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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 by the group of experts and subsequently 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 for facilitating technical assistance and to enable the Committee to continue to enhance its dialogue with States on their implementation of Security Council resolution 1540 (2004). The matrices are not a tool for measuring compliance of States in their non-proliferation obligations but for facilitating the implementation of Security Council Resolutions 1540 (2004), 1673 (2006), 1810 (2008) and 1977 (2011).

The matrices do not reflect or prejudice any ongoing discussions outside of the Committee, in the Security Council or any of its organs, of a State's compliance with its non-proliferation or any other obligations. Information on voluntary commitments is for reporting purpose only and does not constitute in any way a legal obligation arising from resolution 1540 (2004) or its successive resolutions.

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 1540 Committee reviews and approves each matrix. In each field 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.

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 (2004). 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.

Revised Matrix Template

The 1540 matrix template has been used by the 1540 Committee since 2005 without any changes. In the light of developments since then, the Committee decided to re-examine and update the matrix template to include those relevant and recently adopted international legally binding instruments, as well as the follow-up resolutions related to resolution 1540 (2004). The layout has also been simplified. Accordingly the 1540 Committee has approved a revised template in 2013.

Still based on the original structure, the revised matrix template has a reduced number of pages and now follows an order to reflect the structure of the resolution rather than an alphabetical order. Some explanatory notes have been added to certain fields to assist States completing these fields, if they choose to use the matrix template as a reporting tool. The first worksheet is re-ordered to reflect legally binding instruments, codes of conduct, arrangements, statements and other issues. In the last worksheet, some fields have been expanded and additional fields have been added to reflect engagement with industry, information on points of contact and other information. In the three sections dealing respectively with operative paragraphs 2, 3 (a, b, c and d), 6 and 10, there is now only one table in each section containing the common areas of the nuclear, chemical and biological weapons fields, thus giving a simplified view of these fields.

Taking into account the continuous developments in international legal, scientific and technical fields, a review of the matrix template will most likely be needed again in future.

The 1540 Matrix Template

List of Matrices of Member States, as Approved by the 1540 Committee