SECURITY COUNCIL AFFIRMS DETERMINATION TO STRENGTHEN COOPERATION AIMED AT COUNTERING NUCLEAR, CHEMICAL, BIOLOGICAL WEAPONS PROLIFERATION

23 February 2007
SC/8964

SECURITY COUNCIL AFFIRMS DETERMINATION TO STRENGTHEN COOPERATION AIMED AT COUNTERING NUCLEAR, CHEMICAL, BIOLOGICAL WEAPONS PROLIFERATION

23 February 2007
Security Council
SC/8964
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Security Council

5635th Meeting (AM & PM))

Security Council affirms determination to strengthen cooperation aimed

At countering nuclear, chemical, biological weapons proliferation

Presidential Statement Follows Day-Long Debate

On Ways to Enhance Implementation of Resolution 1540 (2004)

The Security Council today affirmed its determination to promote increased multilateral cooperation -- particularly with international organizations -- as an important way to boost worldwide implementation of its three-year-old resolution 1540 (2004), which obligates all States to take measures to prevent non-State actors from acquiring or developing nuclear, chemical and biological weapons, and to prevent the general proliferation of these weapons.

Reading out a statement (document S/PRST/2007/4) at the end of a day-long debate on cooperation between the Security Council and international organizations in the implementation of resolution 1540 and 1673 (2006), Council President Peter Burian (Slovakia) said that the 15-nation body acknowledged with appreciation the work of organizations with expertise in non-proliferation of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons and their means of delivery, particularly the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), especially in providing assistance in the implementation of resolution 1540, without altering their mandates and responsibilities.

“The Security Council is mindful of the need to further explore with international, regional and subregional organizations experience-sharing and lessons learned in areas covered by resolution 1540, and the availability of programmes which might facilitate the implementation of the resolution,” he said, reiterating the Council’s determination to enhance its cooperation with international organizations on a case-by-case basis, reflecting the variation in each organization’s capacity and mandate.

Opening the debate, Ján Kubiš, Minister of Foreign Affairs for Slovakia, which chairs the “1540 Committee”, charged with monitoring implementation of the resolution, said that establishing and enforcing sound and effective measures to prevent the spread of nuclear, chemical or biological weapons and their means of delivery was a challenge that needed the international community’s constant attention.  He encouraged the speakers to look at ways to provide assistance to those States, which had not yet submitted their national reports to the Committee.

Nobuaki Tanaka, Under-Secretary-General for Disarmament Affairs, said he had seen to it that international cooperation on non-proliferation remained a priority.  Last year, the Department had organized three regional outreach seminars involving more than 70 participating countries for specific regions on implementing resolution 1540, including the Asia-Pacific, African and Latin American and Caribbean regions.  Such cooperation well illustrated how sustained multilateral cooperation could work to advance the national security interests of all States and the strengthening of international peace and security, he said.

Among the representatives of international organizations who took the floor, Gustavo R. Zlauvinen, representative of the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), said that the Agency’s Nuclear Security Plan for 2006-2009 provided a compilation of the relevant cooperation activities and plan for their implementation.  Through those activities, the IAEA assisted States in preventing nuclear technologies from falling into the hands of non-State actors and, accordingly, helped States fulfil their international obligations, including those required under resolution 1540.

On strengthening cooperation between the 1540 Committee and IAEA, he suggested that the Committee could more actively inform States about the Agency’s programmes and activities.  The most practical way forward continued to be for the Committee to encourage States requiring IAEA assistance to work directly with the Agency, and to report on their progress on the fulfilment of the international obligations.

More than 35 Government delegations, including all 15 Council members, took part in the debate.  Many of the speakers stressed their commitment to disarmament and non-proliferation, and particularly to keeping nuclear, chemical or biological weapons out of the hands of terrorist and criminal networks.  They also praised the work of the 1540 Committee and welcomed the opportunity to explore ways to forge greater cooperation between the Council and international organizations that would help them implement their obligations under resolution 1540.

But, Ghana’s representative was among those concerned about the 1540 Committee’s limited mandate.  He said the panel lacked the capacity to provide the requisite assistance needed to attain the “lofty goal” of full implementation of resolution 1540.  The Committee’s role as a clearing house for assistance had grave limitations that should be addressed through active partnership with IAEA, which also provided assistance to States on the prevention of nuclear materials and related technologies falling into the hands of non-State actors.

Japan’s representative agreed, saying that, at this point, the Committee itself did not have the capacity to provide assistance to Member States in the area of international cooperation.  Therefore, international organizations with assistance agendas should play active roles.  He suggested that countries needing assistance should communicate with those organizations to receive adequate help.  At the same time, since the needs of States varied, donors should step in to provide tailor-made assistance to address specific needs of the recipients.

Rather than assigning international organizations the task of policing the implementation of Council resolutions or taking over the reporting obligations of Member States, South Africa’s representative said the Council should acknowledge that the 1540 reporting requirements themselves were overly complicated and not suitable for many developing States.  They ought to be differentiated according to the capabilities of the State in question.  Instead of chastising those States for their late or non-reporting status, it was important to acknowledge that none of them possessed weapons of mass destruction.

The representative of the United States said the threat posed by weapons of mass destruction in the hands of terrorists or rogue States was one of the gravest dangers facing the planet.  In adopting resolution 1540, the Council had sent a warning and an ultimatum to the broad range of facilitators of proliferation.  Unfortunately, Iran had yet to heed that warning or make the strategic decision to cooperate with the international community and end its pursuit of a nuclear weapons capability.  The Council should be prepared to take additional measures to communicate to the Iran regime that its non-compliance was unacceptable.

But Iran’s representative said a major deficiency in resolution 1540 and 1673 was their silence on the issue of disarmament and the failure to acknowledge the linkage between non-proliferation and disarmament.  Further, Iran considered the pursuit and development of nuclear technology for peaceful purposes to be its inalienable right under the NPT.  In order to dispel any doubt about its peaceful nuclear programme, Iran had enabled the IAEA to carry out a series of inspections that amounted to the most robust inspection of any IAEA member State.  It was regrettable that an ill-intended campaign had been at work to distort the facts about Iran’s peaceful nuclear programme, as witnessed today through the baseless allegations made by the representatives of the United States, the United Kingdom and the Israeli regime.

The Director-General of the organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), and the Director of Compliance and Facilitation of the World Customs Organization also addressed the Council.

Also participating in the debate were the representatives of the Russian Federation, Qatar, China, Congo, France, Unite Kingdom, Peru, Belgium, Indonesia, Panama, Italy, Slovakia, Germany (on behalf of the European Union), Cuba, Belarus (on behalf of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO)), Norway, Israel, Australia, El Salvador, Pakistan, Argentina, Republic of Korea, Guatemala, Uruguay, Bangladesh, Brazil, Viet Nam and New Zealand (on behalf of the Pacific Islands Forum).

The Council convened at 10:10 a.m. and recessed at 1:07 p.m.  It reconvened at 3:10 p.m. and adjourned at 4:50 p.m.

Presidential Statement

The full text of the statement, to be issued as document S/PRST/2007/4, reads as follows:

“The Security Council affirms its determination to promote increased multilateral cooperation, as an important means of enhancing States’ implementation of resolution 1540 (2004).

“The Security Council recalls its resolution 1540 (2004) of 28 April 2004 and resolution 1673 (2006) of 27 April 2006 and stresses the importance of compliance with resolution 1540 (2004) through the achievement of the implementation of its requirements.

“The Security Council acknowledges with appreciation the activities of international organizations with expertise in the field of non-proliferation of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons and their means of delivery covered by resolution 1540 (2004), in particular the International Atomic Energy Agency and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, especially in providing assistance in the implementation of that resolution, without altering their mandates and responsibilities.

“The Security Council takes note of the relevant activities of the World Customs Organization (WCO) and the relevant international arrangements.  The Security Council also notes with appreciation the seminars and workshops that have been held with countries, regional and subregional organizations, in order to promote experience-sharing and the full implementation of resolution 1540 (2004).

“The Security Council is mindful of the need further to explore with international, regional and subregional organizations experience-sharing and lessons learned in the areas covered by resolution 1540 (2004), and the availability of programmes which might facilitate implementation of the resolution.

“The Security Council reiterates its determination to enhance its cooperation with international organizations and to develop preferred mechanisms for cooperating with those organizations on a case-by-case basis, reflecting the variation in each organization’s capacity and mandate, including in assisting States in providing the Committee with information it still encourages on the ongoing process of implementation of resolution 1540 (2004), as set out in the Committee’s report of 25 April 2006, as well as in assisting Member States in their capacity-building and planning of the process of implementation of resolution 1540 (2004), in accordance with the provisions of operative paragraph 7 of resolution 1540 (2004) and paragraph 5 of resolution 1673 (2006).”

Background

The Security Council met this morning to hold an open debate on cooperation between the Council and international organizations in the implementation of resolutions 1540 (2004) and 1673 (2006).

Before the Council is a letter dated 12 February 2007 from the Permanent Representative of Slovakia (document S/2007/84), which currently holds the Council presidency and called for the debate, containing a concept paper to help guide the discussions.  According to that paper, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, their means of delivery and related materials constitutes a threat to international peace and security.

This global threat has been addressed by the international community through multilateral legal instruments such as the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention and the Chemical Weapons Convention.  However, the Slovakian Ambassador notes that the elaboration of, adherence to, as well as the national implementation of such instruments is far from providing a universal and fool-proof net aimed at preventing the proliferation of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons, their means of delivery and related materials.

With resolution 1540 (2004), the Security Council adopted the first international instrument that deals with weapons of mass destruction, their means of delivery and related materials in an integrated and comprehensive manner.  He says that, with resolution 1540, binding obligations have been established for all States regarding non-proliferation and they are aimed at preventing and deterring illicit access to such weapons and weapon-related materials.

The resolution requests all States to report on measures they have taken or intend to take to implement the obligations under the resolution.  As of today, 135 United Nations Member States and one organization have submitted their first national reports to the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1540, which Slovakia chairs.  Eighty-five States have provided additional information at the request of the Committee.  But, he says that 58 Member States have yet to submit their first report.

After the extension of its mandate in April 2006 (resolution 1673), the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1540 substantially widened and intensified its regional and subregional outreach activities.  The main purpose of this approach was to provide, in a structured manner, guidance to States for preparing and submitting national reports and fully implementing their obligations under both resolutions.

However, Slovakia’s Ambassador notes that there are limits to the “1540 Committee” -- it does not have the mandate to provide assistance directly to Member States in need, other than by offering the help of the expert group regarding some of the tasks related to the implementation of resolution 1540, such as reporting.  The 1540 Committee is trying to focus on facilitating the provision of assistance from donor States and other providers to those that could benefit from such assistance.

Important work in support of national implementation has been undertaken by international organizations, especially the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).  The Chairman of the Committee also met with representatives of Interpol, the World Customs Organization (WCO) and the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute and discussed possible ways of interaction and cooperation between those organizations and the Committee.

He says that the results of work completed by the Committee thus far clearly indicate that resolution 1540 will not have been fully and universally implemented when the existing mandate of the Committee expires in April 2008.  A phase of promotion of the aims of the two resolutions noted accordingly as “outreach”, must be followed by the phase of “assistance” in the implementation of all aspects of the two resolutions.  At the same time, it is clear that the phase of “implementation” must happen at the national level.

“This task is too complex to be fulfilled by a single United Nations Security Council subsidiary body,” he says, adding:  “Therefore, co-operation among, and even coordination of, some activities of various international, regional and subregional bodies should be put into practice.”

Based on Slovakia’s experience during the period of its chairmanship of the 1540 Committee, and also referring to the Committee’s programme of work, the basic underlying motivation for organizing an open debate on the issue is to create an opportunity for Member States and the relevant invited organizations to share experience and lessons learned in the areas covered by resolutions 1540 (2004) and 1673 (2006).

Slovakia’s intention is to look for possibilities of providing assistance to those States which have not yet submitted their national reports as well as to those with the most serious gaps in their national legislation and to discuss the areas of cooperation with those invited organizations that are directly mentioned in resolution 1540 and also regularly participate in outreach activities of the 1540 Committee.

Statements

Opening the debate, JÁN KUBIŠ, Minister of Foreign Affairs for Slovakia, said that, based on his country’s experience during its chairmanship of the Council’s 1540 Committee, the focus had been squarely on the topic of the debate:  cooperation between the Council and international organizations in the implementation of resolution 1540 (2004) and 1673 (2006).  Slovakia aimed to create an opportunity for Member States and relevant invited organizations to share experiences and lessons learned in the non-proliferation areas covered by the texts.

Establishing and enforcing sound and effective measures to prevent the proliferation of nuclear, chemical or biological weapons and their means of delivery was a challenge that needed the international community’s constant attention, he said, adding that Slovakia’s intention was to concentrate on the most urgent issues that were discussed, in particular at the meetings of the Committee established under resolution 1540.

“We expect today’s meeting will be used for looking at possibilities of providing assistance to those States which have not yet submitted their national reports,” he said.  On the fact that there were still countries which had gaps in their legislations controlling sensitive goods and technologies, he said he looked forward to the debate touching on areas of cooperation with those invited organizations that were directly mentioned in the respective resolutions.

NOBUAKI TANAKA, Under-Secretary-General for Disarmament Affairs, said that, while the dangers from the global proliferation or terrorist acquisition of weapons of mass destruction were now widely recognized, much work remained to be done to reduce such threats.  In that respect, the 1540 Committee continued its efforts to promote the full implementation of its founding resolution, including through enhanced outreach, dialogue, assistance and cooperation throughout the international community.

He went on to particularly welcome the participation of representatives from IAEA, OPCW and WCO, all of which played crucial roles in the implementation process, especially through their practical experience and lessons learned in the areas covered by resolution 1540 (2004) and through their assistance programmes to facilitate the implementation of the resolution.

“The threat of the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction is in fact the most urgent task to tackle,” he said, recalling that, in the past year, he had seen to it that that issue would be in the forefront of the work of the Department for Disarmament Affairs.  Last year, the Department had organized three regional outreach seminars involving more than 70 participating countries for the specific regions on implementing the resolution, including the Asia-Pacific, African and Latin American and Caribbean regions.  Such cooperation was essential in implementing resolution 1540 and in building support throughout the international community.  He believed that such cooperation well illustrated how sustained multilateral cooperation could work to advance the national security interests of all States and the strengthening of international peace and security.

ROGELIO PFIRTER, Director, Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), said the threat of chemical terrorism could not be underestimated, because of the ease of access to dual-use chemicals and the readily available knowledge of the processes required to manufacture chemical weapons.  Only yesterday, the world had learned that Iraq had suffered yet another series of attacks involving the use of chlorine, attacks he condemned in the strongest possible terms.

He said the role of OPCW in bringing about a comprehensive prohibition on chemical weapons was indispensable to the larger objective of the United Nations in promoting international peace and security.  Resolutions 1540 and 1673 had recognized the need for multilateral cooperation in that area and the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, adopted by the Assembly last year, had emphasized the need to improve the coordination of assistance in the event of a terrorist attack that used weapons of mass destruction. 

Many of the measures in the operative paragraphs of resolution 1540 that dealt with chemical weapons corresponded to obligations of States parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention, he said.  That was why cooperation, exchange of views and coordination of activities in the appropriate areas was important.  Resolution 1540 stipulated that States refrain from providing any form of support to non-State actors that attempted to acquire weapons of mass destruction.  That was fully in line with the obligations of the Convention.

OPCW was not an anti-terrorism organization, but by helping States parties to meet all requirements regarding national implementation, it helped ensure that dangerous chemicals were not misused in any manner.  Since the dreadful attack on the Tokyo subway in 1995, there had been a number of similar attempts, but States parties had been able to respond effectively, precisely because they had in place legislation and enforcement mechanisms that met their obligations under the Convention.  In December 2001, the Executive Council had adopted a specific decision on the contributions OPCW could make to anti-terrorism efforts, including universal adherence to the Convention and full implementation of national obligations.  Since then, States parties had held regular consultation in The Hague.

He said universal adherence to the Convention remained fundamental to the achievement of its objective.  However, the failure of 14 States to join the Convention continued to be an issue of concern.  In the Middle East, the situation was particularly challenging.  His organization was continuing dialogue with the States not party there, and he hoped they would eventually join the overwhelming majority of United Nations Member States in adhering to the Convention.  He also hoped that the recent developments on the Korean peninsula would bring into sharper focus the need to address accession by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

Six States parties -- Albania, India, Libya, Russian Federation and United States -- and another State party had declared approximately 71,000 metric tons of category 1 and 2 chemical weapons.  Around 80 per cent of OPCW inspections were carried out at chemical weapons-related facilities with an emphasis on verifying the destruction of chemical weapons.  Overall, more than 16,600 metric tons of chemical weapons had been destroyed under the verification regime, nearly a quarter of the declared global total.  Since June 1997, the Secretariat had carried out over 2,700 inspections, including 1,100 industry inspections, in 72 States parties.  The quality and number of those inspections were gradually increasing.

In the view of the need to ensure full implementation of the Convention, the conference of States parties had adopted a plan of action to assist those States parties that had yet to meet their obligations to enact implementing legislation and to establish a national authority.  In many cases, delays by Governments in the fulfilment of their Convention obligations were not the result of a lack of political will, but of the scarcity of specific legal expertise.  Thus far, the Secretariat had worked on 241 drafts of implementing legislation from 177 States parties and 25 States parties had also offered bilateral assistance.

He said hundreds of thousands of tonnes of scheduled chemicals were traded internationally every year for purposes not prohibited under the Convention.  That legitimate trade needed to be monitored and controlled if the non-proliferation objectives of the Convention were to be met.  OPCW counted, in that regard, on the invaluable support of the chemical industry worldwide, which had fully understood the importance of preventing any misuse.

In the case of the alleged use of chemical weapons involving a State not party, OPCW was mandated to cooperate closely with the United Nations Secretary-General and put resources at his disposal.  An effective international response capability was essential in order to be prepared for large-scale incidents.  Since the treaty had entered into force in 1997, OPCW had trained more than 2,300 first responders.  OPCW had also supported the development of national capabilities in assistance and protection against chemical weapons.  Effective national enforcement of the Convention could help reduce the threat of chemical terrorism, and the OPCW had a central role to play there.

He said OPCW would be observing the tenth anniversary of the entry into force of the Convention on 27 April.  Steady progress had been made in carrying out the mandate.  The Convention and its disarmament and non-proliferation agenda were being implemented effectively.  The presence of the Secretary-General at the commemoration ceremonies in The Hague on 9 May would symbolize the support of the entire membership of the United Nations for the work of OPCW.

GUSTAVO R. ZLAUVINEN, Representative of the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), said that the Agency had established a number of measures in the nuclear field relevant to resolution 1540 (2004) to provide assistance to member States, upon request.  In particular, the Nuclear Security Plan for 2006-2009 provided a compilation of the activities and a plan for their implementation.  Through those activities, the Agency assisted States in preventing nuclear technologies from falling into the hands of non-State actors and, accordingly, helped States fulfil their international obligations, including those required under resolution 1540.

Highlighting some of the relevant programmes under that plan, he said the Agency had been striving to provide legislative and regulatory assistance to enable States to adopt the necessary legislation to implement instruments under the Agency’s purview, such as safeguards agreements and additional protocols to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Materials.  The Agency also assisted in strengthening States’ systems for controlling nuclear material and related technology, so as to enable Governments to implement legal instruments to which they subscribed and to tighten national controls.

He said that the Agency’s programmes also provided support to States for the implementation of high standards of physical protection of nuclear material, nuclear facilities and nuclear transports.  In addition, it also facilitated the development and publication of a series of policy documents on nuclear security guidance containing recommendations and practical arrangements on how States could implement their international obligations that were relevant to strengthening nuclear security.  On capacity-building, he said IAEA also helped States address key needs for human resources development.  It also carried out education and on-the-job training courses.

On how to strengthen cooperation between the 1540 Committee and IAEA, he suggested that the Committee could more actively inform States about the programmes and activities carried out by IAEA.  The most practical way forward continued to be for the Committee to encourage those States requiring IAEA assistance to work directly with the Agency, and to report on their progress on the fulfilment of the international obligations.  Such implementation would be further encouraged if the Committee, in its summary reports, were to devote a dedicated chapter to the assistance provided by IAEA for the fulfilment of obligations relevant to nuclear weapons and related materials.

MICHAEL T. SCHMITZ, Director, Compliance and Facilitation of the World Customs Organization (WCO), said customs administrations faced a dilemma, with growing legitimate cross-border trade on the one hand, and illicit cross border trafficking on the other.  In light of the terrorist threat, nations looked for protection, while traders wanted easy access to markets.  WCO wanted to improve both security and facilitation of the global supply chain.  For 15 years prior to 2001, customs had focused more on trade facilitation, which had lead to the revised Kyoto Convention.  However, 9/11 caused the world to refocus on customs control. 

He said WCO had developed a Safe Framework as a guideline for inter-border management.  Security and facilitation were intertwined.  The Safe Framework included advanced electronic manifest information, outbound inspection of high-risk targets and enhanced facilities for legitimate trade.  It was built on a customs to customs network and on customs to business partnership.  There was also cooperation with regional and international organizations, such as United Nations and the World Trade Organization, to ensure that the Safe Framework was compatible with other guidelines.

By focusing on exportation, high-risk shipments could be identified early in the introduction into the global supply chain, he said.  The concept also involved the private sector.  The sole means by which safety could be enhanced without crippling impact on the global supply chain was through consistent implementation of well-reasoned risk management regimes.  After explaining his organization’s cooperation with IAEA, he said WCO had also participated with the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Committee in seven missions to assess States compliance with resolution 1373.

VITALY CHURKIN ( Russian Federation) said his delegation had been one of the co-sponsors of the resolutions and considered them to be critical to international efforts to prevent weapons of mass destruction and their delivery systems from falling into the hands of non-State actors, particularly terrorists.  Fully implementing the texts of both resolution 1540 and 1673 would be key to curbing one of the main challenges of the international community; the spread of weapons of mass destruction, particularly by targeting the black market.  That goal could not be reached without boosting cooperation between the United Nations and international organizations.  Closer contact between the 1540 Committee and the world’s export control regime should be one of the priorities, in that regard.  International efforts should also respect State sovereignty and global agreements in the nuclear field.

Within the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), he said that the Russian Federation continued to ensure that issues related to the spread of weapons of mass destruction remained on the agenda.  The Russian Federation also continued to stress the importance of enhancing systems of export control and the full implementation of 1540.  There was also active cooperation among the CIS member States on strengthening the NPT regime, as well as active talks between foreign ministers of CIS States on other relevant issues.

Further, CIS States also talked about physical protection systems and the improvement of such systems.  He said the Russian Federation was working with IAEA and the United States to ensure the removal of nuclear materials from CIS States.  Thus far, that important programme had lead to the removal of such materials from Uzbekistan.  Further, the Russian Federation continued to assist CIS States in export controls in the area of dual-use goods, among others.

NASSIR ABDULAZIZ AL-NASSER ( Qatar) said the adoption of resolution 1540 had been a landmark in the quest to limit the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and prevent non-State actors from acquiring those weapons and using them in terrorist acts.  The importance of the implementation of the resolution was not in question, but almost one third of Member States had not yet submitted their reports.  Various ways should be sought to help States do so.  International organizations concerned with the objectives of resolution 1540 had also the resources to play an effective role in that regard. 

He said the Council, in resolution 1673, had called on the Committee established under resolution 1540 to explore, together with States, international, regional and subregional organizations, the means for exchanging experiences and lessons learned and programmes that would facilitate the implementation of the resolution.  The current meeting also provided an opportunity for Member States and international organizations concerned to exchange experiences and lessons learned.  It could also address the means to promote cooperation by international organizations with the Council in efforts aimed at encouraging States to make use of assistance programmes provided by those organizations, including training and advice.

LIU ZHENMIN ( China) said that tackling the spread of nuclear weapons, nuclear materials and their delivery systems was a real and pressing task facing the international community.  Indeed, non-proliferation was in the interest of all countries and China supported and actively participated in international and United Nations–led activities in the areas.  Such proliferation was complex and required an approach that encompassed root causes.  It also needed an agreed international regime.  China believed that full implementation of resolutions 1540 and 1673 hinged on national-level action.  At the same time, the work of the 1540 Committee was critical to global non-proliferation efforts.   China had always cooperated with the Committee and had submitted the relevant reports.   China also actively sought to promote the work of the Committee in the Asia-Pacific region.

JACKIE WOLCOTT SANDERS ( United States) said the activities of the international organizations present had contributed greatly to States’ implementation of resolutions 1540 and 1673.  The threat posed by weapons of mass destruction in the hands of terrorists or rogue States was one of the gravest dangers facing the planet.  In adopting resolution 1540, the Council had sent a warning and an ultimatum to the broad range of facilitators of proliferation.  Unfortunately, Iran had yet to heed that warning or make the strategic decision to cooperate with the international community and end its pursuit of a nuclear weapons capability.  The Council should be prepared to take additional measures to communicate to the Iran regime that its non-compliance was unacceptable. 

She said States’ actions to fully implement resolution 1540 formed an important part of international efforts to deny terrorists access to weapons of mass destruction and to ensure that States seeking to develop a nuclear or ballistic missile capability in violation of international obligations would not succeed.  She then described her country’s actions to implement the resolution.  In order to make 2007 the year of 1540 implementation, she said, States must establish clear national priorities, develop national implementation plans and begin to act upon them.  The United States was providing significant assistance to States working to implement 1540 fully, and the 1540 Committee’s website listed the assistance offered.

Today’s debate also highlighted the ways in which the Council could enhance its cooperation with organizations like OPCW, IAEA and WCO in promoting 1540 implementation, she said and urged the Council to encourage United Nations Member States that might need assistance to avail themselves of the assistance IAEA and OPCW provided.  The Council should encourage the Committee, IAEA and OPCW to consider how they might enhance their respective relationships, with a view towards identifying activities that could enhance States’ fulfilment of their 1540 obligations. 

LUC JOSEPH OKIO ( Congo) said that the spread of weapons of mass destruction continued to be a threat to humanity, particularly if such weapons fell into the hands of terrorists.  He noted that the Secretary-General had recently presented the United Nations global anti-terrorist strategy.  At the same time, the Secretary-General had pointed out how important action at the national level was to the global effort to keep weapons of mass destruction out of the hands of terrorists and away from terrorist networks.  Indeed, “a race was on”, and it was up to the international community to ensure that such weapons were tightly controlled.

He said that, through its regional meetings on the subject, the Council had demonstrated its determination to enhance cooperation with international organizations.  The Council had also opened the debate up to the wider civil society community.  On the relevant resolutions at the centre of today’s discussions, he said those texts touched on important areas and would allow the international community to cooperate on all levels to prevent dangerous weapons from falling into the hands of non-State actors.

At the same time, it was clear that much worked remained to be done, he said.  There was the issue of States who had not yet, or were unable to provide reports to the 1540 Committee.  The Council also needed to address the real damage that was done by small arms and light weapons, which were the weapons of first choice for many non-State actors.  It was time for the international community to take a hard look at the proliferation of small arms and light weapons, even though they might be perceived as not doing the same amount of damage as nuclear, chemical or biological weapons.

DUMSANI S. KUMALO ( South Africa) said weapons of mass destruction did not guarantee security, but, rather, distracted from it, adding that, as long as they existed, the world would always be under a threat of nuclear catastrophe.  Since weapons of mass destruction were illegitimate and their destructive impact was indiscriminate, there could be no assurance in a status quo that seemed to hold that those weapons were safe in some hands, but not in others.  The objectives of disarmament and non-proliferation were mutually reinforcing processes requiring continuous irreversible progress on both fronts.  The only real guarantee against the use or threat of use of those weapons was their complete elimination and the assurance that they would never be produced again.

He said the overwhelming majority of States were as concerned about the vertical proliferation of weapons of mass destruction as they were about horizontal proliferation.  With regard to horizontal proliferation, South Africa noted with grave concern a lack of even-handedness that further undermined efforts to deal effectively and credibly with proliferation issues.  Existing arsenals of weapons of mass destruction were not only retained, but expanded and refined to make them more deployable in a conflict situation with increased destructive power.

Recalling that resolution 1540 had been introduced by its co-sponsors as an emergency and temporary “stop-gap” measure to close a missing link in the international regimes addressing disarmament and non-proliferation, he said the fear had been that non-State actors could potentially obtain weapons of mass destruction and their delivery systems.  Since the resolution’s adoption, there had been no credible efforts made to close the gap in the international regimes.  Instead, the Security Council had adopted resolution 1673 (2006), extending the 1540 Committee’s mandate until 27 April 2008.

He reiterated that, in the implementation of resolution 1540, such structures as IAEA and OPCW, should be the primary institutions in the international community’s endeavours to combat the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, including to non-State actors.  South Africa would also be concerned if the Security Council were to assume legislative and treaty-making powers not envisaged by the Charter, and would not accept externally imposed norms or standards, whatever their source, on matters within the jurisdiction of the South African Parliament, including national legislation, regulations or arrangements which were not consistent with its constitutional provisions and procedures, or were contrary to its national interests or infringed on its sovereignty.

Regarding compliance with resolution 1540, he pointed out that the list of non-reporting States consisted primarily of developing nations.  Rather than assigning international organizations the task of policing the implementation of Council resolutions or taking over the reporting obligations of Member States, the Council should acknowledge that the 1540 reporting requirements themselves were overly complicated and not suitable for many developing States.  They ought to be differentiated according to the capabilities of the State in question.  Instead of chastising those States for their late or non-reporting status, it was important to acknowledge that none of them possessed weapons of mass destruction.

NICOLAS DE RIVIERE (France), aligning himself with the statement on behalf of the European Union, said the Committee must step up efforts to implement its work plan.  It had only 14 months left under resolution 1673 to report to the Council on States’ implementation of resolution 1540.  That task could not be conducted without enhanced cooperation with other international organizations.  Cooperation must be enhanced in order to help Member States to fulfil their reporting requirement.  The most useful cooperation was with regional and subregional organizations.  Cooperation was also necessary and urgent to ensure that States would adopt the appropriate measures.

Regarding several requirements under resolution 1540, such as the physical protection measures, he said IAEA and OPCW had technical competence.  Organizations such as WCO could contribute towards raising awareness.  The cooperation with international organizations for implementation of resolution 1540 should be guided by pragmatism, but also by a sense of urgency.  Pragmatism could ensure that the Council welcomed all the goodwill that existed.  Although it was necessary to respect the mandates of the international organizations, that should not be done to the point of not asking such organizations for advice.  There must be urgency in closing gaps and loopholes that terrorists could use.

EMYR JONES PARRY (United Kingdom), associating himself with the European Union, said it was his country’s well-documented position that resolutions 1540 and 1673 were vital pieces of the international non-proliferation architecture and that it was crucial that Member States put in place systems to reduce the threat of the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, especially to non-State actors.  As clear as the obligations of those resolutions was the fact that putting in place all the legislation and systems necessary for protection against the threat would not happen overnight.  To do so would require work at the national, subregional, regional and international levels.  A coalition of all those able to help was needed and some of the organizations most relevant to that global effort were present in the Council today.

Noting that his country continued to support and work closely with IAEA, he said many areas of that agency’s work related to the same goals as resolution 1540 and contributed to the global effort to put non-proliferation systems in place.  In the same category, the United Kingdom would put the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material (CPPNM) and encourage all States to ratify the amendments of that instrument as a matter of priority.  The purpose of developing links between international organizations and the Council’s resolution 1540 Committee would be to flesh out all areas where their activity reinforced each other and ultimate goals were the same.

A fine example of that sort of approach was the successful work undertaken by OPCW in the form of its action plan on national implementation, he said.  Adopted in 2003, and extended twice since, that plan had been absolutely key to improving rates of the Convention’s implementation.  The evidence could be seen in the growing number of States parties with national authorities and implementing legislation, which could play a part in deterring non-State as well as State actors from acquiring chemical weapons.  Each element of OPCW’s success in that field was also a success for the implementation of resolution 1540.

Turning to the biological weapons aspect of that resolution, he expressed satisfaction with the outcome of the Sixth Review Conference of the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention last December.  There had been some really positive achievements, such as the agreement to a further intersessional programme of work, where States parties would discuss and promote common understanding and effective action on a range of topics relevant to the Convention.  The United Kingdom welcomed, in particular, the creation of an Implementation Support Unit in Geneva that would help support States parties to the Biological Weapons Convention in ensuring they implemented their obligations.

Welcoming WCO to the meeting, he said it had played a material role in seeking to coordinate the activities of the policy arms of administration with law enforcement.  Joining up the work of policymakers with customs officers engaged at the front line –- often taking decisions on whether to stop a shipment or allow it -– was crucial.  The United Kingdom fully supported the need to establish permanent, comprehensive and efficient channels of communication.  Nothing in today’s debate was intended to divert or alter the mandates of international organizations working in the non-proliferation field.  The clear message of today’s meeting was that the goal of protecting the international community from the potentially catastrophic results of proliferation was a shared one.

JORGE VOTO-BERNALES ( Peru) said the national reports submitted to the 1540 Committee demonstrated the commitment of States to preventing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, their means of delivery and their direct efforts to ensure that those weapons were kept out of the hands of non-State actors.  Extending the Committee’s mandate had shown that States had gaps in their legislation and deficiencies in the implementation of those laws.  New efforts were, therefore, required to achieve the full implementation of resolution 1540.

Peru was aware of the difficulties that many States faced in fulfilling their submission of their reports or in the implementation of the adequate legislative and operational procedures, he said.  The Committee should, therefore, maintain its full support towards the achievement of those objectives, and countries with more experience and capacity should support that task.

In November 2006, as proof of its commitment to the issue of weapons of mass destruction, Peru had hosted a seminar for Latin American and Caribbean countries.  The event had been co-sponsored by the European Union and the Government of Spain, with the support of the United Nations Department for Disarmament Affairs through the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean, headquartered in Lima.  Encouraged by the seminar’s results, in terms of shared experience and support, he valued highly the participation of subregional and regional organizations.

JOHAN VERBEKE ( Belgium) said today’s debate would allow the Council to take stock of the need for enhanced cooperation and effective convergence between the Council and international organizations in the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.  While numerous States had submitted their reports to the 1540 Committee, many had not yet done so.  And further, the mere submission of a report did not mean that all obligations under the relevant resolution had been carried out.

Belgium believed that implementing the resolution was a long-term task requiring international cooperation that drew on the specificities of international organizations working in the area to, among other things, promote effective national export control policies.  He said that, in line with the European Union’s 2003 Strategy on the Non-Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction, Belgium continued to stress the need to implement resolution 1540.   Belgium would also continue to stress the need to forge links between the various export control regimes.

NANA EFFAH-APENTENG ( Ghana) said that, although the international community’s resolve to overcome the twin scourge of terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction had yielded some good results, it had failed to assuage concerns over that foremost threat to global peace and security.  The fear of terrorists acquiring and using weapons of mass destruction had become more serious given the current interest in civilian nuclear programmes.  It was against that backdrop that Ghana considered resolution 1540 as a landmark document which addressed a formidable challenge to global security in the twenty-first century.

He said that, as the 1540 Committee pursued efforts towards ensuring the submission of first reports by all Member States, equal attention should be focused on implementation, since resolution 1540 was also suffering from an implementation deficit within and between countries.  If attention was not focused on implementation, the resolution might remain a mere declaration as States made minimal efforts at compliance, while achieving little improvement in global control over proliferation of the world’s most heinous weapons.  However, Ghana would be the first to admit that, given the gamut of control elements within 1540 and the disparate resources among countries, even a satisfactory universal level of implementation would take years, if not decades, to accomplish.

Despite its tireless efforts, the 1540 Committee, with its current mandate, lacked the capacity to provide the requisite assistance needed to attain the lofty goal of full implementation of resolution 1540 by all States, he said.  The Committee’s role as a clearing house for assistance had grave limitations that should be addressed through an active partnership with IAEA, which also provided assistance to States on the prevention of nuclear materials and related technologies falling into the hands of non-State actors, and offered legal and technical advice to States on adherence to and implementation of international instruments relevant to protection against nuclear terrorism.

Welcoming the Committee’s recognition of the need for close partnerships with regional organizations, he said such bodies as the European Union, the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN), the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), the Organization of American States, the League of Arab States and the African Union had the appropriate mechanisms to pool resources for the implementation of such 1540 obligations as border controls and illicit financial networks within the regional context.  Given their regional characteristics, they were able to develop more effective and contextually-driven means to fulfil the obligations of 1540, rather than simply transplanting measures from States with different values and culture.

REZLAN ISJAR JENIE ( Indonesia) said resolution 1540 had been adopted against the background that previous weapons of mass destruction treaty regimes lacked universality.  It was, therefore, necessary to work towards establishing a multilaterally-negotiated international legal instrument that would permanently address the gap being temporarily filled by the resolution.  For almost three years, the focus of the Committee had been mainly on the reporting requirement.  However, that was not the objective of the resolution.  The key point was full implementation of all provisions.  Cooperation between the Council and its Committee with specialized international organizations should be framed within the context of assisting States to build their capacity to implement their obligations in a sustainable manner.

He said the 1540 Committee was well-placed to mobilize and coordinate an effective non-proliferation effort by garnering the support of various specialized international organizations.  Substantive partnerships with those organizations should be explored.  In the areas of nuclear and chemical weapons, the Committee should continue its cooperation with IAEA and OPCW.  It was regrettable that, in the area of dangerous biological agents, there was not a similar organization, since there was not yet agreement on a protocol to the Biological Weapons Convention.  He then described national activities in implementing resolution 1540 as well as his country’s multilateral and bilateral cooperation on the issue.

In conclusion, he said that, while the non-proliferation initiative was being pursued, the international community must not lose sight of the disarmament question.  The only guarantee for eliminating the fear caused by the possible use or threat of use of weapons of mass destruction was their total elimination.  That was the only sure way of preventing non-State actors from acquiring them.

RICARDO ALBERTO ARIAS ( Panama) said that, by extending resolution 1540 for two more years, the Council had confirmed that the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction posed a significant threat to international peace and security.  As peace and security were indivisible, cooperation was a crucial element for success.  One of the problems in resolution 1540 was a provision that stipulated national export controls over dual-use materials and technologies.  That provision posed challenges to State institutions that had not been designed to address proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.  He appreciated, in that regard, the indirect assistance of the expert group of the Committee to Member States.

He welcomed the idea of outreach seminars in cooperation with regional organizations and such cooperation should be enhanced.  In an era of globalization, trying to compartmentalize threats was artificial and dangerous.  Panama had never envisaged acquiring weapons of mass destruction and was a demilitarized country.  However, all countries suffered from the proliferation and trafficking in small arms.  While terrorism constituted the principal threat to international peace, many States faced the immediate threat posed internally by small arms.

ALDO MANTOVANI ( Italy) said that, in line with the European Union’s 2003 Strategy on the Non-Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction, Italy had been at the forefront of efforts to keep such weapons out of the hands of terrorist organizations, and continued to support the implementation of resolution 1540.  He said that three years after that text had been adopted, the danger of the spread of weapons of mass destruction had not been erased, and many States faced difficulties in putting in place the required legislative and technical provisions.

Indeed, the response to the complex nature of the challenges posed by proliferation needed to be comprehensive and needed to encompass, among other things, safety and security of dual-use items, effective export border controls and interdiction of illicit trafficking and brokering.  With all that in mind, he urged the international community to make full use of the expertise of international organizations operating in the nuclear, chemical, biological and missile-related fields.  To that end, both resolutions 1540 and 1673 had envisaged a network of multilateral cooperation, and the 1540 Committee could act as catalyst.

He went on to say that special attention needed to be paid to the physical protection and safe handling of biological pathogens, strengthening of national mechanisms overseeing transfers of dual-use items and enhancing law enforcement efforts to disrupt illicit networks used to finance proliferation.  He also said that it might be useful for the 1540 Committee to agree on a calendar of meetings with relevant international organizations, and to work with them to compile a list of contact points within relevant assistance programmes.

Council President PETER BURIAN (Slovakia), speaking in his national capacity, said resolution 1540 represented for his country a landmark contribution to the strengthening of existing measures to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.  Approved under Chapter VII of the Charter, resolution 1540 required all States to develop and enforce legal barriers to the acquisition of weapons of mass destruction whether by State or non-State actors.  In both the letter and spirit of the resolution, the Council sought to complement -– but not alter or abridge –- rights and obligations under international non-proliferation and disarmament treaties. 

Adopting resolution 1673 in April 2006, the Council had unanimously reiterated the objectives of resolution 1540, he said.  Under that resolution, the Council had emphasized the need for the 1540 Committee to step up its outreach activities and implementation efforts.  While significant progress had been achieved, many challenges remained in order to achieve worldwide implementation of the resolution.  And while 2006 had been dominated by efforts to increase awareness of the resolution’s significance, in 2007, the Council must concentrate on further progress in implementing all aspects of resolutions 1540 and 1673.  Technical assistance was one of the dominant issues in the Committee’s interaction with Member States.  While the Committee’s role was limited to monitoring progress, broad cooperation with States in capacity-building and assistance was critical.  The contribution of international, regional and subregional organizations to those efforts could make a real difference in advancing the implementation process.

Legislative measures to counter proliferation remained primarily within the responsibility of Member States, he said.  Ultimately, the implementation of resolution 1540 was a national responsibility.  National ownership might be best reflected in national action plans or road maps to achieve the resolution’s implementation.  National plans of action would not only better prioritize the steps leading to full implementation, but would also help identify those areas where assistance was needed or requested.  In that regard, he called on organizations and multilateral regimes to share knowledge with others, possibly in the form of most commonly used or best practices.  He also stressed the importance of the need for a comprehensive and systematic approach to implementation of all the resolution’s requirements.  Towards that end, it was necessary to continue to seek practical ways in which States and organizations could cooperate on capacity-building and assistance in the Committee’s target regions.

THOMAS MATUSSEK ( Germany), speaking on behalf of the European Union and associated States, said the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery was a growing threat to international peace and security.  While international treaty regimes and export control arrangements had slowed the spread of such weapons and their delivery systems, a number of States had sought or were seeking such weapons.  The risk that terrorists would acquire chemical, biological, radiological or fissile materials added a critical new dimension to the threat.  Meeting that challenge was, therefore, a central element of the Union’s external action.  The Union’s objective was to prevent, deter, halt and, where possible, eliminate proliferation programmes of concern worldwide. 

Recognizing the tireless efforts of the 1540 Committee, he said the Committee’s capacities were not unlimited.  Additional guidance and assistance was necessary.  The Union’s Strategy against the Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction and Their Means of Delivery rested on three pillars, namely:  rendering multilateralism and its instruments more effective; promoting a stable international and regional environment; and close cooperation with key partners.  Every year the Union adopted a list of priorities for implementation of its Non-Proliferation Strategy.  Support for implementation of resolution 1540 figured prominently among the Union’s policy priorities.

In assisting the implementation of resolution 1540 in third countries, the Union would continue to cooperate and coordinate closely with the stakeholder Government involved.  Their involvement and participation was an important precondition for the success and sustainability of any measure taken.  The Union would also cooperate closely with the 1540 Committee.  As the focal point for the resolution’s implementation, any action taken should be closely coordinated with the Committee to avoid redundancies.  The work on 1540 was, however, far from being finished.  “We have a vision of how the world should look once this resolution is fully implemented.  But that is still a long way off,” he said.

The question today was to determine the next steps to strengthen the resolution, he said.  In that context, it was also necessary to outline a perspective for its implementation beyond April 2008, when its second implementation phase would end.  The international community now needed to develop a step-by-step approach of concrete measures that would, finally, lead to the resolution’s full-fledged implementation and a safer world.

RODRIGO MALMIERCA ( Cuba) said that his delegation strongly supported general and complete disarmament, under strict international control, and, in particular, supported the complete elimination of weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear weapons, recognizing the danger that their mere existence posed to humanity.   Cuba did not have any such weapons, nor did it have any intention of acquiring them.  In Cuba, all nuclear, chemical and biological programmes were of a peaceful nature and were under strict and permanent national control.   Cuba’s relevant programmes were also open to monitoring by the respective international organizations.

He went on to say that Cuba had repeatedly expressed several concerns regarding the scope of the implications of the texts under debate today.  He encouraged the Council to recall that, because of pressure exerted by certain members of the Security Council, resolution 1540 included some deliberately ambiguous provisions so that some States could claim that, with its adoption, actions promoted within the so-called “Proliferation Security Initiative” were rendered fully legitimate by the Council.   Cuba considered that, under the Proliferation Security Initiative, unilateral actions could be carried out that would clearly contravene the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, such as the right of innocent passage of ships, and the legal regime on the high seas contained in the Conventions. 

Cuba rejected any manipulation or arbitrary interpretation of resolution 1540 that aimed to make the text a justification for unilateral use of force against certain non-State actors or even the very States where they were.  That was an issue of particular concern considering the threats made by certain permanent members of the Council against some countries for supposedly developing weapons of mass destruction programmes.  He added that the Non-Aligned Movement Summit, held in Havana last September, had underlined that actions by the Council under the ambit of resolution 1540 should not undermine the Charter, existing multilateral agreements, decision taken by relevant international organizations, as well as the role of the General Assembly.

Indeed, Cuba believed that the Council was by no means the most suitable body to lead the fight against the proliferation of dangerous weapons in all its aspects.  Not only was there the obvious argument that the five recognized nuclear weapons States under the NPT were the same five veto-wielding permanent members of the Council, but most importantly, certain of those permanent members flatly refused to move forward with a multilateral negotiations process to achieve nuclear disarmament.  Finally, he stressed that the threat of use of weapons of mass destruction by terrorists could not be tackled through a selective and discriminatory approach limited to combating horizontal proliferation, while ignoring vertical proliferation and overall disarmament.

ANDREI DAPKIUNAS (Belarus), speaking on behalf of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), said that the success of collective efforts relating to resolutions 1540 and 1672 was directly related to the effectiveness of action at the national level.  Non-proliferation measures, such as physical protection of sensitive material and border control, were also important means of ensuring States’ own security.  International export control regimes were also useful.  A better understanding of how and why certain goods got onto control lists might help some countries deal with their concerns about “discriminatory trade barriers”.  Regional organization could offer practical assistance to States.  A large number of regional events held in collaboration with the 1540 Committee testified to the interest of States in cooperation within regional organizations on non-proliferation issues.  The Monterey Institute and the Government of Kazakhstan had organized a regional workshop in October 2006 in Almaty.

He said CSTO member States cooperated on non-proliferation issues bilaterally, within economic integration unions such as the Eurasian Economic Community, and with such organizations as the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), IAEA, OPCW and others.  Four CSTO member States were parties to the Treaty on the Nuclear-Weapon-Free-Zone in Central Asia, an important practical contribution to the strengthening of the nuclear non-proliferation regime.  Standardized export control lists had already been drawn up and the process of making national legislation uniform was currently under way.

He said the basic elements of practical cooperation within CSTO include:  regular consultations; joint assessment of the proliferation threat; and a study of vulnerability.  New forms of cooperation to ensure non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction should complement and strengthen the framework of current non-proliferation regimes and international institutions.  Moreover, those new forms of cooperation should not be an obstacle to international trade or economic, scientific and technical cooperation conducted in accordance with the norms of international law.

JOHAN L. LØVALD ( Norway) said resolution 1540 constituted an essential element of the global counter-proliferation and counter-terrorism regime.  It was imperative that individual States enforce national export control regulations called for in the resolution on the basis of high international standards.  While the resolution recognized that national Governments were responsible for establishing effective domestic controls to prevent proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery, it was absolutely essential that their efforts were coordinated through international cooperation.  In that regard, he attached great importance to paragraph seven of the resolution, which recognized that some States might require assistance in implementing the resolution’s provisions and invited States to offer assistance in response to specific requests.

He also stressed the need to improve the form and quality of outreach and assistance.  States not only had a responsibility for reporting, but also to ensure that assistance was effective, efficient and well coordinated.  As the obligations under resolution 1540 overlapped with numerous international agreements and regimes, as well as bilateral programmes, there was a need to understand the scope and content of assistance already provided by States and international and regional organizations.  There was also a need to share lessons learned and develop common and realistic expectations of information-sharing, cooperation and coordination.

DANIEL CARMON ( Israel) said resolution 1540 was a significant step towards the consolidation and implementation of international standards against the threat of international terrorism, and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.  The possibility that weapons of mass destruction could fall into the hands of terrorists and the threat of unmonitored transfer of sensitive items had become one of the worst nightmares of the international community.  The commitment by Member States to prevent any cooperation with terrorists attempting to acquire weapons of mass destruction and the commitment to set clear and strong standards for monitoring dual-use type items were vital.

He said some components of the important resolution could also be relevant for preventing the transfer of conventional arms to terrorists.  It should be noted that rockets of different ranges could serve as a means for launching chemical or biological weapons.   The transfer of such rockets to non-State actors was, therefore, a violation of resolution 1540.  Such a violation had clearly been demonstrated by the Iranian supply to Hizbollah of such tools in Lebanon.

Israel had made significant progress in aligning itself with the highest international standards in the field of export control on sensitive items by adopting the different lists of the supplier regimes (NSG, Australia Group and Wassenaar Arrangement), he said.  Furthermore, his country maintained a continuous dialogue with the various regimes and with relevant States with the aim of improving the control over facilities and items at the highest level.

ROBERT HILL (Australia), associating himself with the statement on behalf of the Pacific Islands Forum, said resolution 1540 had required all Member States to submit a report on their implementation.  It was only through the submission of those reports that the international community could see where States had gaps in their domestic controls or required assistance.  It was a matter of regret that some States still had not been able to submit their reports.   Australia had provided assistance bilaterally and through the Pacific Islands Forum.  Resolution 1540 required States to adopt controls on brokering activities, a relatively new field for most States.  However, it was clear that controls on brokering activities involving conventional, military and weapons of mass destruction-related goods had an important role to play in preventing proliferation.  The Australia Group had commenced discussion on brokering activities, as had other non-proliferation and safeguard regimes.

He said another important, even essential, international tool that reinforced the goals of resolution 1540 was the Proliferation Security Initiative, in which Australia participated.  That Initiative aimed to prevent trafficking in weapons of mass destruction, their delivery systems and related material to and from States, and non-State actors, of proliferation concern.  The Proliferation Security Initiative Statement of Principles made clear that all Initiative activities would be consistent with national legal authorities and international frameworks.  As over 80 States had endorsed the Initiative, he expressed the hope that all States would seriously consider endorsing the Initiative to give it global coverage.

CÉSAR EDGARDO MARTÍNEZ FLORES ( El Salvador) said his Government reaffirmed its firm support for all measures adopted in the United Nations in the fight against terrorism.  Small countries shared the international community’s concern, because proliferation of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons not only endangered international peace and security, but also their sovereignty, as they were used for transit.  International cooperation should be strengthened.

He said his country had reinstated its National Security Council to asses the threat of terrorism and related crimes.  An Inter-Institutional Group against Terrorism had been established in 2001.  That Inter-Institutional Group had prepared the reports regarding compliance with mandates, resolutions and international instruments.  It had also drawn up the law against terrorist acts, which also included a chapter on the financing of terrorism as a separate crime.  His Government would continue to take the necessary measures and would cooperate internationally to ensure that the fight against terrorism was efficient.  He hoped that an international convention against terrorism could be arrived at soon.

KHALIL-UR-RAHMAN HASHMI ( Pakistan) said the growing global demand for nuclear power generation underlined the need for equitable and non-discriminatory steps by supplier States to strike a balance between proliferation concerns and facilitation of legitimate trade in equipment, materials and technology.  One of the ways in which that balance could be achieved was to commence negotiations for truly multilateral arrangements for governing trade in dual-use and sensitive items and technology.  The existing arrangements, and their selective application, remained contrary to the spirit of resolution 1540.

Recalling that his country had been a member of the Security Council at the adoption of resolution 1540, he said it had joined the consensus because it concurred that there was a gap in the international rules relating to acquisition and illicit transfer of weapons of mass destruction by non-State actors.  Pakistan also agreed that the matter was important and urgent enough for the Council to address it in an exceptional manner.  Now that the Council had addressed the urgent dimension of the danger, it was necessary to revert to the normal avenues for the creation of international rules and norms through international treaty making.

The time had come to revive the multilateral disarmament machinery so that future challenges could be addressed in open, transparent and inclusive processes, he said.  In that context, the General Assembly should begin early discussions to authorize the convening of the diplomatic conference, or request the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva, to negotiate an international treaty to address the acquisition of weapons of mass destruction by non-State actors or terrorists.

Such a treaty could be based on the provisions of resolutions 1540 and 1673 and provide clear definitions of non-State actors, means of delivery and related materials, among other things.  That would facilitate the adoption of national legislation.  The treaty should also create appropriate executive and administrative bodies to promote adherence, facilitate international assistance and cooperation along the lines, for example, of national authorities required under the Chemical Weapons Convention and which were assisted by the OPCW.  The IAEA had a similar facilitation role under its various mechanisms to ensure equitable implementation, monitoring and compliance with its provisions.

MARTÍN GARCÍA MORITÁN ( Argentina) said international cooperation in the field of non-proliferation of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons was of fundamental importance to the fight against the threat to international peace and security that such proliferation and terrorism posed.  However, specific actions in the field of non-proliferation must be accompanied by a clear and concrete commitment in the form of a plan of action by the key members of the international community in the field of disarmament.  His country had offered support to countries in need of assistance in the implementation of resolutions 1540 and 1673, especially in the region.  It had also been active in the organization of seminars in the region, as regional cooperation was crucial.

Describing the actions by his Government in implementation of the resolutions, he said his country’s commitment to disarmament and non-proliferation had been confirmed through the adoption of all existing rules in export control and their national implementation.  Resolution 1673 had requested the intensification of the Committee’s work through a work programme that should include the compilation of information, dialogue, assistance and cooperation.  In that framework, the adoption of measures concerning physical protection, border and police control, as well and national and transnational export control, was of particular importance.

OH JOON ( Republic of Korea) said that, three years after the adoption of resolution 1540, there were still daunting challenges to the attainment of its goals.  According to the 1540 Committee’s analysis of national reports submitted, there were significant gaps in many cases between the commitment of States to the resolution and their practical implementation of its requirements.  There were also imbalances among States and regions.  Identifying and understanding those gaps and imbalances was important to ensuring the full and effective implementation of the resolution in the medium to long term.  In that respect, the Committee must strengthen its monitoring role, as well as promote good practices and share lessons learned in closing those gaps and imbalances.

He said that, while implementation of resolution 1540 at the national level was fundamental, full and effective implementation would also require coordination and cooperation with relevant international organizations at the subregional, regional and international levels.  Regional and subregional initiatives would not only spur national Governments to action, but also set a positive example for nations in other regions.

The sharing of information and experience on non-proliferation with relevant international organizations and export control regimes would also be conducive to the attainment of the resolution’s goals, he said.  The Republic of Korea had been an active participant in international non-proliferation efforts, having faithfully implemented resolution 1540 and put in place the necessary legal and administrative system to ensure compliance.  The Republic of Korea, together with Australia, planned to host an international seminar next month in Seoul on all aspects of brokering controls.  One session would be devoted to Security Council resolutions on non-proliferation, including 1540.

TAKAHIRO SHINYO (Japan) said that key among the challenges of cooperation with international organizations in implementing resolution 1540 was that the 1540 Committee itself did not have the capacity to provide assistance to Member States at this point.  Therefore, international organizations, which had assistance agendas, should play active roles.  The statements made on behalf of such organizations today had been encouraging, and he suggested that countries needing assistance should communicate with those organizations to receive adequate help.  At the same time, since the needs of States varied, donors should step in to provide tailor-made assistance to address the specific needs of the recipients.

He went on to say that the gaps in many countries’ legislations were troubling.  He said that it had been frequently mentioned that a number of States did not give as high a priority to achieving the ambit of resolution 1540 as they did to development assistance and that, at any rate, relevant agencies did not provide enough support to implement the resolution’s objectives.  Those issues should, in principle, be tackled by each individual State, but it would be very helpful if other countries could share their experience in overcoming them.  He added that, beyond talking about “good experiences”, the sharing of “bad experience” and prescriptions for addressing such difficulties would be the most useful information for States confronting similar problems.

JORGE SKINNER-KLÉE ( Guatemala) said resolution 1540 was particularly important in fighting terrorism, as it established a prevention mechanism to interdict non-State actors access to weapons of mass destruction.  A clear and committed policy in the field ensured not only increased security, but also increased possibility for economic growth and development.  Guatemala had presented its first report in October 2004.  Drawing up that report had been an enriching experience, as it had pointed towards the weaknesses and strengths of the country and had ensured better institutional coordination.  An inter-institutional consultation mechanism had identified legislative needs and a draft law against terrorism had been drawn up.

He said assistance and resources for developing countries was essential for them to implement national measures.  The main objectives of the resolutions would be difficult to achieve if there was no international assistance.  Seminars and workshops were very useful for exchanging ideas and experiences.  The first regional meeting regarding resolution 1540 had been held in Antigua, Guatemala, in June 2005 and had addressed the preparation of reports.  Seminars had helped ensure the full implementation of the resolution and had enhanced cooperation at the regional level.  He welcomed the fact that the Committee was continuing to strengthen its links to regional and subregional organizations.  Although national reports were important, national capacities had to be taken into account, as the Council made ever more requests for reports.

ELBIO O. ROSSELLI ( Uruguay) said that his delegation had repeatedly expressed concern about the lack of real global progress on non-proliferation, general disarmament and the illicit spread of small arms and light weapons.  And with the Geneva-based Conference on Disarmament deadlocked and the recent review conference of the NPT having failed to reach consensus, resolution 1540 had become a key weapon in the fight against the spread of weapons of mass destruction, particularly in keeping such weapons out of the hands of terrorists.  He called for urgent movement on global non-proliferation, particularly during the preparatory process of the next NPT review.  The work of the 1540 Committee had been extraordinary, operating with great efficiency and transparency.

The Committee’s rules and procedures promoted smooth cooperation with States, he said, recalling that Uruguay had already submitted two reports to the panel.  The procedures of resolution 1540 had been clear and easy to implement, at least as far as authorities in Uruguay were concerned.  At the same time, implementing some of the elements of the text would require technical assistance.  It was important to ensure that a large number of Member States participated in the work of the Committee, as well as in the overall global effort to combat the spread of weapons of mass destruction.

TAREQ MD. ARIFUL ISLAM ( Bangladesh) said his country had been a forerunner in the field of disarmament among South Asian countries by becoming party to almost all major disarmament-related treaties covering nuclear, chemical, biological and conventional weapons.   Bangladesh fully supported resolutions 1540 and 1673 and neither developed, manufactured, possessed, transferred or used nuclear, chemical or biological weapons and had no intention of acquiring such weapons in the future.  It had submitted its first national report to the Committee and had destroyed all its stockpiles of landmines.

He said he attached utmost importance to the forging of cooperation between the Council and international organizations and sharing experiences and lessons learned between Member States and dedicated international bodies.  That would go a long way in overcoming the difficulties in implementing the obligations of resolutions 1540 and 1673.  Similar exchanges among Member States would complement each other’s shortcomings.  While acknowledging the genuine difficulties faced by Member States, one should not be oblivious to the absence of genuine political will, which was a major reason behind the dismal level of national implementation.  He urged Member States that had not yet done so to submit their first national report and to take full advantage of the assistances offered.

PIRAGIBE TARRAGÔ ( Brazil) said preventing proliferation of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons, as well as their means of delivery, and the horrifying possibility of those weapons falling one day into terrorist hands required appropriate action by all Member States.  The risk of proliferation was one of the nefarious consequences of the very existence of weapons of mass destruction, the threat of which would only be definitively removed by their complete, verifiable and irreversible elimination.

Recalling that his country had helped negotiate resolution 1540 in 2004, he said it once again underlined that the core of the 1540 Committee’s work should be facilitating the provision of technical assistance.  The Committee should, therefore, be a vehicle for cooperative efforts to strengthen national capacities.  The final result of that work should be to provide a comprehensive picture of the national and international efforts to respond to the threat posed by non-State actors with access to weapons of mass destruction.  It was important, however, that the Committee continue to abide by the principle that technical assistance should follow the formal request of a Member State, which was the only one in a position to identify its interests and shortcomings.

He said that, in response to specific requests, the Brazilian Government had offered to provide assistance to Latin American and Caribbean States and other developing countries lacking the necessary legal and/or regulatory infrastructure and implementation experience to implement resolution 1540.  Brazil encouraged the continuation of outreach activities, in particular regional seminars like the one held in Lima, Peru, in November 2006, in order to promote greater awareness of the resolution’s provisions.

Referring to a recent decision by the 1540 Committee to extend the contracts of five of its experts, he noted that the contracts of two of them, nationals of permanent members of the Security Council, had been extended until the end of 2007, with the possibility of a further extension.  The contracts of the other three experts, nationals of non-permanent members, had been extended for shorter periods.  No clear explanation had been provided for such differential treatment.  Possibly, it had to do with the fact that some were nationals of permanent members and the some were not.  If that was so, it was to be hoped similar future decisions would afford equal opportunity to experts, irrespective of their nationality.

LE LUONG MINH ( Viet Nam) recalled that, in its first report, submitted in October 2004, his country had committed to continuing to take effective measures to control and prevent the proliferation of nuclear, chemical, biological or other weapons of mass destruction.  Above all, the report reaffirmed that Viet Nam did not have and did not intend to manufacture, acquire, possess, develop, transport, transfer or use any nuclear, chemical, biological or other weapons of mass destruction.  In today’s discussion, Viet Nam was guided by that fundamental policy and commitment.

He noted that his country attached great importance to the 1540 Committee’s efforts to develop a database to provide information on laws, regulations and other measures related to implementation of resolution 1540, as well as to act as a clearing house on assistance to States in need.  The Committee’s outreach activities had achieved initial concrete results, proved by the successes of recent seminars and workshops, including one held in Beijing last July, and the ASEAN Regional Forum held in San Francisco last week, in which Viet Nam had participated.

Implementation difficulties related not only to limited knowledge of the issue, but also to the lack of inter-agency coordination and resources for specific implementation measures, he said.  Very often, the lack of coordination resulted from the lack of knowledge, which, in turn, resulted from lack of the resources and means necessary to disseminate relevant information and regulations in local languages.  Identifying the assistance needs of States had been an important element of regional and subregional activities and should also be important in cooperation between the Security Council and international organizations in implementation of resolution 1540.

ROSEMARY BANKS (New Zealand), speaking on behalf of the Pacific Islands Forum, said that, although the Forum fully recognized the importance of resolution 1540, there were considerable capacity and resource challenges in the region in meeting the resolution’s obligations both in terms of reporting and in implementation.  Cooperation between the Council, international and regional organizations, and Member States could be extremely helpful in addressing those challenges.  When planning outreach through regional groupings, the Council should combine the approaches of the three relevant Committees, keeping in mind the capacity and competing obligations of the small States in the region.  Given the limitations imposed by capacity restraints of small Member States, the Council should be prepared to prioritize its requirements.

She said that, as one size did not fit all, workshops needed to be targeted to the specific needs of the region and should be developed in close cooperation with the regional members.  Assistance also needed to be able to take into account the specific needs of individual States.  Technical assistance needed to be a whole package.  It was necessary to focus continually on capacity-building through the implementation stage and to set up ongoing and more tailored technical support in follow-up to workshops.  That would require ongoing investment and support from the international community.

Speaking in her national capacity, she assured the Council of her country’s strong commitment to providing assistance in the region.  It was engaged in ongoing bilateral assistance in reporting and implementation of resolutions 1267, 1373 and 1540.  It had also hosted a meeting in May aimed at building mutual understanding between the Council and the Pacific region on the issues.  The foundations had been laid for a new style of engagement.

MEHDI DANESH YAZDI ( Iran) said the continued existence and development of weapons of mass destruction and the prospect of non-State actors acquiring such weapons were serious threats.  Moreover, the possibility of use, or threat of use, of those weapons by those who possessed them was a major threat to international peace and security.  As a State party to all international instruments banning weapons of mass destruction and the 1925 Geneva Protocol, and based on its ideological and international commitments, Iran had always considered possessing, acquiring, developing and using weapons of mass destruction as inhumane, immoral and illegal.  The most effective way of preventing non-State actors from acquiring weapons of mass destruction was through the total elimination of such weapons.

He said his country, as the latest victim of weapons of mass destruction in recent history, strongly believed that the international community must strive to ensure that the nightmare created by the United States against the people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki would never befall any other people again.  The only absolute guarantee was the total elimination of nuclear weapons as stipulated by the NPT and emphasized in the Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice.  By adopting resolution 1540, the Council had intended to fill the gap in the non-proliferation regime.  Questions were raised, however, regarding the compatibility of the resolution with the letter and spirit of the United Nations Charter and international disarmament instruments.

A major deficiency in resolutions 1540 and 1673 was their silence on the issue of disarmament and the failure to acknowledge the linkage between non-proliferation and disarmament.  The objectives of non-proliferation and disarmament were mutually reinforcing and efforts directed towards non-proliferation should be paralleled by simultaneous efforts aimed at disarmament.  Describing national efforts regarding resolution 1540, he said provisions of the resolution should not conflict with, or alter, the rights and obligations enshrined in internationally negotiated instruments such as the NPT, the Chemical Weapons Convention and the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention, as well as the Statute of the IAEA.

Iran considered the pursuit and development of nuclear technology for peaceful purposes to be its inalienable right recognized under the NPT.  In order to dispel any doubt about its peaceful nuclear programme, Iran had enabled the IAEA to carry out a series of inspections that amounted to the most robust inspection of any IAEA Member State.  All IAEA reports since 2003 had been indicative of the peaceful nature of the programme.  It was regrettable that an ill-intended campaign had been at work to distort the facts about Iran’s peaceful nuclear programme, as witnessed today through the baseless allegations made by the representatives of the United States, the United Kingdom and the Israeli regime.  No one could accept the unreasonable logic that they were permitted to have nuclear weapons and threaten others with their massive arsenals and aggressive policies, while crying wolf about others’ peaceful nuclear programmes.  Iran had abided by its obligations under the international treaties, and continued to do so.

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For information media • not an official record
For information media. Not an official record.