Non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction- Security Council, 8993rd Meeting

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14-Mar-2022 01:27:27
Comprehensive review of non-proliferation resolution top priority for committee charged with overseeing implementation, its Chair tells Security Council.

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The comprehensive review of resolution 1540 (2004) — adopted unanimously to prevent non-State actors from acquiring nuclear, biological and chemical weapons, their means of delivery and related materials — is the top priority for the Committee charged with overseeing implementation of that landmark instrument, its Chair told the Security Council today.

Juan Ramón de la Fuente Ramírez (Mexico), speaking in his capacity as Chair of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1540 (2004), described the resolution as a vital component of the global non-proliferation architecture to prevent non-State actors, including terrorists, from gaining access to weapons of mass destruction. “The full and effective implementation of the resolution is a long-term task,” he stressed.

The comprehensive review — launched in 2021 — is one of two called for by resolution 1977 (2011), which extended the Committee’s mandate for 10 years. The first review was held in 2016 and the second was to be held prior to the renewal of the Committee’s mandate, in 2020. However, due to delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Committee postponed its second review to 2021.

“The review is an inclusive process,” he assured the 15-nation organ, adding that while contributions by Member States — which bear the primary responsibility for implementing resolution 1540 (2004) — will be given high importance, the Committee will also invite international, regional and subregional organizations and civil society organizations to participate in open consultations. Further details will be communicated soon, as expectations and interest have remained high.

A central theme of the comprehensive review is the status of the implementation of resolution 1540 (2004) by Member States, he said. The Committee is also addressing its role in facilitating assistance matchmaking; its collaboration with relevant international, regional and subregional organizations and other United Nations bodies; and its outreach activities.

Describing other developments, he said Mozambique submitted its first national report, with information on measures taken to comply with its 1540 obligations, bringing to 185 the number of Member States that have submitted first reports and leaving eight States still to do so.

He pointed to the voluntary National Implementation Action Plans as helpful in implementing resolution 1540 (2004), noting that the number of States that have submitted such plans to the Committee since 2007 now stands at 35, a number unchanged since his last report to the Security Council.

Noting that States submitted four new requests for assistance in 2021, compared to six in 2020 — from Botswana, Sierra Leone, Tajikistan and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines — he said the Committee webpage lists States and international, regional and subregional organizations which offer 1540-related assistance.

In the ensuing dialogue, delegates expressed strong support for resolution 1540 (2004) and outlined their views for advancing its implementation in a complex and evolving global security landscape.

Against that backdrop, India’s representative said his country provides regular reports on its adherence to resolution 1540 (2004). It also created a strong global national export control system and supports academic and research efforts into the transfer of intangible technology.

Ghana’s delegate meanwhile recalled that, in April 2016, her country submitted its National Action Plan for the implementation of resolution 1540 (2004), stressing that transparency and information-sharing through the 1540 Committee’s website will also prove useful in helping countries fulfil their obligations.

The United States’ representative, along with several other delegates, focused on the completion of the comprehensive review, expressing support for the Committee’s “ambitious but achievable” timeline. Her delegation is committed to collaborating with Council members to develop a strong and informed mandate renewal later in 2022, she said, as “the stakes could not be higher”.

On that point, China’s delegate said the factors driving non-State actors to seek weapons of mass destruction have only worsened since 2004. The 1540 Committee should formulate a sound work plan for its comprehensive review, while promoting international cooperation on non-proliferation issues. States should also pay attention to the rapid development of artificial intelligence, which can be misused by non-State actors, and abandon double standards that lead to heightened military risks.

Along similar lines, the Russian Federation’s representative urged the 1540 Committee to focus on its work, irrespective of any “complicated international circumstances”, and foster an atmosphere of cooperation. Noting that he trusted open consultations will be organized this year, he added that he expected agreement to be reached on the modalities so that States have enough time to prepare. Renewal of the Committee’s mandate must be based on the unifying foundations of resolution 1540 (2004) and not provide the body with any intrusive powers, he emphasized.

With the horizon in mind, Brazil’s delegate recalled that the goal of the comprehensive review is to adjust the mandate of the 1540 Committee to evolving international needs. The milestone resolution is instrumental in helping States establish the appropriate domestic controls to address the risks of weapons of mass destruction.

Also speaking today were representatives of France, Ireland, Norway, Gabon, Albania, Kenya, United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates.

The meeting began at 3:04 and ended at 4:02 p.m.

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