Since its adoption in early 2005, the 1540 Matrix has functioned as the primary method used by the 1540 Committee to organize information about implementation of UN Security Council resolution 1540 by Member States. A matrix for each UN Member State has been prepared by the group of experts and subsequently approved by the Committee. The information in the matrices originates primarily from national reports provided by States to the 1540 Committee and is complemented by official government information, including that made available to intergovernmental organizations.
The 1540 Committee uses the matrices as a reference tool for facilitating technical assistance and to enable the Committee to continue to enhance its dialogue with States on their implementation of Security Council resolution 1540 (2004). The matrices are not a tool for measuring compliance of States in their non-proliferation obligations but for facilitating the implementation of Security Council Resolutions 1540 (2004), 1673 (2006), 1810 (2008), 1977 (2011) and 2325 (2016).
The matrices do not reflect or prejudice any ongoing discussions outside of the Committee, in the Security Council or any of its organs, of a State's compliance with its non-proliferation or any other obligations. Information on voluntary commitments is for reporting purpose only and does not constitute in any way a legal obligation arising from resolution 1540 (2004) or its successive resolutions.
The matrix has fields representing the requirements of the resolution alongside which are the measures that States have taken in respect of these requirements. The 1540 Committee reviews and approves each matrix. In each field in the matrix, the 1540 Committee denotes one of three possible responses:
An “X” in any data field signifies only that the reporting State asserts that it has taken relevant measures or that the 1540 Committee has found specific references to the applicable legal basis or executive measures as evidence of such steps.
A “?” in any data field signifies that although the national report or another source of data refers to legislation or other evidence that the State has taken a measure, the details in the references provided raise questions of pertinence or that the information suggests that the State has taken action but a copy of the legislation has not yet been located or available for consultation.
A blank in any data field signifies that the State has provided no information or the 1540 Committee has not established information to enable the entry of an “X” or a “?” against that particular data field. In interpreting the 1540 Matrix, all parties must understand that an “X” does not indicate that the measure or measures taken fully implement an obligation under resolution 1540 (2004). It only indicates that the 1540 Committee and its experts have found evidence that the State has taken a measure or measures relevant to a particular field.
Revised Matrix Template
In the light of developments, the Committee decided in 2012 to re-examine and update the matrix template. The revised template, adopted in 2013, was simplified and an integrated approach was adopted to reflect measures taken in the nuclear, chemical and biological fields. At that time, it was envisaged that the matrix template would need to be reviewed again at a later stage, based on relevant developments such as the 2016 Comprehensive Review.
Based on the experience with the recent updating of the matrices, during the 2016 Comprehensive Review process consideration was given to further revising and simplifying the matrix format to reflect more closely the corresponding obligations in resolution 1540 (2004). In the course of this review process, the Group of Experts proposed a revised matrix template with the number of fields reduced from 389 to 263, and which focuses on the core obligations of resolution 1540 (2004). This new proposed template provides a more accurate and succinct overview of relevant measures taken to implement resolution 1540 (2004), with due regard to the specific circumstances of individual States.
Committee members provided comments on the new proposed template. In 2017 after consultations with the Committee members the revised matrix format was considered and approved by the Committee.
Taking into account the continuous developments in international legal, scientific and technical fields, a review of the matrix template will most likely be needed again in future.The 1540 Matrix Template
List of Matrices of Member States, as Approved by the 1540 Committee