseparable entity. Biological safety is an important part of this concept.
Considering the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on Their Destruction, more commonly known as the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC), which was opened for signature in 1972 and entered into force in 1975. Many countries have ratified the Convention, however implementation is not effective. The UN Security Council Resolution 1540 (UNSCR1540) was adopted in 2004 under Chapter VII of the UN Charter that deals with threats to peace and international security. Indeed, this convention to prevent biological, chemical and nuclear weapons from falling into the hands of non-state actors suffers from its effective implementation in different countries. Among the shortcomings are the lack or failure to incorporate these concepts into countries’ legislative and regulatory texts.
The purpose of this congress is to strengthen global and Malian capacity to prevent, detect and respond to biological risks in the full agreement with IHR, GHSA, BWC, UN1540, and other pertaining treaties, regulation, and frameworks. Moreover; this congress seek to strengthen biosafety and biosecurity practices and developing a sustainable culture of biological risk management through capacity building of laboratory researchers and staff of institutions working with biological material and policiy makers.
Purpose of the congress
The Malian Association for Biosafety and Biosecurity has initiated this international biosafety and biosecurity congress (CIBB 2020) project in spite of the current context of national and international security threats, in order to create an exchanges framework for all the stakeholders to discuss and brainstorm about the current state of biological risk management in the era of terrorism. The congress will be held in in Bamako, Mali; and represent a space for sharing and capitalizing on experiences and lessons learned and, above all, reflecting on new directions for multisectoral biosafety policy and governance in Africa.