On 1 June 2022, the 1540 Support Unit of Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA) hosted a side event entitled “Regional Approaches to Supporting UNSCR 1540 (2004).” Supported by the Government of Sweden, the event took place on the margins of the Open Consultations of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1540 (2004) on the comprehensive review of the status of implementation of resolution 1540 (2004), highlighting the work of 1540 regional coordinators in Africa, Asia, the Americas and Europe and Central Asia.
The event was opened by Mr. Ismail Balla, Head of Unit and Senior Political Affairs Officer of the 1540-Support-Unit of UNODA. Mr. Balla highlighted the recent recruitment of two UNODA regional coordinators in Africa and Asia, whose placements were supported by contributions from Japan and the United States of America. The audience also heard welcoming remarks from Mr. Hideaki Ishi, Director of the Non-Proliferation, Science and Nuclear Energy Division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan and Mr. Todd Perry, Special Coordinator for UNSCR 1540, Office of Counter-Proliferation Initiatives of the United States Department of State.
The 1540 regional coordinators represent the strong partnership UNODA maintains with partner regional organizations, and the Office’s commitment to strengthening regional cooperation and support in line with resolution 1977 (2011) and 2325 (2016). In this regard, UNODA 1540 regional coordinators, located in Addis Ababa and Bangkok, presented their region-specific work focusing on supporting Member States to fully implement resolution 1540 (2004). 1540 Regional Coordinators embedded in partner organizations, in Washington D.C. (OAS) and Vienna (OSCE) also presented their work and the region’s support towards the full and universal implementation of resolution 1540 (2004).
Ms. Einas Mohammed, UNODA’s 1540 regional coordinator for Africa highlighted the importance of connecting with regional organizations, including the African Union, Africa CDC and AFCONE, while further noting the importance of engaging not only Governments, but also civil society organizations, such as the African Centre for Science and International Security (AFRiCSIS) and the South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA). These outreach and awareness raising activities support the creation of a peer network among stakeholders and enforce UNODA’s role as coordinator on 1540-relevant activities in the region – thereby securing synergies among projects and avoiding duplication of efforts and resources.
Ms. Amanda Cowl, UNODA’s 1540 regional coordinator for Asia noted that regional coordinators promote cooperation among States by strengthening the 1540 Points of Contact network, allowing them to liaise more efficiently with the 1540 Committee. Ms. Cowl further noted how Member States in Asia shared region-specific challenges, including the unevenly available resources and expertise, and the fact that Asia – as a hub of transit and transshipment of goods and people – is growing rapidly, making it even more important to establish a strong system of control to prevent the illicit proliferation of dual-use goods.
Ms. Soledad Urruela, OAS 1540 Regional Coordinator for the Americas introduced the 1540 program of the Organization of the American States and noted the on-going work of strengthening 1540 implementation in Latin America and the Caribbean. Ms. Urruela noted the peer-review exercises conducted in the region, including between Colombia and Chile, Panama and Dominican Republic and Paraguay and Uruguay, and explained how these exercises not only allowed officials to share their experiences and learn from each other, but also worked as an effective confidence building measure and enhanced the network of peers among 1540 stakeholders, receiving positive feedback from all participants.
Mr. Tynchtykbek Israiilov, National Border Management Officer of the OSCE, presented on behalf OSCE’s 1540 Regional Coordinator, Ms. Adriana Volenikova. He introduced the work of the OSCE in supporting the implementation of resolution 1540 (2004) in the region and explained how the OSCE supported drafting of national reports, organized peer-review exercises and hosted regional Points of Contact trainings. The OSCE has been one of the most active supporters of resolution 1540 and jointly implements 1540 support programmes with UNODA under a Cost Sharing Agreement and Memorandum of Understanding to enhance cooperation between the two organizations.
The regional coordinators noted the value of being present on the ground and closer to beneficiary States, notably through establishing networks of peers with governments and partner organizations. UNODA, as the main coordinator of global support to 1540 implementation, regularly hosts regional coordination meetings with all 1540 regional coordinators and its regional centres (UNREC, UNRCPD and UNLIREC) and will continue to promote regional support towards the full and universal implementation of resolution 1540 (2004).
For more information, please contact Mr. Aaron Junhoung Yoo, Political Affairs Officer, 1540-Support-Unit, UNODA at firstname.lastname@example.org.