7837th Security Council Meeting: Non-Proliferation of WMDs - Part 1

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15-Dec-2016 02:56:34
Security Council adopts resolution 2325 (2016), calling for a framework to keep terrorists and other non-state actors from acquiring weapons of mass destruction, at 7837th meeting.

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Ahead of an open debate on keeping weapons of mass destruction out of the hands of terrorists and other non-State groups, the Security Council called today for intensified efforts to ensure the development of a secure international framework for that purpose in the face rapid technological advances and increasingly ambitious malefactors.

Unanimously adopting resolution 2325 (2016), the Council called on all States to strengthen national anti-proliferation regimes in implementation of resolution 1540 (2004) — which seeks to keep non-State actors from acquiring nuclear, biological and chemical weapons of mass destruction — and to submit timely reports on their efforts. It called for greater assistance for building State capacity in that regard, including through voluntary contributions, and for greater cooperation among all stakeholders, civil society and academia among them.

Also by that text, the Council endorsed a recent review of such efforts (document S/2016/1013). Its findings included an increase in the number of legally binding measures adopted by States with the aim of preventing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, but also a lack of progress towards securing the production, use, storage and transportation of materials related to chemical and biological threats. There had been uneven progress across regions in that regard.

Delivering a briefing as he opened the day-long meeting, Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson declared: “Preventing non-State actors from acquiring and using weapons of mass destruction is among the most important responsibilities of the international community.” He continued: “In our rapidly evolving global security environment, gaps will continue to open.”

He said vicious non-State groups with no regard for human life were actively seeking weapons of mass destruction, deepening concern over unregulated stockpiles of fissile material, new means of producing biological weapons and abuse of cyber technology that made the hacking of nuclear power plants plausible. To stay ahead of the curve, greater multilateral prevention and response capability must be built, he emphasized. To finally end the threat, however, States should work towards a world free of weapons of mass destruction.

High Representative Kim said that since the review, the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1540 (2004) on the non-proliferation of weapons of mass production (1540 Committee) had substantially expanded its outreach, but its capacity to respond to Member States’ requests for assistance was declining. He urged States in a position to do so to respond to the call contained in the resolution adopted today for voluntary contributions and high-quality assistance that would meet national needs for comprehensive implementation of the 1540 regime.

Mr. Finlay noted that globalization had fundamentally altered the drivers of proliferation, citing access to illicit intangible technology transfers. The 1540 Committee’s Group of Experts was overwhelmed and the Committee should consider widening its global network of supporters in all sectors, including industry and civil society, he said.

Mr. Min added that the private firms should never be a proxy for law enforcement, but should have strong internal compliance programmes to prevent malicious non-State actors from exploiting their services. Describing DHL’s global screening system, he said harmonized regulatory requirements could harmonize such efforts.

Following those briefings, speakers emphasized the risks posed by weapons of mass destruction falling into the hands of non-State actors, and called for full implementation of the resolution just adopted as well as 1540 (2004). Most speakers welcomed the new text’s call for a focus on evolving threats and building the capacity to ensure compliance in all States. Others said that requests for assistance should be more specific so that they could be more effectively fulfilled.

Some speakers, including the United Kingdom’s Attorney General, expressed regret that today’s text did not provide more tools to help the 1540 Committee promote national implementation. China’s representative, however, cautioned that such measures must not overstep their bounds and impinge on national sovereignty.

Many speakers condemned the reported use of chemical weapons in Syria and Iraq, while several voiced regret over the weak outcome of the recent review conference of the Biological Weapons Convention. Some urged the Security Council to strengthen its ability not only to prevent, but also to respond, to the use of weapons of mass destruction by terrorists. The Russian Federation’s representative underlined the need for a holistic approach to that task and urged support for his country’s proposals in that regard.

Also speaking today were representatives of Spain, Senegal, New Zealand, Angola, Ukraine, Venezuela, Uruguay, Japan, France, Malaysia, United States, Egypt, Chile, Colombia, Sweden, Italy, Pakistan, Brazil, Jamaica, Pakistan, Brazil, Bulgaria, Philippines, Poland, Germany, Mexico, Argentina, Hungary, India, Kazakhstan, Estonia, Israel, Slovenia, Australia, Slovakia, Kyrgyzstan, Guatemala, Ethiopia, Netherlands, Peru, South Africa, Morocco, Costa Rica, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Ecuador, Belgium, Georgia, Republic of Korea, Thailand, Panama, Afghanistan, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Canada, Jordan, Algeria, Armenia, Belarus, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Iran and Syria.

Also addressing the Council were the Permanent Observer for the Holy See as well as representatives of the European Union, African Union, Organization of American States and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

Other speakers were officials representing the Financial Action Task Force, Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, International Atomic Energy Agency, Missile Technology Control Regime, Nuclear Suppliers Group, INTERPOL and the United Nations University.

The meeting began at 10:05 a.m. and ended at 5:53 p.m.
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