Practice Relating to Rule 73. Biological Weapons
Poland’s Penal Code (1997) punishes “any person who uses a means of mass destruction prohibited by international law” and “any person who, against the prohibition by international law or by the provision of law, produces, stockpiles, acquires, sells, retains, transports or sends means of mass destruction or means of combat, or conducts research aimed at the production or use of such means”.
At the Conference for the Supervision of the International Trade in Arms and Ammunition and in Implements of War in 1925, Poland proposed to complete what became the 1925 Geneva Gas Protocol as follows:
In the third paragraph of the draft concerning chemical warfare, we would say: “declare that the High Contracting Parties, so far as they are not already parties to treaties prohibiting such use, accept this prohibition, and extend it to means of bacteriological warfare, and agree to be bound thereby as between themselves.”
In the preliminary stages of the First Review Conference of States Parties to the Biological Weapons Convention in 1980, Poland stated that it “does not conduct any activities contrary to the provisions of [the 1972 Biological Weapons Convention] and that the bacteriological and toxin weapons have never been nor are at present part of the equipment of its armed forces”.
At the Fifth Review Conference of States Parties to the Biological Weapons Convention in 2001, Poland confirmed its “strong and constant support for the Biological and Toxins Weapons Convention … especially for the work on effectiveness and implementation of the Convention”.