From 4 to 7 September 2018, in cooperation with the United Nations Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1540 (2004) and its Group of Experts, the Russian Federation hosted a training course in Rostov‑on‑Don for 1540 national Points of Contact of the Member States of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). The course was supported by OSCE and the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs.
This is the second time the Government of the Russian Federation has hosted a 1540 Points of Contact training course and the sixth training course of its kind overall. The first and the fourth training courses were held in China in 2015 and 2017 respectively, for States in the Asia‑Pacific region. The Russian Federation hosted the first training course for OSCE States in June 2016, which was followed by a similar event hosted by Chile in October 2016 for States in the Latin American and Caribbean region. The latest and fifth 1540 Points of Contact training course was held in Addis Ababa in August 2018, for French‑speaking African States.
The course opened on 4 September with a welcome address from Sergey Ryabkov, Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, delivered by Grigory Mashkov, Head of Export Control Division, Department for Non‑proliferation and Arms Control, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation. In his statement, Mr. Ryabkov emphasized that non‑proliferation of weapons of mass destruction remains one of the priority topics in international agenda. In the backdrop of terrorists’ access to weapons of mass destruction and related materials, not a single country can stay completely safe. Continuous and consistent implementation of resolution 1540 (2004) is a key in achieving goals outlined in the resolution.
Aaron Junhoung Yoo, Political Affairs Officer, United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs, delivered a message on behalf of Izumi Nakamitsu, Under‑Secretary‑General and High Representative for Disarmament Affairs. In her message, Ms. Nakamitsu reaffirmed the vital role of resolution 1540 (2004) in the international nonproliferation regime and emphasized the importance of Points of Contact as facilitators of cooperation and information exchange within respective Government structures and between Member States.
A message was delivered by Counsellor Juan Marcelo Zambrana Torrelio of the Permanent Mission of the Plurinational State of Bolivia to the United Nations, on behalf of the Chair of the 1540 Committee, Ambassador Sacha Sergio Llorentty Solíz. In his message, the Chair emphasized the importance of effective implementation of resolution 1540 (2004) in addressing proliferation threats in the context of globalization, rapid advances in science and technology, and the continuously evolving trading environment. The Chair suggested that a wide range of activities, including export and transshipment controls, controls on intangible technology transfers and proliferation financing, and physical protection and border controls, should be considered when implementing the resolution. Participants were also reminded that national Points of Contact should play an important role in what the 1540 Committee hoped would be a “living network”.
Lastly, Ambassador Marcel Peško, Director of the OSCE Conflict Prevention Centre, has highlighted how OSCE directly complements the 1540 Committee’s efforts already since 2011, as part of an effort on “Support of Regional Implementation of the UNSCR 1540 (2004)”. Under this project, OSCE has concluded a Memorandum of Understanding with the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs on joint implementation of projects on non‑proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery, which has become a cornerstone of OSCE activities and is currently valid until 2020.
Participants included national Points of Contact and representatives from the Governments of Albania, Armenia, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Italy, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Turkmenistan. The course was given by members of the 1540 Committee’s Group of Experts, with support from representatives of several organizations, including the Biological Weapons Convention Implementation Support Unit, International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) and the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). The course focused on the obligations for States under resolution 1540 (2004) and issues related to the current risk of the proliferation of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons to non‑State actors, as well as links with other relevant international non‑proliferation and counter‑terrorism instruments. As part of the course, participants also visited the Platov Airport and Rostov Nuclear Power Plant. The training provided the Points of Contact with an in‑depth knowledge of resolution 1540 (2004) and contributed to strengthening cooperation and interaction between States and the Committee, as well as the capacity for internal coordination. The training course also provided an opportunity for States to exchange regional experiences and approaches.
Resolution 1540 (2004) was adopted unanimously by the Security Council under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, 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 to non‑State actors, including by establishing appropriate controls over related materials. Effective implementation requires constant attention and national Points of Contact play an important role in this regard as members of a “living network” that not only connects with the Committee and its supporting Group of Experts, but also with each other when it comes to the effective implementation of the obligations of resolution 1540 (2004).
Resolution 1540 (2004) and its follow‑up resolutions emphasize the importance of assisting States, upon request, with the implementation of their obligations under the resolution. For this purpose, States are encouraged to inform the 1540 Committee of their Points of Contact, both in capitals and in Permanent Missions in New York. In this regard, resolution 2325 (2016) “encourages all States that have not yet done so to provide the 1540 Committee with a Point of Contact for resolution 1540 (2004), and urges the Committee to continue to undertake initiatives to strengthen the capacity of such Points of Contact to assist on the implementation of the resolution, upon request of States, including through the continuation on a regional basis of the Committee’s Points of Contact Training Programme”. To date, 102 States have nominated national Points of Contact who act as an important link between the Committee and the relevant Government structures and officials responsible for national implementation. Fifty‑two OSCE participating States have appointed an official Point of Contact on resolution 1540 (2004) to OSCE.