News

International conferences in Spiez:

Third Workshop on Designated Laboratories of the UN Secretary-General’s Mechanism

Image- Third Workshop on Designated Laboratories

The UN has invited its Member States to designate analytical laboratories that are capable of supporting an investigation of alleged use of chemical or biological weapons in accordance with the United Nations Secretary-General's Mechanism (UNSGM). In contrast to the existing strict quality assurance measures in the field of chemical weapons, similar controls are inexistent in the field of biological weapons. To this end and based on the findings of previous discussions, Spiez Laboratory organized a third workshop from 20-22 June 2017 with the goal to kick-start practical work open to all interested laboratories on a voluntary basis. As a result from the workshop, future efforts are geared towards quality assurance exercises that will eventually lead to the formation of a robust network-like structure of participating laboratories.  

July 2017

IAEA Collaborating Centre

IAEA-LS

Per January 2017, Spiez Laboratory received the designation as the Collaborating Center of the International Atomic Energy Agency IAEA. The collaboration focuses on the development of analytical methods for the study of radionuclides in environmental samples. On June 19, David Osborn, IAEA Director for Environmental Laboratories, handed over the plaque for the IAEA-designation to Marc Cadisch, Director Spiez Laboratory.  

June 2017

Appointment of Stefan Mogl as Director UN Investigations Office

The United Nations, in co-operation with the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), has set up a joint investigation committee in 2015 to identify the perpetrators of chemical weapons operations in Syria. Stefan Mogl, Head of Chemistry division of Spiez Laboratory, was appointed by the UN as Director Investigations Office until November 2017 for the second phase of the investigations. As former OPCW inspector and head of the OPCW Laboratory, Stefan Mogl has profound professional experience in this field. As an independent expert, Stefan Mogl will mainly be responsible for the professional coordination of the investigations and the investigation report.

Switzerland has consistently been active in strengthening the Chemical Weapons Convention and the OPCW. The convention, which is binding according to international law, prohibits the development, production, stockpiling, dissemination, transfer and use of chemical agents and obliges all member states to disclose and destroy their chemical weapon stocks. The appointment of Stefan Mogl also strengthens the presence of Swiss citizens in bodies of international importance.

Stefan Mogl
Stefan Mogl, Head of Chemistry Division, Spiez Laboratory

May 2017

OPCW Director General Ahmet Üzümcü opens the Spiez CONVERGENCE workshop on 6 September 2016

Ahmet Üzümcü at the Spiez CONVERGENVE Workshop

The Director-General emphasized in his opening remarks that, in the future, the OPCW’s activities will focus on preventing the re-emergence of chemical weapons, with special attention being given to challenges posed by the ambitions of terrorist groups to make and use chemical weapons. Meeting this challenge would require heightened vigilance, including ensuring that efforts to prevent proliferation evolve with advances in science and technology.

Interview with OPCW DG in “Neue Zürcher Zeitung“ (German only)

September 2016

UNSGM Designated Laboratories Workshop Report

Spiez, Switzerland 22 – 24 June 2016

UNSGM Designated Laboratories Workshop Report (PDF, 1.30 MB)

August 2016

Exchange of experience in the field of NBC incident management: Visit of an AMMS delegation from China to Spiez Laboratory

Visit of an AMMS delegation from China to Spiez Laboratory

From 4 to 8 April 2016, a delegation of the Academy of Military Medical Sciences (AMMS) from Beijing, China, visited Spiez Laboratory. The topic of the visit was the exchange of experience in the context of the management of NBC incidents in Switzerland. Spiez Laboratory Head of Operations accompanied the delegation during their visits to further national partners in the field of NBC protection.

April 2016

Analytics of Zika virus

Among other issues, the Biology Division of Spiez Laboratory is concerned with the identification and diagnostic of freshly occuring or reoccuring pathogens, one of them being the zikva virus. The respective detection methods are established at Spiez Laboratory since mid-February.  The zika virus, which is transmitted by mosquitos (probably by the genus Aedes), is found in Africa, Asia, the Pacific Area as well as Central and South America. It may cause a flu-like, generally mild disease. In addition, there is evidence that infections during pregnancy may cause malformations of the skull and brain of the fetus.

February 2016

International conferences in Spiez:

January 2016

UNSGM Designated Laboratories Workshop Report

Spiez, Switzerland 9 – 11 November 2015

UNSGM Designated Laboratories Workshop Report November 2015
(PDF, 3.58 MB)

December 2015

Leading biological laboratories for the United Nations

The UN has invited member states to designate analytical laboratories that are able to support an investigation of alleged use of chemical or biological weapons in accordance with the United Nations Secretary-General's Mechanism (UNSGM). An international workshop from 9 to 11 November 2015, organized by Spiez Laboratory, will discuss the necessary steps to establish a global and functional network of analytical laboratories for biological weapons. To gain full acceptance, such a network must meet similarly stringent requirements as are existing for analytical laboratories for chemical weapons.

November 2015


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