United Nations Security Council Resolution 1540 (2004)
On 28 April 2004, the United Nations Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 1540 (2004) under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter which affirms that the proliferation of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons and their means of delivery constitutes a threat to international peace and security. The resolution obliges States, inter alia, to refrain from supporting by any means non-State actors from developing, acquiring, manufacturing, possessing, transporting, transferring or using nuclear, chemical or biological weapons and their delivery systems.
Resolution 1540 (2004) imposes binding obligations on all States to adopt legislation to prevent the proliferation of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons, and their means of delivery, and establish appropriate domestic controls over related materials to prevent their illicit trafficking. It also encourages enhanced international cooperation on such efforts. The resolution affirms support for the multilateral treaties whose aim is to eliminate or prevent the proliferation of WMDs and the importance for all States to implement them fully; it reiterates that none of the obligations in resolution 1540 (2004) shall conflict with or alter the rights and obligations of States Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, the Chemical Weapons Convention, or the Biological Weapons Convention or alter the responsibilities of the IAEA and OPCW.
On 27 April 2006, the Security Council extended the mandate of the 1540 Committee for a further two years with the adoption of Resolution 1673 , which reiterated the objectives of Resolution 1540 (2004) and expressed the interest of the Security Council in intensifying its efforts to promote full implementation of the resolution.
On 25 April 2008, the Security Council adopted Resolution 1810, which extended the mandate of the 1540 Committee for a period of three years, with the continued assistance of experts, until 25 April 2011. Through Resolution 1810 (2008), the Security Council urged the 1540 Committee to continue strengthening its role in facilitating technical assistance, including by engaging actively in matching offers and requests for assistance, therefore strengthening its clearinghouse function. The Security Council also requested the 1540 Committee to consider a comprehensive review of the status of implementation of Resolution 1540 (2004). As part of this comprehensive review, the 1540 Committee decided to hold an open meeting with broad participation from UN Member States and relevant international organizations. The open meeting took place at UN headquarters from 30 September to 2 October 2009 and a final document is published on the 1540 Committee website.
On 20 April 2011, the Security Council adopted Resolution 1977, which reaffirms that the proliferation of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons and their means of delivery constitutes a threat to international peace and security, and extends the mandate of the 1540 Committee for a period of ten years to 2021. The Security Council thus recognizes that full implementation of resolution 1540 (2004) by all States is a long-term task that will require continuous efforts at national, regional and international levels. Resolution 1977 (2011) also provides for two Comprehensive Reviews, one after five years and one before the end of the mandate. Additionally, the 1540 Committee is mandated by resolution 1977 (2011) to continue to strengthen its role to facilitate the provision of technical assistance and to enhance cooperation with relevant international organizations. The Committee is also mandated to continue to refine its outreach efforts, and to continue to institute transparency measures.
On 29 June 2012, the Security Council adopted Resolution 2055 (2012), which enlarged the Group of Experts supporting the work of the 1540 Committee to up to nine (9) experts.