The proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, as well as their means of delivery, constitutes a threat to international peace and security. Acting under Chapter VII of the UN Charter, the Security Council unanimously adopted resolution 1540 in April 2004, obliging 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 weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery. Under the resolution, all States are to establish domestic controls to prevent the proliferation of these weapons and their means of delivery, including by establishing appropriate controls over related materials. Resolution 1540 established a Committee of the Security Council, namely the 1540 Committee, to report to the Council on the implementation of the resolution. The Security Council calls upon Member States to report to the 1540 Committee to submit a report on the steps they have taken or intend to take to implement resolution 1540.
Currently 21 States have yet to submit the first report on the implementation of resolution 1540. To encourage States to increase reporting on the resolution and to mark its tenth anniversary, the Government of South Africa, in collaboration with the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA) through its Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament (UNREC) and with the facilitation of the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) hosted a workshop on the implementation of Resolution 1540 from 10 to 11 April 2014 in Pretoria. The workshop was aimed at English-speaking United Nations Member States who have not yet submitted a report on the implementation of the resolution.
During the workshop, representatives of Gambia, Lesotho, Malawi, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe had the opportunity to discuss, among themselves and with the participating experts of the 1540 Committee, the challenges and experiences in reporting on the implementation of resolution 1540. During the two-day workshop, South Africa, which submitted its first report in 2005, and Lesotho, which most recently submitted its first report in March 2014, were able to share their practical experience in preparing a report.
The workshop included presentations and interactive plenary discussions. During break-out sessions, participants had the opportunity to engage in practical drafting sessions intended to prepare their first national report.
From 20 to 21 March, Gabon hosted a similar workshop for French-speaking countries, and another one is planned for Portuguese-speaking States in Togo from 5 to 6 June. These workshops were made possible by the generous contributions of the United States of America and Norway to the Trust Fund for Global and Regional Disarmament Activities, which is administered by UNODA.
For further information, please contact the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Africa at tel.: +228 22 53 50 00; e‑mail: mail[at]unrec.org; or visit www.unrec.org