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UN, March 26 /TASS/. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon has warned about the threat of the Ebola virus being misused as a weapon. He said as much in a statement on Thursday to mark the 40th anniversary of the entry into force of the UN Biological Weapons Convention.
"The Ebola outbreak in West Africa demonstrates the damage which diseases can inflict damage which could increase massively were such diseases deliberately misused as weapons," Ban Ki-Moon said. On the other hand, the UN Secretary-General admitted that the outbreak had also consolidated the world community and demonstrated its "commitment to respond to such threats, whether natural or deliberate."
The Biological Weapons Convention was adopted and opened for signature in 1972 and entered into force in 1975. It was also the first multilateral disarmament treaty banning an entire category of weapons.
To date, 173 countries have joined the convention. In his statement, Ban Ki-Moon has called on the remaining 23 countries to sign and ratify the convention without delay.
According to the World Health Organization, the Ebola outbreak, which began in West Africa last year, has claimed more than 10,300 lives, with almost 25,000 people contracting the virus.