Resolution 1540 (2004), adopted more than 12 years ago, remains a key instrument in global efforts to prevent the proliferation of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons to non-State actors, in particular to terrorists. The 1540 Committee is now in the midst of a comprehensive review of the status of the implementation of resolution 1540 (2004) in order to identify and recommend before December 2016 ways and means to improve implementation of the resolution.
To assist in this task, from 20 to 22 June, the 1540 Committee held formal open consultations with Member States, relevant international and regional organisations and civil society in order to have the benefit of their perspectives on how best to achieve the goals of the resolution. The meeting provided an opportunity for substantive contributions to be made through a combination of plenary debate and thematic discussions on monitoring and implementation; assistance, including the role of international organisations; and the role of transparency and outreach. Three side events added inputs to the discussions on the implementation of resolution 1540 (2004) as they relate to industry, academia and biological security.
Formal interventions were made by 59 Member States and by 19 international and regional organisations, as well as by 14 participants from civil society organizations In addition, the President of the General Assembly, the Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs of Spain, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, the Chair of the 1540 Committee (Permanent Representative of Spain to the United Nations) and the United Nations High Representative for Disarmament Affairs addressed the meeting.
While noting that progress had been made over the past five years in implementation of resolution 1540 (2004), participants recognized that accomplishing the objective of its full implementation is a long-term task that will require continuing efforts by Member States, the 1540 Committee and also by international organizations.
In his closing statement the Chair of the 1540 Committee said that the Committee would reflect on the ideas and proposals put forward in the course of developing their conclusions and recommendations.
Resolution 1540 (2004) was adopted unanimously by the Security Council, under the United Nations Charter’s Chapter VII, on 28 April 2004. It obliges all States to refrain from providing any form of support to non-State actors attempting to develop, acquire, manufacture, possess, transport, transfer or use nuclear, chemical or biological weapons and their means of delivery. The resolution requires all States to establish domestic controls to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery, including by establishing appropriate controls over related materials.
The 1540 Committee, a subsidiary body of the Council, reports to it on implementation of the resolution. On 20 April 2011, the Security Council adopted resolution 1977 (2011), by which it extended the Committee’s mandate until 2021. Further information is available at the 1540 Committee’s web site at www.un.org/en/sc/1540/.