The first-ever Civil Society Forum in support of Security Council resolution 1540 (2004), opening in Vienna today and running until 10 January, is intended to provide opportunities for furthering civil society contributions to national and international efforts to implement the resolution’s key requirements.
Video message to the Forum from Ms. Angela Kane, High Representative for Disarmament Affairs
In addressing the Forum, Angela Kane, High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, conveyed to participants a message from the Secretary-General in which he welcomed civil society’s increasingly prominent role in pursuing the shared goal of nuclear disarmament and a world free of weapons of mass destruction, including through implementation of resolution 1540 (2004). Recalling civil society’s significant contributions to United Nations activities, including in disarmament, human rights, development and many other critical areas, the Secretary-General stressed that its positive impact in achieving the objectives of resolution 1540 (2004) should be no exception.
The Civil Society Forum involves more than 50 organizations from the non-governmental, academic, think tank and industrial sectors. Participants include representatives from Asia, Africa, Eastern and Western Europe, the Middle East and the Americas. Hosted by Austria’s Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs, the Forum is convened in cooperation with the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs.
Unanimously adopted by the Security Council on 28 April 2004, resolution 1540 (2004) obliges all States to refrain from providing any form of support to non-State actors that attempt to develop, acquire, manufacture, possess, transport, transfer or use nuclear, chemical or biological weapons and their means of delivery. All States are to establish domestic controls to prevent the proliferation of these weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery, including by establishing appropriate controls over related materials.
Comprising all 15 of the Council’s members, the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1540 (2004) is a subsidiary body authorized to carry out its mandate with the assistance of a group of experts. Council resolution 1977 (2011) calls upon the 1540 Committee, inter alia, to draw upon relevant civil society expertise in its work.