The 1540 Committee participated in a regional parliamentary seminar on engaging parliaments of the Pacific region in the implementation of United Nations Security Council resolution 1540 (2004), during 18-20 September 2019 in Wellington.
The seminar — organized by the Inter-Parliamentary Union and hosted by the House of Representatives of New Zealand, with the support of the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs — had the objectives of raising awareness of resolution 1540 (2004), its provisions, and its significance for countries that do not possess weapons of mass destruction but that could be used to transact weapons of mass destruction (or related materials); examining challenges to oversight and implementation; examining the role parliaments can and should play; and allowing for an exchange of experience among parliaments with different capacity levels and at different stages of implementation of the resolution.
Participants included national officials from Australia, Fiji, Kiribati, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Niue, Philippines, Romania, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Timor-Leste, Tonga, United States and Vanuatu. Presentations were given by experts from the United Nations Security Council 1540 Committee, CARICOM (Caribbean Community), International Atomic Energy Agency, INTERPOL (International Criminal Police Organization), Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, Pacific Islands Forum, United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research, United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, World Customs Organization and the World Health Organization, as well as by civil society representatives from the Geneva Centre for Security Policy and Verification Research, Training and Information Centre. The Chair of the 1540 Committee gave a keynote speech in which he drew particular attention to the role of parliamentarians in ensuring the adoption of legislative measures to implement resolution 1540 (2004).
To conclude the seminar, the parliamentarians agreed a joint statement in which they acknowledged the role of parliamentarians in supporting implementation of resolution 1540 (2004) through their legislative functions, as well as the value of developing a targeted approach to fulfilling obligations under the resolution in the Pacific due to regional specificities. They agreed on the need for further dialogue and parliamentary engagement at the regional level on issues related to resolution 1540 (2004), and on the need to further build parliamentary capacity to carry out their functions in the context of the resolution.