The 1540 Matrix
Since its adoption in early 2005, the 1540 Matrix has functioned as the primary method used by the 1540 Committee to organize information about implementation of UN Security Council resolution 1540 by Member States. A matrix for each UN Member State has been prepared; regularly matrices are updated and approved by the Committee. The information in the matrices originates primarily from national reports provided by States to the 1540 Committee and is complemented by official government information, including that made available to intergovernmental organizations.
The 1540 Committee uses the matrices as a reference tool to examine the status of implementation of Security Council Resolution 1540 and in its dialogue with States as a tool to identify lacunae existing at national level and facilitate technical assistance.
The matrix has fields representing the requirements of the resolution along side which are the measures that States have taken in respect of these requirements. The first worksheet covers measures that indicate some aspect of implementation of Operative Paragraph 1 and some matters from Operative Paragraphs 5, 6, 8 (a‐c), and 10. The next three worksheets, each representing the biological, chemical and nuclear areas address implementation of Operative Paragraph 2 on legislation and enforcement of prohibited activities related to nuclear, chemical and biological weapons and their means of delivery. Three more worksheets concern implementation of Operative Paragraph 3 (a‐b) on accounting for, securing and physically protecting weapon- related materials, three more on Operative Paragraph 3 (c‐d) on border security and export controls, then a final worksheet on Operative Paragraphs 6‐8 (d) related to control lists, assistance, and information sharing.
The 1540 Committee reviews and approves each matrix. In each of the 382 fields in the matrix, the 1540 Committee denotes one of three possible responses. An “X” in any data field signifies only that the reporting State asserts that it has taken relevant measures or that the 1540 Committee has found specific references to the applicable legal basis or executive measures as evidence of such steps. A “?” in any data field signifies that although the national report or another source of data refers to legislation or other evidence that the State has taken a measure, the details in the references provided raise questions of pertinence or that the information suggests that the State has taken action but a copy of the legislation has not yet been located or available for consultation. Finally, a blank in any data field signifies that the State has provided no information or the 1540 Committee has not established information to enable the entry of an “X” or a “?” against that particular data field. In interpreting the 1540 Matrix, all parties must understand that an “X” does not indicate that the measure or measures taken fully implement an obligation under resolution 1540. It only indicates that the 1540 Committee and its experts have found evidence that the State has taken a measure or measures relevant to a particular field.
More information on this topic can be found in the background paper prepared by the group of experts for the 2009 Comprehensive Review of resolution 1540, entitled “Assess the existing templates, particularly the 1540 Committee matrix, in light of the information gathered for the 2006 and 2008 reports”.