7900th Security Council Meeting: Non-Proliferation

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SIX OFFICIAL 16-Mar-2017 01:13:19
Despite the efforts of States, the risk of weapons of mass destruction falling into the wrong hands remained high, speakers told the Security Council at 7900th meeting.
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Briefing the Council, Sacha Sergio Llorentty Solíz (Bolivia), Chair of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1540 (2004), said the body intended to build on momentum generated by the adoption of resolution 2325 (2016). While the work programme for 2017 would enable significant progress to be made towards more effective implementation of States’ obligations, a clear understanding of challenges was needed.

To achieve universal reporting, it was critical to encourage the remaining 16 Member States that had not yet submitted their first report to do so, he continued, encouraging States to submit additional information on the resolution’s implementation, strengthen national capacities, identify and report effective national efforts, and share best practices.

He said there were various means to request formal assistance for capacity-building, noting that such help could be provided by both States and international organizations. The Committee was revising its assistance template to better support States in developing more detailed and effective assistance requests.

Stressing that cooperation was a key element in promoting implementation of resolution 1540 (2004), he said the national 1540 contacts acted as national focal points in that regard. There were also other ways to contribute. Pakistan, for example, had hosted a regional 1540 seminar to promote awareness of the text, highlight national efforts and identify challenges.

In the ensuing debate, Council members expressed concern that non-State actors, particularly terrorist groups, were likely to acquire, manufacture or use weapons of mass destruction. Many urged the international community to make every effort to ensure that such weapons did not fall into their hands.

While acknowledging that implementation of resolution 1540 (2004) had been unequal geographically and thematically, several stressed the need for more cooperation among the Committee, regional organizations and Member States. In that vein, Ethiopia’s representative welcomed the regional dimension of the Committee’s work programme, expressing hope that the body would enhance cooperation with the African Union and strengthen the regional non-proliferation network. Egypt’s delegate similarly underscored the regional nature of the threat, expressing concern that Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/Da’esh) had used chemical weapons inside and outside of Syria.

Uruguay’s representative said resolution 1540 (2004) was the main legally binding instrument to prevent non-State actors from acquiring chemical and biological weapons. It played a preventive role by boosting transparency and cooperation among Member States. China’s delegate, emphasizing that non-proliferation was a complex issue that included elements of historical grievances and terrorism, said the way forward lay in shaping a security architecture built by all, for all.

The United States representative, expressing concern about recent developments in Malaysia and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, said ballistic missile launches by the latter country posed a significant threat to the international community. Also alarming was the use of biological and chemical weapons by non-State actors. Improved communication and coordination among States was required to prevent the provision of assistance, expertise and technology to terrorist groups.

In such work, States should be guided by the principle of “do no harm,” said the representative of the Russian Federation. Given ongoing activities in Iraq and Syria, where terrorist groups had mastered the technology of such weapons, prevention had become an urgent matter for the international community.

The representatives of Japan, Italy, Ukraine, Senegal, Kazakhstan, France, Sweden and the United Kingdom also spoke.

The meeting started at 11:05 a.m. and adjourned at 12:15 p.m.
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