On 8 and 9 February, the government of Botswana hosted a workshop with the aim of making progress on its 1540 national implementation action plan (NAP), which maps out priorities and plans for implementing the key provisions of UNSCR 1540 (2004). Under this resolution governments are obligated to take action to prevent non-State actors from acquiring weapons of mass destruction, their related materials or means of delivery.
On the first day of the workshop, Botswanan government officials detailed the status of implementation of resolution 1540 (2004) in the country, followed by a discussion among workshop participants, comprised of representatives from key national ministries and agencies, about possible new national measures to meet the obligations in the resolution. Resolution 1540 (2004) acknowledges that in order to meet their obligations, some States may require assistance through cooperation and partnership. In this regard, representatives from partner States and international organizations, including Japan, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), and the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), presented on the various ongoing activities and capacity building programmes on offer to enhance implementation of the resolution.
On the next and last day, representatives from Botswana’s ministries and agencies presented the NAP, followed by technical feedback from and discussions with the 1540 Committee’s Group of Experts, partner States, international organizations and civil society who shared experiences and proposed suggestions for Botswana to consider in the finalization of the plan. Additionally, the Botswanan officials identified areas in the country’s current national legislation and measures that could be addressed through further international assistance over the next three years. To this end, the attending partner States and international organizations pledged their support to Botswana in implementing its NAP. On the way forward, Botswana will finalize and adopt the NAP, before it is submitted to the 1540 Committee.
The workshop constituted the second phase of a broader three-phase assistance project held in partnership with the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA) and the 1540 Committee, with the support of the United States and the European Union.