The worldwide proliferation of laboratories conducting research on high-consequence pathogens in the absence of global mechanisms to safeguard against their accidental or deliberate release raises important questions about the possible need for an international ‘safeguard’ convention. There is currently nothing akin to the International Atomic Energy Agency Safeguard Agreement, with, for example, an aim to standardize laboratory practices, reporting and their monitoring. This is a half-day session to examine if there is a need for such a convention and, if so, a path forward for bringing about such a convention.
1. Review current policies that regulate laboratory practicies, reporting and monitoring
2. Discuss gaps/needs for their strengthening
3. Consider whether and international covention is needed that would establsh a global standards, as well as mechansisms, for the oversight of laboratories handling high considquence pathogens