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Early Warning Systems: Diseases and Terrorism

Question for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office

UIN HL882, tabled on 13 June 2022

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they have taken, in conjunction with allied countries, to establish a global early-warning system for (1) pandemics, and (2) terror attacks using biological or chemical weapons.

Answered on

22 June 2022

The UK plays a leading role in strengthening pandemic early warning systems including the development of the new International Pathogen Surveillance Network (IPSN). The UK is working with G7 members on the development of WHO's Hub for Pandemic and Epidemic Intelligence. Through bilateral and multilateral health investments, the UK also supports low- and middle-income countries to strengthen their routine disease surveillance systems.

The UK opposes any use of chemical or biological weapons. We are committed to upholding the effective global implementation of the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention and Chemical Weapons Convention. We work closely with the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons to ensure readiness to respond to any use of chemical weapons, including by non-state actors. In 2021, under the UK's Presidency, the G7 Global Partnership Against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction launched its Signature Initiative working with partner countries to promote the development of detection and early warning systems for chemical and biological attacks.