Security Council underlines need to halt proliferation of weapons of mass destruction

Thursday, 15 December 2016 - 12:00am

UN Photo/Manuel Elias | The Security Council unanimously adopts resolution on reinforcing the preventive system to avoid the use of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs)by non-State actors, particularly terrorists.

Expressing concern over the threat of terrorism and the risk that non-State actors may acquire or use nuclear, biological or chemical weapons, the United Nations Security Council today called on all countries to establish national controls to prevent proliferation of such weapons as well as their means of delivery.

In a resolution adopted today, the 15-member Council also reiterated the need to continue to strengthen ongoing cooperation among various intergovernmental bodies and entities concerning terrorist groups such as Al-Qaida, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/Da’esh), as well as counter-terrorism, through enhanced information sharing, coordination and technical assistance.

The Council further called on all UN Member States to ensure the full implementation of its resolution 1540 (2004) on non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

It also called for strengthening the UN Trust Fund for Global and Regional Disarmament Activities through additional funding so that it is able to better assist countries in implementing their obligations under resolution 1540.

Prior to today’s adoption of resolution by the Council, Deputy-Secretary-General Jan Eliasson underlined the threats posed by weapons of mass destruction in the wrong hands and called on the international community to “take advantage of every opportunity to strengthen our collective defences […] that are nimble and flexible.”

Stressing the threats of biological, chemical and nuclear weapons as well as of the “growing nexus” between such weapons, terrorism and cyber security, he added: “The nightmare scenario of a hack on a nuclear power plant causing uncontrolled release of ionizing radiation is growing.”

He further underlined the importance strengthening the capacities of all countries to combat such threats and called on them to fulfil their commitment to build a world that is free of all weapons of mass destruction.