DAR ES SALAAM, May 14 (Xinhua) -- Tanzania was in the process of ratifying the Biological Weapons Convention, an international effort to address the threats posed by biological weapons, a senior official told Parliament on Monday.
Hussein Mwinyi, the east African nation's Minister for Defense and National Service, said it was high time Tanzania ratified the convention, joining other countries that have ratified the deal.
"With ongoing terrorism threats in the world, Tanzania now sees it fit to ratify the convention," Mwinyi told the National Assembly in the capital Dodoma.
He said the government will table in the National assembly the convention for ratification in the next parliamentary session slated for September this year.
He said Tanzania first signed the convention on August 1, 1972 but it has not yet ratified it until now, adding that Tanzania did not ratify the convention because it was not important at that time.
Mwinyi was responding to Jason Rweikiza, the Member of Parliament for Bukoba Urban constituency, who had demanded reasons behind Tanzania's failure to ratify the convention.
The minister clarified that the government was aware of the effects of not ratifying the convention.
Mwinyi added that by not ratifying the convention, Tanzania was denied opportunities for its experts to get training on how to deal with biological and toxin weapons.
"Failure to ratify the convention also prevents Tanzanians from applying for opportunities in international institutions that are working in accordance with the law on biological weapons," Mwinyi told the House.
The convention bans the use of biological weapons in war and prohibits all development, production, acquisition, stockpiling, or transfer of such weapons.
The convention was first signed in London, Moscow, and Washington, D.C. on April 10, 1972, and thereafter was opened for signing by other states.