Dr Suhasini Desai – The learned speaker spoke with conviction of her belief that this particular session in the conference will be a very productive one considering the guests and the topic to be discussed.
Jai Ram Thappa – The student leader spoke about the flipside of technology and how the inventors should take the onus for understanding the impact of their inventions. He hoped that the problem of such weapons can be solved internationally by the collaboration between different nations.
Mr Andrew Weber – The learned speaker gave examples from his own life about how he became convinced his life’s vocation is to aid in the dismantling of facilities which create biological weapons after visiting an abandoned Soviet Union anthrax facility in Kazakhstan which was larger than 2 football fields. He spoke of how the power of destruction of the facility was potentially extinction level. He spoke of how he aided in the complete dismantlement of the facility, but he also spoke of how easy it is to manufacture such weapons and how they are very innocuous looking but still carry with them tremendous potential for ruin. He made the public aware of the way on which the US Department of defence is handling biological warfare by ensuring fast acting counters to the biological agents to make their use redundant.
Dr S J S Flora – The learned doctor took time to explain the exact functioning of biological weapons, what are the qualifications required to call something a biological weapon. He spoke of how it does n8 require a state agent for it to be biological war and explained how the eastern districts of West Bengal have a lot of cases of arsenic poising due to arsenic being found in the groundwater there. He speaks of how to contain such an outbreak and what kind of countermeasures has been created for that purpose.
Amb. Rajendra M Abhyankar – The learned ambassador spoke of the actual legal and administrative countermeasures in place and how difficult is it to actually covertly start the manufacturing of weapons of mass destruction. There are key technologies that are strictly restricted while other nations also keep an eye out for specific demands in technology or raw materials. Nonetheless he spoke about the current predicament and what the world is doing about it. He spoke of the convention against biological weapons which are signed by almost as many nations as are recognised by the UN. He also speaks about the deliberate use of disease as a war agent. This is something which is not exactly covered by the convention against biological weapons and he also spoke about a few loopholes which allow countries to be signatories to such conventions and yet find methods to circumvent them. These ‘grey areas’ he specifically shone enlightenment on.