Review Opens of Implementation of Security Council Resolution 1540, Compelling States to Criminalize Spread of Mass Destruction Weapons to Non-State Actors

30 September 2009
Security CouncilSC/9754
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Security Council Committee

established pursuant to resolution 1540

25th & 26th Meetings (AM & PM)

Review Opens of Implementation of Security Council Resolution 1540, Compelling

States to Criminalize Spread of Mass Destruction Weapons to Non-State Actors

In Globalized World, One Gap in Common Defence Threatens All, Meeting Told;

Middle-Income Nations Often ‘One Step Behind’ Proliferators with Terrorist Aims

With hundreds of instances of nuclear material going missing each year, the nightmare scenario of non-State actors gaining access to weapons of mass destruction made Security Council resolution 1540 (2004), and the work of its Committee, more critical today than ever before, stakeholders at all levels said today as a comprehensive review of that resolution’s implementation began. 

That review was being conducted during an open meeting from 30 September to 2 October and intended to assess the evolution of risks and threats, address specific critical issues, and identify possible new approaches for implementing resolution 1540, which seeks to prevent nuclear, chemical and biological weapons and their means of delivery from falling into the hands of non-State actors.

Passed under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, the resolution essentially compels Member States to criminalize the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their delivery means to non-State actors in their national legislation and establish effective domestic controls to prevent proliferation.  

Throughout the first day of general debate, many country delegations and representatives of regional and intergovernmental groups warned that despite the resolution’s mandate, weaknesses in its implementation continued to pose threats to the international non-proliferation regime, raising the risks for global security at a time when the stakes could not be higher.

“Proliferators seek out the weakest link,” the United States representative said, stressing that in an interconnected world, even a single gap in the common defence threatened everyone. Moreover, the 1540 Committee could become a centrepiece of the world’s non-proliferation regime and, if better resourced, a main pillar of maintaining international peace and security.

Yet today’s debate reaffirmed that significant gaps between current implementation levels and the desirable ones remained.  Austria’s representative said that as the focus shifted from reporting to implementation, as called for in resolution 1810 (2008), cooperation with and outreach to international, regional and subregional organizations was increasingly critical.  Assistance to States should also be increased.

Echoing those calls, the representative of Costa Rica, who also chairs the 1540 Committee, underscored the low levels of implementation among middle-income countries, like his own.  Too often, they remained “one step behind” those who aimed to circumvent non-proliferation legislation or had terrorist objectives in mind.  That was true, in part, because implementation was not afforded high priority in the agendas of small, middle-income and developing countries.

To remedy that, he suggested that those who hoped to curb proliferation of mass destruction weapons should pay particular attention to developing national legislation and strengthening national institutions.  Efforts should focus not only on providing support to technical bodies, which had the most direct link to the resolution’s implementation, but also to political ones, which actually promoted the legislation.  

Burkina Faso’s delegate said that his Government had achieved partial success in updating and adapting its legislation and enhancing border controls to support 1540’s implementation.  Yet it was now time to solidify those achievements.  Full implementation depended on the support of the 1540 Committee and the international community.  In particular, cooperation with international organizations would be critical to ensure the ongoing updating of country matrixes.  Further, the creation of a voluntary trust fund for 1540’s implementation could shore up cooperation between such organizations and countries like his.

Throughout the day, several speakers said that, with the implementation of 1540 proceeding, past debates about the Security Council’s legal authority to require domestic legislation had been definitively closed.  Most affirmed multilateralism as the best strategy to counter the proliferation threat, and underlined 1540’s role in doing so.  Several underscored the mutually reinforcing link between non-proliferation and disarmament, emphasizing that destroying weapons of mass destruction was the surest way to guarantee that those weapons did not fall into the hands of non-State actors.

Responding to the 1540 Committee’s call for widespread participation among intergovernmental and regional organizations, representatives of the Organization of American States, the Financial Action Task Force and the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force took the floor.  Among other things, they, respectively, highlighted the potential contributions of frontline border-control and counter-terrorism training programmes, ongoing work to apply anti-money-laundering strategies to curbing “proliferation financing”, and the development of preventive elements in counter-terrorism strategies to promote 1540’s implementation.

Also making statements today were the representatives of the United Kingdom, Mexico, Brazil, Turkey, China, Viet Nam, Italy, Ukraine, Croatia, Sweden (on behalf of the European Union), France, Norway, Japan, Bosnia and Herzegovina (also on behalf of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons), Syria, Pakistan, India, Libya, Canada, Republic of Korea, and South Africa.

Representatives of the Committee set up pursuant to Security Council resolution 1373 (2001) on counter-terrorism as well as the Committee set up pursuant to Security Council resolution 1267 (1999) on Al-Qaida and Taliban sanctions also addressed the meeting.

The comprehensive review of the status of implementation of Security Council resolution 1540 (2004) will reconvene at 10 a.m. tomorrow, 1 October.


The Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1540 (2004) met this morning to begin a three-day open meeting as part of the comprehensive review of the status of that resolution’s implementation.

Security Council resolution 1540 requires all States, under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, to take and enforce effective measures to establish controls to prevent the proliferation of nuclear, chemical or biological weapons and their means of delivery, including by establishing appropriate controls over related materials.

It also demands that all States, in accordance with their national procedures, shall adopt and enforce appropriate effective laws which prohibit non-State actors to manufacture, acquire, possess, develop, transport, transfer or use nuclear, chemical or biological weapons and their means of delivery, in particular for terrorist purposes, as well as attempts to engage in any of the foregoing activities, participate in them as an accomplice, assist or finance them.

Furthermore, the resolution established the “1540 Committee” as a body of the Council and requested all States to report to that Committee on the measures they take or intend to take to implement the resolution.

The 1540 Committee’s mandate was extended in two subsequent resolutions.  Security Council resolution 1673 (2006) called for a two-year extension and expressed the 15-member body’s interest in intensifying its efforts to promote full implementation of resolution 1540 (2004).  Resolution 1810 (2008) again extended the 1540 Committee’s mandate, this time for three years, until 25 April 2011.  By that text, the Council urged the Committee to continue strengthening its role in facilitating technical assistance, including by engaging actively in matching offers and requests for assistance.

In a letter to the President of the Security Council dated 27 March 2009 (document S/2009/170), the Chairman of the 1540 Committee, Jorge Urbina (Costa Rica), submitted for the Council’s consideration the Committee’s report on modalities for considering a comprehensive review, in accordance with paragraph 8 of resolution 1810 (2008).  Among other things, the report recommended that the review should be a process to assess the evolution of risks and threats, address specific critical issues that had not yet been resolved and identify possible new approaches for the implementation of the resolution.  It also recommended that the review be based on a two- to four-day open-ended meeting of the Committee to be held in October to November with the participation of all Member States, as well as related intergovernmental and regional organizations.


PHILIP PARHAM ( United Kingdom) welcomed today’s review, particularly underlining its aims and format for open participation.  Non-proliferation remained an important global issue.  With hundreds of cases of nuclear material going missing each year, the nightmare scenario of non-State actors gaining access to weapons of mass destruction should not be taken lightly.  Last week’s summit-level Security Council meeting had underlined the need for action.

He stressed that the proliferation threats of mass destruction weapons were best countered through multilateralism, and the United Kingdom would work with States to reduce those threats.  Towards that goal, it was supporting work in the former Soviet Union and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), among others.  Resolution 1540 was as relevant today as when it was first adopted, if not more so.  Since it had come into force, many countries had taken steps to implement it, but to further ensure improved implementation, consideration must be given to States that needed reporting assistance.  And, those States that were reluctant to report should be encouraged to do so.

Outlining the resolution’s uneven implementation record, he noted that some States had already been working to combat weapons of mass destruction proliferation when the resolution was adopted.  For others, resolution 1540 was the driver to enact legislation to curb trafficking of such material and technology.  Many State resources were dedicated to 1540 without direct reference to the resolution itself, including through adherence to other international instruments that supported non-proliferation.  Indeed, the greater the number of States that abided by other non-proliferation instruments, the stronger the non-proliferation regime would be.

He said that implementation of resolution 1540 also required cooperation between otherwise separate organizations that dealt with terrorism and trade, among other areas.  No State should be complacent, assuming that necessary measures had been taken to ensure implementation.  Moreover, implementation was more than the preparation of a report.  The 1540 Committee’s expert group was in place to help States evaluate their situation and to ensure compliance.  Regional outreach was a starting point for implementation, yet it should be taken further.  In that regard, he welcomed the work of the Australia Group, among that of other organizations and arrangements.

To strengthen implementation, he urged States that had yet reported to do so.  The Committee’s role as a clearinghouse for requests should be supported.  Assistance should also be given to mapping the actions that States had already taken.  The reporting matrix had proved a useful approach.  While efforts to reduce its complexity would be welcome, such revisions should be made carefully in order to preserve the matrix’s comprehensiveness.  The Committee’s expert staff was a valuable but limited resource, and States should receive increasing assistance from “multipliers”.  That was not about redefining the mandate.  But, when States had plans, it should be easier for them to access assistance.  Further, the working group structure should focus on continuing improvement and development.

CLAUDE HELLER ( Mexico) said the review contributed to greater transparency in the work of the Security Council and of the 1540 Committee.  The effort of many States and the Committee had reduced the risk of weapons of mass destruction reaching the hands of non-State actors.  It was encouraging that 160 Member States had submitted national reports to the Committee and that only 32 States had yet to send in national reports.  However, the challenges remained of first reaching a point where reporting was universal and, second, ensuring that the measures adopted by States effectively achieved the goal of the resolution.  The complex nature of the resolution and the resources required for its implementation were among the factors that had hampered its implementation.  Mexico hoped that the review would identify ways to enhance that implementation.

He said technical and financial assistance had become essential for some States to enable them to comply with the resolution.  In that regard, it was important to foster cooperation among Member States and with regional entities, as well as to bear in mind the assistance that non-governmental organizations could provide.  Mexico, therefore, welcomed the convening or regional workshops by the Committee and the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs.  Those workshops provided ideal forums for dialogue with experts in many areas concerning implementation, as well as technical and scientific cooperation.

Mexico had presented a national report to the Committee in 2004, giving overview of its legal framework in the area, he noted.  In 2006, it had presented a complementary report and in 2007, it had reported on a specialized high-level committee to coordinate the national effort in the areas of disarmament and national security.  Mexico had recently adopted a law on the control of chemical substances that could be diverted to the manufacture of chemical weapons.  It believed that due implementation of the 1540 resolution had value added, because, through its control mechanism, it was possible to also combat other criminal activities, such as illicit trafficking in weapons or drugs.

With regard to the substantive problem overall of weapons of mass destruction proliferation, he said that risk would persist as long as those weapons continued to exist.   Mexico was convinced of the need to check proliferation, but it was also convinced of the need for their total elimination.  Disarmament and non-proliferation were mutually reinforcing, he added.

REGINA CORDEIRO DUNLOP ( Brazil) said it was source of satisfaction for her country that resolution 1540 had been an effective tool for the international community in combating weapons of mass destruction proliferation. Brazil’s national legalisation already contained several provisions to combat such proliferation, but since 2004, it had undertaken further work in that regard, particularly in monitoring and restricting the movement of sensitive goods. Its efforts in that area had made Brazil one of the first countries to fulfil its obligations under operative paragraph 8 (d) of resolution 1540.

She said the international community had largely heeded the call to bar the acquisition of mass destruction weapons by non-State actors. But while the political will was there, the means of doing so was not. Given the peculiarities of national structures, the surest path to guaranteeing non-proliferation under resolution 1540 was to ensure that the means of its implementation were available. Taking that quest to heart, Brazil had hosted a regional seminar on strengthening border control and capacity-building. It was hoped that the current review’s outcome document would reflect the need for more assistance. Brazil, convinced that destroying weapons of mass destruction was the best way to guarantee that those weapons did not fall into the hands of non-State actors, called on all States to dedicate equal energy to disarmament as they did to non-proliferation.

ALEXANDER MARSCHIK, Director for Disarmament, Arms Control and Non-Proliferation of Austria, said that, given the resolution’s impact, and in the interests of greater Security Council transparency, his country had long advocated that the issues at play in its implementation be given wider exposure in the United Nations.  The resolution was predicated on the fact that the proliferation of nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction threatened international peace and security.  That threat was addressed in part by several international instruments, such as the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, the Chemical Weapons Convention and the IAEA Safeguards Agreements and Model Additional Protocol, among others, but resolution 1540 was the first and remained the sole international instrument to comprehensively deal with weapons of mass destruction proliferation.

His country was convinced that a multilateral approach to security -- particularly disarmament and non-proliferation -- was the best path for maintaining international order.   Austria further believed that the work that the resolution triggered was a long-term undertaking.  When it was enacted, few Sates had had the required regulatory framework to ensure non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.  While some had voiced doubts over the Council’s authority to enact such a far-reaching, legislative resolution, it had clearly now been accepted as a vital contribution to international security.  As a result, the reporting called for in the resolution had improved significantly.  That was in no small way due to the Committee’s work, including of the group of experts and the development of the reporting matrix.

He highlighted reports that the resolution’s implementation requirements had contributed to more efficient communication and coordination across national infrastructures.  That was certainly the case for Austria.  Nevertheless, with the focus now shifting from reporting to implementation, particularly as called for by resolution 1810 (2008), Austria believed that cooperation with and outreach to international, regional and subregional organizations was critical.  Also crucial to full implementation was increasing assistance to States.

Outreach, while it would remain relevant, should move beyond information exchange to relationship-building, he continued.  The 1540 Committee would not be able to oversee all regional efforts.  Rather, it should cement its institutional ties to international, regional and subregional organizations and foster relationships among them.  Towards that goal, Austria supported “cooperation agreements” and the development of closer contacts with export control bodies.  Cooperation with the Security Council’s three counter-terrorism subsidiary bodies should also be improved, particularly with the Committees’ expert groups; synergies should be identified and built upon.   Austria would be hosting a workshop on implementing counter-terrorism efforts nationally and internationally.

Underlining the demanding set of obligations that resolution 1540 had imposed on States, he said a gap remained between current implementation levels and desirable ones.  Clearly, many early assistance offers had been too general.  The remedy -– the assistance request template -- had been, along with the reporting matrix, a welcome step in the right direction.  The Committee’s clearinghouse role should be strengthened so the resolution could be addressed comprehensively.  Overall, Austria favoured a shift of focus to governance capacities.  Such a “whole-Government” approach would ensure national ownership, as well as broader implementation.  Every possible avenue to ensure that weapons of mass destruction did not fall into the hands of non-State actors must be taken.  In closing, he underlined the mutually reinforcing link between disarmament and non-proliferation.

FAZLI ÇORMAN ( Turkey) said the review provided a timely opportunity to take stock of the Committee’s accomplishments and to identify what needed to be done.  The world was confronted with numerous risks and challenges that transcended boundaries.  Resolution 1540 had been adopted in recognition of those challenges.  Although implementation of the resolution had remained somewhat limited early on, Turkey was pleased that implementation had improved recently.

He said that the comprehensive review should be done on a continuous basis.  The Committee had already developed the necessary tools to step up implementation, but that should be promoted through the regional approach.  Outreach events at the regional and subregional levels were very important, as they frequently brought together those requesting, and those offering, assistance.  The regional approach was also essential in regions where implementation remained weak.  Outreach targeted to those regions could be highly effective.  Thus, Turkey supported the Committee’s efforts towards more structural dialogue with regional organizations.

Turkey expected the Committee’s clearinghouse function to gain even more prominence in coming years, he went on.  Also, it was only natural that some Member States, in order to fulfil their implementation obligations, would require the Committee’s help.  It should be borne in mind that, by fully implementing the resolution, countries would be enhancing, not only national safety and security, but that of the world as a whole.

LIU ZHENMIN ( China) said that preventing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction was a big challenge to the international community, and the international non-proliferation regime had been severely impaired.  Because the risks persisted, that regime should be further strengthened.  Resolution 1540 (2004) fully demonstrated the solidarity and resolve of the international community in that regard, calling on all States, among other things, to strengthen export controls to prevent the trafficking of weapons of mass destruction to non-State actors.

He said that China, as a permanent member of the Security Council, had always taken action in support of non-proliferation of mass destruction weapons.  It was a party to all related treaties and agreements, and it fulfilled all its obligations.  It also continued to use export controls to enhance law enforcement aimed at prevention of proliferation.  Additionally, it maintained dialogue and exchanges with other countries to draw on best practices, and the provisions of resolution 1540 had been integrated into China’s legal regime.  China had been among the first Member States to submit a report on its implementation of resolution 1540 and it had participated in the Committee’s work in a constructive manner.  It had also supported regional implementation of the resolution.  China had attended seminars on implementation and was willing to provide assistance, within its resources, to other countries to support their implementation.

There had been positive progress since the adoption of resolution 1540, and China would participate actively in the ongoing comprehensive review, he said.  The goal of preventing the trafficking of weapons of mass destruction to non-State actors required the full cooperation and participation of the whole international community.  Member States should engage in cooperative efforts in that regard, and the Committee should ensure cooperation for 1540’s balanced implementation.

HOANG CHI TRUNG ( Viet Nam) commended the 1540 Committee’s work, expressing particular support for the enhanced dialogue and cooperation between it and Member States, United Nations bodies and other relevant international regional and subregional organizations.  Those dialogues should aim to share experiences and lessons learned, assess the evolution of risks and threats, address critical issues that had not yet been addressed and identify new implementation approaches.  Building on such inputs and interactions, the review process should be comprehensive and balanced, and seek to reinforce the Committee’s consistency, effectiveness and transparency.  It should also avoid the imposition of unnecessary or overlapping obligations on Member States.

He said that Viet Nam attached great importance to the work of the 1540 Committee, which had played an important role in preventing the proliferation of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons and promoting international adherence to existing non-proliferation treaties.  At the same time, resolution 1540 should be executed on the basis of respect for the United Nations Charter and international law, national independence and sovereignty, and non-interference into the internal affairs of countries, without prejudice to the export-import and technology transfer intended for peaceful purposes.

PAOLO CUCULI (Italy), aligning his country with the statement to be made on behalf of the European Union, said that the Group of Eight (G-8) in 2008, under the Italian presidency, had called upon all States to fully implement resolution 1540.  Its membership had also been encouraged to actively participate in those efforts, and a set of recommendations had been established for a coordinated approach to address the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and related technologies, particularly with respect to the situation of academic researchers in those fields.  To build on the outcome of the present review, a G-8 workshop would be convened to further evaluate the status of the resolution’s implementation among its member countries.

YURIY SERGEYEV ( Ukraine) called on all States to implement resolution 1540 and related Security Council resolutions, since international security remained compromised and threatened by proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery.  The European Security Strategy provided a good basis for consolidating efforts and translating into action the terms of 1540.  Effort should be pursued for the resolution’s full implementation.

He said that Ukraine’s national priority was to contribute effectively to 1540’s implementation.  In that regard, it supported regional action to fight global terrorism in a collective manner.

ANTOINE SOMDAH ( Burkina Faso) said that the meeting was an important one in which to take stock of the progress that had been made in implementing 1540 -– a collective response to a very genuine threat to international peace and security.  It was not yet certain that all steps had been taken to prevent non-State actors from acquiring weapons of mass destruction, but significant progress had been made.  The high number of States that had reported to the Committee showed the interest that States had in preventing the acquisition of those weapons by non-State actors.  The review meeting should lead to a better assessment of the threat, globally speaking, and enable a look at States’ adaptation and legislative strategies to bring their legislation in line with the terms of the resolution.

He said Burkina Faso was party to most legal instruments dealing with non-proliferation.  It had also continued to update and adapt its legislation and enhance border controls to support 1540’s implementation.  An inter-ministerial coordination committee would be set up before the end of the year.  Now was the time to build on the partial success that had been achieved in the implementation of the resolution, whose full implementation depended on the extent to which the Committee enjoyed the support of all States and intergovernmental organizations.  The feeling should be created that all major stakeholders were being accommodated.  There was also a need for better interaction between Member States and entities whose involvement was needed to achieve full implementation.

Stepped up cooperation with international organizations was also necessary for the ongoing updating of country matrixes, he said, adding that Burkina Faso attached great importance to the creation of a voluntary trust fund for 1540’s implementation.  Given the present favourable climate for the non-proliferation regime, every effort should be made to ensure that the collective endeavour of the international community was not eradicated by the actions of non-State actors.  Measures, therefore, must be enhanced to ensure that weapons of mass destruction did not fall into their hands.

ABRAHAM STEIN, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Multidimensional Security of the Organization of American States (OAS), said the organization’s work to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction had been illustrated in numerous resolutions, which it had enacted, including those supporting education on non-proliferation and the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in Latin America and the Caribbean.  In furtherance of stemming proliferation, it had also held several workshops.  He recalled that, in June 2008, its general assembly had adopted resolution 2358, which supported the hemispheric implementation of resolution 1540.  To reiterate its position on resolution 1540, the organization urged all States to submit their national reports and it resolved to keep the matter on the agenda of its Committee on Hemispheric Security.  That Committee also supported member countries in their implementation efforts.

He said that the Inter-American Committee against Terrorism, along with OAS bodies, was also working to support the Committee on Hemispheric Security in its efforts to bolster and coordinate 1540’s implementation.  Border-control training programmes sought to boost detection of agents that could be used for terrorist activities.  Meetings on counter-terrorist coordination and training on counter-terrorism policies were also being held.  Moreover, additional workshops had been held to look at best practices and regional challenges in maritime security, including, among other things, security issues in supply chains, evaluation of risk management and container inspection.

Work in the multidimensional security area also aimed to strengthen border and customs bodies, he continued.  Courses were being given to customs, police and border agents on the front lines.  Under Mexico’s leadership, efforts had been made to create national response plans for bio-terrorism events.  Looking ahead, OAS was committed to fully implementing resolution 1540 and looked forward to strengthening the work of different regional bodies represented today.

RANKO VILOVIĆ ( Croatia) said the fact that more than 300 incidents involving unauthorized possession and related criminal activities had been confirmed by the Illicit Tracking database of IAEA -- 18 of those involving highly-enriched uranium and plutonium -- illustrated the urgency of the call for action.  As the Security Council had recognized, no country was safe from the scourge of terrorism.  The world abounded with imminent or looming threats, including wilful disregard of non-proliferation commitments, attempts to develop or acquire mass destruction weapons and their delivery means, or attempts to sell those weapons.  Ever-increasing trade and the emergence of new actors on the global scene, including a more independent private sector with access to and control over sensitive weapon technologies and dual-use products, inflicted an additional blow to the once generally successful non-proliferation regime.

Privately owned companies not only produced and operated nuclear, chemical, and biological industrial equipment, but they also carried out the greatest share of the basic research and development for the relevant technologies, while Governments had expanded public-private partnerships even in some of the most sensitive areas of technology, in order to take advantage of cost reductions and innovation, he added.

He said past debate on the authority and effects of resolution 1540 had already been mitigated with the adoption of resolution 1810 (2008), which focused on outreach, dialogue and assistance.  To date, 85 per cent of States had submitted their first report to the 1540 Committee, despite considerable complexity of the resolution’s provisions and the obvious lack of capacity in many States to report fully.  Still, the resolution provided a unique opportunity for developing countries to combine development assistance received for critical development and capacity-building priorities with those aimed at preventing the acquisition by terrorists of mass destruction weapons, and to provide the assistance received to prevent such acquisition with their development and capacity-building objectives.  For instance, the prosecution of criminals marketing weapons of mass destruction materials was firmly related to trained police and functioning judiciary, while the prevention of human trafficking relied on many of the same resources.  That new approach to security and development had yet to be reflected in an attitude shift in certain donor countries, which seemed to think that the provision of equipment or technical assistance would alone achieve the resolution’s implementation.

“Dual-use” possibilities, namely a unique opportunity to follow domestic priorities in recipient States, while simultaneously serving a cause of effective and sustainable non-proliferation, was of utmost importance, he stressed.  The result was sustainable security and enhanced development for both donor and recipient States.

He emphasized that non-proliferation of mass destruction weapons was part of the larger bargain of nuclear disarmament.  Leadership by the States with “WMD power” on the disarmament and destruction front was needed.  Further, regional organizations, which often had a strong pull with national Governments, could ensure more effective implementation of resolution 1540.  Global non-proliferation and counter-terrorism efforts should employ common strategies in the face of grave and considerable obstacles.

Committee Chairman JORGE URBINA ( Costa Rica), speaking in his national capacity, said that the implementation level among middle-income countries, like his own, remained low.  Indeed, too often, they remained one step behind those who aimed to make a mockery of the non-proliferation legislation and those that had terrorist objectives in mind.  Those who hoped to curb proliferation of weapons of mass destruction should pay particular attention to developing national legislation.  Towards that goal, national objectives must be set.  Implementation did not enjoy a priority in the agendas of small, middle-income and developing countries.  Nor did those agendas prioritize technical bodies, which had the most direct link to the resolution’s implementation.  That was particularly true in countries lacking high levels of institutional development.  Thus, the 1540 Committee should strive to work with political bodies, alongside the technical ones, to promote implementation.

He stressed that when considering the implementation of priorities set by international bodies, sufficient coordination was not enough.  Rather, the international bodies had to actively support the implementation of their priorities.  It was for that reason that the 1540 Committee had urged the establishment of national focal points.  The existence of a single interlocutor would save time and ensure compliance with ongoing updating tasks, which were necessary for implementation.  Additionally, linking the Committee’s work with regional and subregional bodies was critical to overcoming current shortcomings.  He suggested, as an example, that the work of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) was worthy of significant attention and follow-up.

National institutional shortcomings gave rise to further difficulties in implementation, particularly in terms of requesting assistance, he noted.  The 1540 Committee, therefore, should continuously review the instruments put in the hands of States, as well as the support they were given in requesting assistance.  Concluding, he said Costa Rica remained convinced of the need to eliminate all risk of weapons of mass destruction proliferation.

ALEJANDRO WOLFF ( United States) said the stakes could not be higher.  The threat from nuclear, biological and chemical weapons threatened all people in all nations.  The dangers they posed had not been eliminated with the cold war’s end.  Rather, they had shifted, and the international community must work together to prevent their proliferation, and particularly their falling into the hands of terrorists.

He recalled that resolution 1540 had been adopted to address the convergence of two serious threats:  violent non-State actors and weapons of mass destruction.  Since the resolution’s adoption, national legislation that made acquiring such materiel harder had been enacted around the world.  As President Barack Obama’s presence had made clear at last week’s Security Council meeting on non-proliferation, the United States was committed to ensuring that the international disarmament and non-proliferation regime was strengthened and that the benefits of peaceful nuclear energy and bio-science were shared throughout the world.  The resolution adopted at that meeting affirmed the need for resolution 1540 and reinforced the Council’s support for the 1540 Committee’s work, including in capacity-building efforts.

The United States was strongly committed to the establishment of a voluntary fund to provide assistance to States.  It intended to make contributions to that fund, once established, provided it was sufficiently transparent.  Noting that a number of nations, including the United States, provided vital assistance to countries, he nevertheless stressed that more work was needed.  A trust fund should inject momentum into national non-proliferation efforts, particularly by increasing the means for national action.

“Proliferators seek out the weakest link,” he said.  “In an interconnected world, a single gap in the common defence threatened everyone.”  Thus, the United States urged Member States to maintain and oversee their own national commerce and financial systems, and to monitor and control their exports.  Resolution 1540 should be incorporated as an operating standard.

Continuing, he said the United States welcomed new ideas during the comprehensive review, which should strengthen the mechanism’s tools, even as it recognized that a one-size-fits-all approach was not applicable.  Further, it was heartened that the role of regional organizations was being prioritized.  Important work was being done by groups such as the European Union and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), among others.  The United States also supported the efforts of the global partnership set up by the G-8 and believed that that partnership should be extended beyond 2012.  The United States Government had designated a coordinator for implementation of 1540.  Other countries might do the same.

He said his country was also making ongoing efforts in other non-proliferation groups and multilateral arrangements.  The 1540 Committee’s work should benefit from that of others, even as it remained independent.  Today’s comprehensive review helped to recognize the complexities of having States fully meet the provisions of 1540 and underscored the need for international support for national measures.  The 1540 Committee could become a centrepiece of the world’s non-proliferation regime and, if better resourced, a main pillar of maintaining international peace and security.

PER ÖRNÉUS (Sweden), speaking on behalf of the European Union, said resolution 1540 gave a strong legal basis for the Union’s diplomatic and financial efforts to tackle proliferation by explicitly addressing illicit trafficking and procurement networks, and in particular, the involvement of non-State actors in the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.  While looking at how best to implement the resolution, the Union’s global partners should fully implement its provisions.  The Union welcomed the 1540 Committee’s July 2008 report to the Security Council and the adoption of resolution 1810 (2008).  It fully supported the Committee’s clearinghouse role in matching assistance requests and offers.

He said that the European Union had been active in ensuring full implementation of 1540, both internally through regular updates of its European Community regulation on export controls on dual-use goods, and externally by promoting the full implementation of the resolution in third countries.  That strategy had been complemented in 2008 by the “EU New Lines for Action”, which had been adopted by its Council of Ministers.  It focused on concrete action-oriented projects to be undertaken by the end of 2010.

The European Union Presidency, in 2004, had submitted a report on the Union’s behalf, on 1540’s implementation, while its member countries had submitted complementary reports, he explained.  The member States were implementing certain provisions of the resolution through European legislation in related areas, including accounting and security of production, use, storage and transport of weapons of mass destruction-related materials within the European Union; physical protection of nuclear materials; and European Community customs regimes for imports and exports at the borders.

He said that efficient export controls were a key tool in preventing proliferation.  Since 2000, a European Council regulation, updated regularly, governed export control of dual-use goods and technology.  In 2004, the Union had carried out a peer review of its implementation, following the Union’s enlargement, in order to identify and disseminate good practices.  Its Council had subsequently adopted a regulation setting up a community regime for the control of exports, transfer, brokering and transit of dual-use items.  Since its entry into force on 27 August 2009, the new regulation had been directly applied in all 27 European Union member States.

Beyond export control, the Union would adopt a “CBRN” (chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear) security plan consisting of 133 internal measures to prevent, detect and respond to CBRN threats and risks, he continued.  About €100 million would be dedicated to the implementation of that package.  The Union had also been collaborating closely with the 1540 Committee and the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs in providing assistance to third countries with the aim of full implementation of 1540.  It had also been collaborating and liaising with other major donors in the field, in order to ensure efficiency and avoid overlapping in the provision of assistance.

The Union and its member countries, often in joint initiatives with major donors, had developed a collective experience in the provision of outreach and assistance through the organization of several workshops, organized in concert with the Office for Disarmament Affairs, he said.  That experience had shown that helping States implement their obligations in an appropriate and effective manner would be a long-term process, which was linked to the multifaceted scope of the obligations of the resolution.  To facilitate understanding, the Union and other donors had provided assistance through regional workshops and specific regional and bilateral technical assistance.  That experience, while confirming the continued need of assistance to third countries, had also shown the existence of deficiencies.  Those related to issues of coordination of donors in the provision of assistance and exchange of information on findings and lessons learned, which had been marginal, as well as to the fact that current assistance workshops did not always address elements of the resolution.  The creation of a permanent database of sectoral experts upon which the Committee could draw would enhance the quality and suitability of assistance to States.  Additionally, the assistance programme would benefit from focusing on certain areas, such as export controls and illicit trafficking.

NICOLAS DE RIVIÈRE ( France) said resolution 1540 was a specific and appropriate response to serious dangers in the world and fully conformed to the Council’s authority.  Adherence by all States was needed for collective security.  Areas where implementation of the resolution was particularly weak were well known; they included weaknesses in entire sectors, particularly the biological sector, which had gaps that terrorists could exploit with ease; in certain activities, such as the financing of illicit activities and the transportation sector; and geographical weaknesses, evidenced by the lack of reports from certain geographic regions.  In that last regard, France regretted the fact that some had opposed the participation of the Australia Group and the International Organization of the Francophonie in the comprehensive review.

He said France took its obligations seriously and had adopted a strict plan to inform all Government ministries on the fight against proliferation.  A bill to combat proliferation was currently before France’s Parliament.  Moving forward, France believed increased assistance to States was needed.  Resolution 1810 (2008) clearly provided for a matchmaking role to link those needing help with those able to provide it.  Specific country visits should be set up, as authorized by resolution 1810.  Necessary resources must be found, including making experts available.  Consideration must be given to how to expand assistance efforts to include general governance assistance.

MONA JUUL ( Norway) said that the meeting was timely, as the international community needed to know where it stood and where it must go to stop non-State actors from acquiring mass destruction weapons.  Her Government was firmly committed to the goal of ridding the world of those weapons, and, in order to achieve that objective, early and full implementation of resolution 1540 was essential. Indeed, implementation was more important now than five years ago.

She said that Norway welcomed the initiative by the United States to host a nuclear security summit in Washington, D.C., in April 2010.  The outcome of that summit would facilitate consensus at the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference and contribute to further implementation of resolution 1540.  The resolution constituted an essential element of the global counter-proliferation and counter-terrorism regime.  It was imperative that individual States implement and enforce national export control regulations, as called for in the text, on the basis of high international standards.  Only in that way could a “no-go-area” for proliferation and illicit procurement be developed.

Implementation of the resolution was clearly in the interest of all Member States, she went on.  Not only did it contribute to a safer world, but its implementation would facilitate peaceful uses of weapons of mass destruction materiel, and hence, realizing the full potential of the relevant articles of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, and the Biological and Chemical Weapons Conventions.

Norway fully recognized that countries might need external technical assistance for developing national legislation and enforcing it, and it highly appreciated the efforts of the Office for Disarmament Affairs and the 1540 Committee in that regard, she said.  For many years, Norway had supported activities to promote the resolution’s implementation and would continue to do so.  It had financed studies on regional organizations’ roles and had provided funding for workshops and seminars, organized by the United Nations.  At the same time, there was a need to identify new approaches to implementation.  In that regard, national ownership was crucial, since implementation of 1540 was not merely technical, but also political.  Further, since each country had specific needs, and implementation varied from region to region and from State to State within regions, national action plans or road maps for assistance requests were essential.

NORIHIRO OKUDA ( Japan) said his delegation highly valued last week’s adoption by the Security Council of resolution 1887 (2009) on nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament, which reaffirmed the need for resolution 1540’s full implementation.   Japan been actively working to implement 1540, as it had indicated in a series of detailed reports to the 1540 Committee.

He stressed that the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction had become an increasingly urgent issue.  There was continuous and serious concern that sensitive technologies could fall into the hands of countries and terrorists that aimed to develop weapons of mass destruction.  Illicit procurement of related material had been reported in Asian countries.  Thus, the implementation of resolution 1540 was considered an important regional issue.  Among other things, timely submission of country reports was an important aspect of that implementation.  One sixth of Member States had yet to submit those reports, and Japan hoped that those countries would file their reports soon.

Enforcement and execution of relevant national laws and control systems were also important to the overall implementation effort, he said.  That included establishment of a legal framework, as well as its enforcement.   Japan’s efforts had focused on capacity-building, specifically in regional initiatives.  It nevertheless hoped that the Committee would strengthen cooperation with international non-proliferation regimes, including export control regimes, which would enhance the work of the 1540 Committee.  Moreover, the international community must renew its efforts to address individual problems.

IVAN BARBALIC (Bosnia and Herzegovina), speaking also on behalf of OPCW’s Technical Secretariat, reported on the outcomes of the “International Seminar on National Implementation of Non-proliferation Obligations:  The OPCW as an Example of Effective Assistance in National Implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention” in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, in June 2009, and of the pilot project, “Implementation Programme against CBRNe (Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear) Terrorism (IPACT)”.

He said that the Seminar, which had received financial support from the Czech Republic and had been organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bosnia and Herzegovina and OPCW, was attended by participants from all countries of the region, international organizations with mandates relevant to the theme, and representatives of intergovernmental organizations, industry, non-governmental organizations, academia and civil society.  It looked at the Chemical Weapons Convention and OPCW as examples of how national implementation measures could be developed and successfully implemented and how to effectively assist countries that needed it.  There were also discussions concerning similar efforts by other organizations that assisted countries in developing national implementation capacities in other areas of “WMD” non-proliferation and counter-terrorism.

The Seminar sought to broaden the understanding that 1540 concerned all States, not only those that possessed materials and technologies connected to nuclear, chemical or biological weapons, he said.  A proposal had been put forward addressing the issue with regard to the Western Balkans region.  The pilot project, IPACT, attempted to develop an integrated, holistic approach towards the implementation of non-proliferation measures for weapons of mass destruction.  Bosnia and Herzegovina would take the lead in developing that approach and would serve as a pilot country, but the methods and approaches developed also would be evaluated for their utility in a wider regional context and potentially beyond.

He said that specific measures to develop a coherent, effective, and sustainable national strategy to counter weapons of mass destruction proliferation and terrorism, in line with international obligations, would be developed and implemented in partnership with all organizations and agencies working towards effective national implementation in their respective fields of responsibility and competence.  Countries in the region would be involved in the process through a transparent discussion of approaches and practical results, information exchange and sharing of experiences.  The project would help international agencies better coordinate their implementation support and assistance activities.

Another concrete outcome of the Seminar had been the establishment of a steering committee in Bosnia and Herzegovina on non-proliferation issues, he said.  The committee, composed of experts from relevant ministries and agencies, was charged with revising relevant national policies in the sphere of non-proliferation and counter-terrorism.  The team thoroughly assessed non-proliferation and counter-terrorism obligations and continued to function as a national implementation entity with regard to mass destruction weapons, counter-terrorism and non-proliferation issues.  The Government was seeking further support for the project from other Governments and international and regional organizations.  Technical expertise and financial support were crucial to ensuring the effective development and implementation of IPACT.  Donors and interested partners were invited to join in its development and implementation.

MAZEN ADI ( Syria) said that that his country had always been in the forefront of condemning terrorism and terrorist operations.  It had been among the first to call for a United Nations conference to define the concept of terrorism and to distinguish it from the efforts of people under occupation to fight for their liberation.  Syria had cooperated completely with the various Security Council Committees dealing with issues of terrorism and weapons of mass destruction.  Several national committees of relevant ministries had been established in Syria to ensure that the terms of those resolutions were fully implemented.  Syria had suffered for decades from terrorism on its territory.

He said Syria was concerned that there had been a certain focus on some countries or geographical groups over others in the implementation of the resolutions.  Syria had participated in seminars on combating terrorism, including the one held in Doha and another in Abu Dhabi in June, which had been organised in cooperation with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).  It would also take part in a seminar next month involving national focal points.  Syria had submitted a national report on its implementation of resolution 1540.  He also noted that it had been one of the first countries to have signed the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT).  It had also signed comprehensive safeguards agreements with the IAEA in 1972.  On the other hand, Israel was the only country in the region that possessed a nuclear arsenal.  However, that arsenal had not been sanctioned or inspected by the IAEA.

VALERIE SCHILLING, Principal Administrator of the Financial Action Task Force, said the Task Force was an intergovernmental policy body that, before 9/11, had focused on international efforts to combat money laundering.  Since the 2001 terrorist attacks, its mandate had been widened to address terrorism financing.  Its work and experience were also applicable to so-called “proliferation financing”.  The Task Force’s four main tools included setting standards, assessing compliance, applying political pressure and studying topologies.  It had established standards and provided a follow-up framework to monitor and evaluate compliance.  It applied political pressure, where appropriate, to strengthen counter-terrorism and money-laundering regimes.  It also supported eight regional bodies.  In total, the network included more than 180 jurisdictions, and international financial institutions, such as the World Bank, had status with it.

Given that profile, she said the Task Force had strong expertise in proliferation.  Although the world community had only recently focused on proliferation financing, the Task Force had proven experience in combating money laundering and terrorism financing, which directly applied to the proliferation arena.  Extensive focus on non-proliferation had included the recent publication of a study on the methods and techniques on financing weapons of mass destruction.  Its work directly applied to resolutions 1540, 1737 (2006) and 1803 (2008).  The latter two texts concerned sanctions on Iran for its nuclear-related activities.

She said the Task Force had also established a project team, under the leadership of Switzerland and the United Kingdom, to develop policy options to further assist various jurisdictions in implementing 1540.  That team had been meeting at different Task Force meetings, and a private sector consultation process was under way, which was expected to result in the issuance of standards on the issue.  Other recent work had focused on legal systems and criminalization.  Among other things, the Task Force was working to set up a definition of proliferation financing, which, while not binding, would provide guidance to the international community.  It was also considering how to criminalize such financing.  Some countries currently made that a specific offence, while others deemed it ancillary.

Concerning targeted financial sanctions, she noted that 1540 contained a general obligation, but did not require specific freezing activities.  In many ways, the Task Force’s work was relevant to the Security Council’s 1267 and 1373 Committees.  It was considering information flows, particularly with respect to how financial institutions could share information with Governments.  The Task Force aimed to pursue its objectives in ways that did not to duplicate work being done elsewhere and which ensured alignments between its standards and those of the United Nations.  Indeed, the fight against financing was multidimensional.  Synergy between the Task Force and the 1540 Committee was mutually beneficial.

RAZA BASHIR TARAR ( Pakistan) said that his country subscribed to the objectives of resolution 1540, which filled an important gap.  It shared the view that weapons of mass destruction posed a threat to international peace and security.  To address that challenge, there was a need to make the follow-up mechanisms for the resolution more inclusive, transparent and balanced.  All States should have an equal voice in matters related to its implementation.

He said that Pakistan had put in place an inter-agency mechanism, which among other things, had the responsibility for outreach in all matters relating to the country’s 1540 obligations.  Pakistan had submitted three national reports to the 1540 Committee.  Since 2005, it had adopted several specific actions as part of its ongoing review of implementation.  Details of those actions had been conveyed to the 1540 Committee.  They included export controls, encompassing, among others, goods, technologies and materials related to weapons of mass destruction and their delivery systems, adoption of a control list, and a classification system based on the European Union integrated list.  In addition, an oversight board had been established to independently review export controls.

Additionally, Pakistan had been participating in the global initiative to combat terrorism, he added.  It now had monitoring and implementation committees and a biological safety association, among other bodies.  It was also participating in the Container Security Initiative.  Pakistan had developed a future plan of action, and areas requiring strengthening had been identified.  The Export Control Act of 2004 was in place, and the country’s focus in relation to export control would now be in the area of enforcement.  His country also had a national security action plan, and work was under way on a code of conduct for scientists.  Pakistan was in a position to offer assistance to other countries in the use of radiation.

JEAN-PAUL LABORDE, speaking on behalf of the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force (CTITF), said that terrorism had spread and become more lethal over the last several years.  “We have recently witnessed terrorist attacks that threaten to destabilize or consume Member States.  We have seen terrorist violence that jeopardizes decades of economic progress and put at risk social and cultural harmony,” he said.  “And all of this is in addition to the risk presented by the possibility that terrorists might one day get access to far more lethal weapons.”

He said that the Task Force had created a working group on “preventing and responding to WMD attacks”, with members from the IAEA, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), the World Health Organization (WHO), the Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI), the Disarmament Affairs Office, the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL), the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), among other entities and observers.

The working group would develop a coordinated response to a potential situation in which weapons of mass destruction were used in a terrorist attack, he said, adding that the group would then compile contingency practices and lessons learned.  The role of the 1540 Committee was critical because of its technical knowledge and interaction with Member States.  In a similar fashion, the Task Force’s expertise was a valuable resource for the Committee and its effort to assist Member States to implement 1540.  The work of the Task Force continued to evolve as it developed the preventive elements of a counter-terrorism strategy and gathered more information on methodologies and ideas for implementation.  Several projects initiated by Task Force members –- such as an OPCW initiative in the Balkan region -– had already benefited the Committee.  He encouraged more direct engagement with Task Force members in their work to prevent “mass murder”.

RANKO VILOVIĆ, Acting Chairman of the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Committee, said that the 1540 Committee and the Counter-Terrorism Committee shared several common features, in part, owing to their reach and global outlook, and in part because of the nature of the threat.  He illustrated how, on a practical level, the two Committees had similar approaches to monitoring Member States’ implementation of the resolutions and how they sought to enhance dialogue with States.  The Counter-Terrorism Committee had developed a preliminary implementation assessment to improve its analysis of Member States’ efforts -- a process that had also been used to assess counter-terrorism efforts in regions and subregions.  The 1540 Committee had been using a similar table called the matrix.

He said that the analysis from the two Committees showed that no country could claim to have fulfilled all requirements of either resolution 1373 (2001) or resolution 1540 (2004), proving that implementation required long-term commitment.  He believed that exchange of experiences between the Committees and their groups of experts on the usefulness of their monitoring tools -- the Counter-Terrorism Committee’s preliminary implementation assessment and 1540 Committee’s matrix –- lessened the reporting burden and enabled the focus to remain on areas of partial implementation of the resolutions.

With regard to developing tailor-made implementation initiatives and coordinating with other stakeholders and relevant United Nations entities, he said that regional and subregional organizations played a very important role, especially in connection with capacity-building assistance.  The Counter-Terrorism Committee had organized a series of special meetings, involving more than 70 international, regional and subregional organizations.  The sixth such meeting being planned would consider the outcome of the comprehensive review of 1540’s implementation.  There are still “grave challenges and important obstacles” to global counter-terrorism and non-proliferation efforts, but a successful outcome could be achieved if everyone worked together, and the Counter-Terrorism Committee remained a committed partner of the 1540 Committee in that regard.

THOMAS MAYR-HARTING, Chairman of the 1267 Committee, said that in the past, the Taliban, Al-Qaida and their associates had shown interest in terrorist attacks using chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear materials.  More recent information suggested that their interest in those technologies remained.  It was necessary, therefore, to maintain vigilance.  That depended in part on the proper implementation of arms embargo measures elaborated in Security Council resolution 1267 (1999) and its successor resolutions.  It also depended on close working relations among the three Security Council Committees that dealt with terrorism, as well as among their expert groups, namely the Monitoring Team, the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate and the 1540 Committee experts.

He said that the three expert groups, since their first joint meeting in July 2006, had greatly enhanced their cooperation and increased the frequency of their contacts.  The groups had devised a first common strategy approved by the three committees in February 2006 to deal with States that had fallen behind on their reporting.  That led to three workshops in Africa and one in the Caribbean, in which all three expert groups had participated, resulting in an upswing in reporting and a far better understanding among States of the different mandates.

The Chairmen of the three Committees had also demonstrated the close working relations among them by agreeing in 2005 to give joint briefings to the Security Council every six months, he continued.  In April, the Chairman of the 1267 Committee had invited the Chairmen of the other Committees to an informal exchange of views, where issues of common interest and possible areas of enhanced cooperation had been discussed.  The three Committees had established a table comparing their mandates and scope.  On 12 and 13 October, an international workshop on national counter-terrorism focal points would be convened in Vienna and would be attended by all three Chairmen.

Terrorism and proliferation remained a daily reality and threat to international peace and security, faced equally by states and individuals alike, he said.  Terrorism and proliferation were global threats that required a global response.  Cooperation, therefore, was a crucial element in the efforts to counter those threats.  It was essential that the United Nations provide a global framework to combat terrorism and proliferation and that that framework complied with all obligations under international law, including human rights law, refugee law and international humanitarian law.

M.S. PURI ( India) said that since the adoption of 1540, India had taken additional steps to further strengthen its existing legislative and regulatory mechanism for exercising control over weapons of mass destruction.  A major step had been the enactment of the Weapons of Mass Destruction Act in 2005, which provided for integrated and overarching legislation prohibiting unlawful activities in relation to weapons of mass destruction, their delivery systems and related materials, equipment and technologies.  The act criminalised a range of activities. Industry outreach activities were undertaken on a regular basis in different parts of the country to sensitize exporters and industry to various aspects related to resolution 1540.  In addition, training programmes had been organised for officials connected with administration of dual-use export goods.

He said that India had filed its first report with the 1540 Committee in November 2004.  That had been followed by addendums in January and February 2006. An update and addendum had also been filed in April 2009, focusing on developments over the past three years.  India had also contributed to the work of the 1540 Committee, including through the nomination of an expert, who had worked for the Committee for two years.  India supported efforts to prepare guidelines for handling assistance requests by countries and to find means to address the most common implementation gaps.  It was important that those activities be performed only at a country’s request and keeping in mind the varying national capacities, procedures and systems.  Based on specific requests by countries, India was ready to assist bilaterally in capacity-building towards their 1540 obligations.

EMAD BEN-SHABAN (Libya) said “it goes without saying that these weapons are a threat to international peace and security”.  Resolution 1540 complemented rather than replaced previous resolutions, and there had been significant progress in the work towards its implementation, as seen in the number of States that had submitted their national reports.  However, Member States should step up their efforts by undertaking additional measures for national legislation. 

In terms of the safety and security of weapons of mass destruction-related materials, he stressed the importance of regional and subregional collaboration.  There was also a need for the Committee to promote dialogue with individual States, especially those that faced difficulties in implementing the resolution and had not submitted their national reports.  He urged the Committee to assist those States in particular in overcoming those difficulties.  “We encourage the Committee to develop its role as a clearing house for information of the implementation of Resolution 1540,” he added.

States, for their part, had to articulate their needs, he said, encouraging a discussion of a financial mechanism for capacity-building in the context of implementation assistance.  Member States, by speaking up, should be able to paint a clear picture of the challenges facing them in implementing resolution 1540.

JOHN MCNEE (Canada) said that the threat to international peace from the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their delivery systems and related materials was grave, and resolution 1540 and its successor texts -- resolutions 1673 (2006) and 1810 (2008) -- were critical mechanisms to address it.  It was through 1540 that the Security Council had first adopted a comprehensive resolution concerning the proliferation of mass destruction weapons to non-State actors.  The steps that all Member States took to implement the resolution’s broad and complex obligations would uphold international law and contribute to international peace.

He said Canada recognized that the wide-ranging requirements of the resolution might prove challenging to some States, and, in keeping with operative paragraph 7 of the resolution inviting Member States to respond to specific requests for assistance from those States, Canada had funded a 1540 awareness-building workshop in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, in February 2008, and a follow-up on export controls and maritime security in Kingston, Jamaica, in June 2009.  He commended other States, regional and international organizations and United Nations offices for supporting similar workshops elsewhere in the world, stressing the importance for such workshops to focus on the resolution’s details.  Canada remained open to further specific requests for assistance.

Choosing the right specialists to provide assistance was critical, given the complexities of the 1540 obligations, he said.  He thus proposed the creation of an experts’ template to be organized according to each of the key operative paragraphs of the resolution.  Member States could contribute names and details of their own officials with specialized knowledge under each provision.  He further suggested that the 1540 Committee should continue to examine a full range of options for funding mechanisms, including a dedicated voluntary support fund.  He expressed strong support for States to share lessons learned and programmes to implement 1540 with international, regional and subregional organizations.

KIM BONGHYUN ( Republic of Korea) said that the Committee meeting was “timely and necessary”, considering the importance of resolution 1540 in the global non-proliferation regime.  The resolution had closed gaps in the global non-proliferation regime by making the norms universal and by focusing on States.  The Committee’s exchanges with other international and regional organizations and export control regimes would be helpful for its mandate.

He said that the resolution enjoyed unwavering support, as evidenced by the submission of national reports from more than 150 Member States.  But it was now time to shift the focus from reporting to implementation.  Further progress was required in terms of using the existing funding mechanism more efficiently.  Cooperation between Member States in terms of information exchange and capacity-building was key to full implementation.  “The unique role and status of resolution 1540 has and will remain indispensable to international peace and security,” he said, adding that the resolution was essential in combating mass destruction weapons proliferation and preventing possible linkage with terrorism.  He sincerely hoped that the discussion this week would contribute to making the resolution more meaningful and effective.

JOHANN PASCHALIS (South Africa) said that his country was firm in its conviction that weapons of mass destruction did not guarantee security, but rather detracted from it.  As long as those weapons existed, humanity would continue to face the threat of catastrophe.  That position informed his country’s commitment to the principles of disarmament of weapons of mass destruction.  The outcome of last week’s Security Council summit, along with the presidential statement adopted during Costa Rica’s Security Council’s presidency last November, held the promise of a more even-handed and balanced Council approach to the questions and provided a much-improved context for the deliberations taking place this week.

He said that given the width and complexity of the measures called for under resolution 1540, the Committee was right in concluding that its full and continued implementation would remain a long-term objective.  Ensuring adequate reporting, especially by non-reporting States, however, remained a hearty challenge, which had a direct impact on the Committee in executing its responsibilities.  The Committee should patiently and diligently forge ahead with the tools at its disposal, refining them as necessary, to secure a satisfactory reporting base, without which it would be difficult to draw meaningful conclusions.

South Africa believed that answers to valid questions on issues such as convergence, common interpretation, compatibility, and even on managing implementation gaps were best addressed within the multilateral framework, he said.  That would ensure sustainable solutions with maximum ownership.  His country stressed the importance of upholding the NPT, the Biological and Chemical Weapons Conventions and other relevant multilateral instruments, as well as drawing on the work done within those frameworks and by their structures.  While regional forums provided excellent platforms for States to come together to develop common approaches to unique regional challenges, as well as for outreach activities, care should be taken not to create the impression that regional organizations were being used to enforce or “launder” the positions from outside regions; true partnership would remain the measure of efforts at that level.

As for the regional analysis in the background papers, South Africa was very concerned about the conclusions reached regarding the level of implementation in certain regions, notably his own, when neither the matrix methodology nor the level of reporting provided a basis for such conclusions, he said.  Reporting could not be conceptually equated with implementation.  The issue of underreporting required attention, but so did the issue of real capacity constraints in the face of a range of acute developmental and other priorities that required careful attention.  Some of those challenges might be addressed by drawing on the assistance offers of peers, as well as by the mobilization of resources aimed at rendering direct material and human resource development assistance.

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For information media • not an official record
For information media. Not an official record.