Signed in 1972, the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC) prohibits the development, production and stockpiling of biological and toxin weapons. Currently, 173 countries are States Parties to the BTWC. Meetings of States Parties and experts are convened annually in order to discuss measures to increase biosafety, monitoring, training and exchange of experiences. In contrast to the Chemical Weapons Convention, the BTWC has no verification mechanism. Negotiations on the creation of such a mechanism failed in 2001 and were not renewed since.
In 2016 Austria took part in the Peer Review Compliance Visit Exercise in Munich, a meeting aimed at improving transparency of research and development activities in different member states and international cooperation. Austria also co-sponsored the working paper “Confidence in Compliance”. The Eighth Review Conference of the BTWC was held from 7-25 November 2016 in Geneva.