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National Series Lecture 4 National Measures Saudi Arabia


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Title: National Series Lecture 4 National Measures Saudi Arabia

National SeriesLecture 4 National
MeasuresSaudi Arabia
  • Bradford Disarmament Research CentreDivision of
    Peace Studies, University of Bradford, UK

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  • Public health
  • WHO Biosafety/Biosecurity Guidelines (2004)
  • International Health Regulations (2005)
  • Laboratory Biorisk Management Standard (2008)
  • Arms control
  • BTWC (1972)
  • Chemical Weapons Convention (1993)
  • Engagement of life scientists
  • Oversight
  • Codes of conduct
  • Education

National implementation
1. Public health
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Laboratory measures
  • Objective
  • The WHO Laboratory Biosafety Manual is a helpful
    reference for states that accept the challenge to
    develop and establish national codes of practice
    for securing their microbiological assets, yet
    ensuring their availability for clinical,
    research and epidemiological purposes.
  • Codes of practice a codified list or
    guideline or standard of required of essential
    safety practices and procedures.
  • (WHO 2004)

Laboratory measures
  • Biosafety level (BSL) 1-2
  • Access
  • Authorizing access, hazard signs, and
    gates/doors closed
  • Personal protection
  • Uniforms (coveralls, glasses, and footwear),
    washing hands
  • Procedures
  • No pipetting by mouth, limited and written
    procedures for clean-up, and procedures
    minimizing the formation of aerosols and droplets
  • Laboratory working areas
  • keeping neat, clean and free of potentially
    dangerous material at the end of the working day
  • Biosafety management
  • This is the responsibility of the laboratory
  • Training, evaluation, surveillance and treatment
    should be provided when necessary

Laboratory measures
  • Biosafety level (BSL) 3
  • BSL 1-2 applies except where modified as follows
  • Biohazard symbol must include the name of the
    laboratory supervisor
  • Laboratory protective clothing upgrade
  • Open manipulations of all potentially infectious
    material contained
  • Respiratory protective equipment may be necessary
  • Biosafety level (BSL) 4
  • BSL 3 applies except where modified as follows
  • The two-person rule should apply, whereby no
    individual ever works alone
  • A complete change of clothing and shoes is
    required prior to entering the laboratory
  • Personnel must be trained in emergency extraction
  • A method of communication for routine and
    emergency contacts

Exercise 1
  • Laboratory safety/security whose responsibility?
  • Who should be responsible for laboratory safety
    and security measures (scientists, PI, managers
    of the institutions or government)?. How should
    such processes be implemented?
  • Read the document (the case of Thomas Bulter -
    Texas Tech University ) and report to the class
    (10 min).

Laboratory measures
  • Is physical protection enough for laboratory
    safety and security?
  • Laboratory Biorisk Management Standard
  • Flexible risk assessment approach not based on
    an assumed static level of risk agents but
  • Timing and scope when to review practices?
  • Commencement of new work or changes to the
    programme of work including the introduction of
    new biological agents
  • New construction / modifications to laboratories,
    plant and equipment or its operation
  • When considering emergency response and
    contingency planning requirements

Laboratory measures
  • Laboratory Biorisk Management Standard
  • Highlighting the role of the top manager
  • Top management shall take ultimate
    responsibility for the organizations biorisk
    management system.
  • Top management includes Officers (Director
    General, Chief Executive Officer, Chief Operating
    Officer, Chief Financial Officer, etc.) and
    Directors of the organization.

Laboratory measures
  • Laboratory Biorisk Management Standard
  • Planning for hazard identification, risk
    assessment and risk control
  • Identifying roles, responsibilities and
    authorities of actors
  • Personnel training, awareness and competence
  • Operational control (physical and technical
  • Emergency response and contingency plans
  • Wider than the physical protection of agents
    and toxins
  • Each element is detailed and instructions
    provided in the document

Public health measures
  • The stated purpose of the International Health
    Regulations (IHR) 2005 are
  • "to prevent, protect against, control and
    provide a public health response to the
    international spread of disease in ways that are
    commensurate with and restricted to public health
    risks, and which avoid unnecessary interference
    with international traffic and trade.
  • (WHO 2012a)
  • 3 top priorities of the IHR (WHO 2012) - States
  • Establish a functioning National IHR Focal Point
  • Ensure adherence to reporting requirements and
    verification of public health events.
  • Assess and strengthen national capacities

Public health measures (IHR)
  • 8 Core capacities required of States
  • National legislation, policy and financing,
  • Coordination and NFP communications,
  • Surveillance,
  • Response,
  • Preparedness,
  • Risk communication,
  • Human resource, and
  • Laboratory.

See Checklist and Indicators for Monitoring
Progress in the Development of IHR Core
Capacities in States Parties (WHO/HSE/IHR/2010.1.R
Public health measures (IHR)
  • Concern
  • The IHRs do not have an enforcement mechanism (no
    teeth!) against non-compliance
  • Rationale
  • Non-compliance risks run by States
  • tarnished international image
  • increased morbidity/mortality of affected
  • unilateral travel and trade restrictions
  • economic and social disruption and
  • public outrage
  • (WHO 2012b)

Public health measures (IHR)
  • Saudi Arabia
  • The WHO Representatives Office in Saudi
    Arabia supports the Government and health
    authorities at central and local level in
    strengthening health services, addressing public
    health issues, and supporting and promoting
    research for health. 
  • Physicians, public health specialists,
    scientists, social scientists and epidemiologists
    provide appropriate technical support and
    collaboration upon the request or acceptance of
    national authorities. WHO staff in Saudi
    Arabia include experts in the fields of health.
  • (WHO 2012c)

2. Arms control
National implementation of an international
legal agreement
  • Biological and Toxin Weapons ConventionArticle
    IVEach State Party to this Convention shall, in
    accordance with its constitutional processes,
    take any necessary measures to prohibit and
    prevent the development, production, stockpiling,
    acquisition, or retention of the agents, toxins,
    weapons, equipment and means of delivery
    specified in article I of the Convention.
  • Chemical Weapons Convention
  • Article VII
  • Each State Party shall, in accordance with its
    constitutional processes, adopt the necessary
    measures to implement its obligations under this

National implementation of an international
legal agreement
in accordance with its constitutional process
No one size fits all
  • Case of the BTWC options for States
  • Existing national regulations are enough to
    achieve the scope of the BTWC and no further
    legislation is necessary
  • Certain amendments of existing laws and
    regulations are necessary
  • An act is newly enacted specifically for the
    BTWC, and
  • Broader legislation is enacted not only for the
    BTWC but generally for anti-terrorism acts
  • (ROK 2003)

National implementation of an international
legal agreement
  • Saudi Arabia
  • BTWC
  • National legislation covers criminal code,
    anti-money laundering law, Royal Decree on the
    BWC, and environmental as well as export control
  • (VERTIC 2012)
  • Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC)
  • Single comprehensive implementation act of the
    CWC has entered into force since 2005
  • (OPCW)

BTWC Saudi Arabias Submission of Confidence
Building Measures (CBMs)
1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999
v v
2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012

After the ratification of the Convention in 1972,
Saudi Arabia has submitted CBMs limited in 1996
and 1997.
Table was created based on the database of the
Evolution of the BTWC strengthening national
From a traditional disarmament regime to a
security architecture
Evolution of the BTWC strengthening national
Extending threat spectrum gt Manmade, safety and
natural threats/risks All hazard
approach Institutional evolution gt terrorism,
crime and public health sectors (e.g. UNSCR1540,
Interpol, WHO, OIE, FAO, IFBA)
  • Are legal obligations sufficient to ensure an
    effective security culture?
  • Discuss what kind of other national measures (in
    parallel to laboratory security/safety at
    institutions and legal obligations) should or
    could be developed in order to prevent the misuse
    of the life sciences in society
  • What kind of other social actors can play a
    biosecurity role?
  • (10 min)
  • Report to the class

3. Engagement of life scientists
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Oversight of Research
  • A possible policy process for oversight
  • E.g.
  • USA - The National Science Advisory Board for
    Biosecurity (NSABB)
  • Israel - Steering Committee on Issues in
    Biotechnological Research in the Age of Terrorism

Codes of Conduct
  • InterAcademy Panel (IAP) Statement on Biosecurity
  • Endorsed by over 60 national science academies
  • Defines five fundamental policies
  • Awareness
  • Safety and security
  • Education and information
  • Accountability
  • Oversight.
  • National example
  • Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences
  • A Code of Conduct for Biosecurity
  • Indonesian Academy of Sciences (forthcoming)
    (Sudoyo 2011)

Education a national action plan
  • A national biosecurity dual-use action plan model
  • Identify what is currently taught (a survey)
  • Develop a network of interested lecturers
  • Develop appropriate content for courses
  • Implement pilot courses
  • Monitor and evaluate pilot courses
  • Identify and elucidate best practice
  • Institute clear, active links between industrial
    partners/associates, defence agencies and
    academic institutions teaching biosecurity
  • Develop or participate in an international
    network to share best practice
  • Make dual-use/biosecurity education mandatory
  • Monitor consequential growth of sensible codes
    and oversight systems
  • Report on progress to BTWC and relevant
    scientific meetings

Education a national action plan
  • 1. Developing an educational resource for codes
    of conduct
  • 2. Developing capacity building programmes
  • 3. Changing evaluation criteria of funding
    bodies or review criteria of scientific journals
  • 4. Changing evaluation criteria on higher
    education institutions
  • 5. Establishing a national advisory board
  • 6. Legislating a biosecurity act

National measures Areas of possible improvement
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Laboratory safety measures
  • Efforts have been made and need to continue
    alongside development of a biosecurity framework
  • BWC CBM Submission
  • As the submission has been limited in 1996 and
    1997, more active engagement can be considered by
    the national focal point of the BWC.
  • Education and Codes of Conduct
  • Implementation of the survey and the development
    of a national code of conduct for biosecurity
    will strengthen efforts

  • The references cited in this presentation may be
    found in the Notes section of this slide.
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