United Nations Office of Disarmament Affairs (UNODA) Occasional Papers

2412-1258 (online)
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The UNODA Occasional Papers series has been developed to give wider dissemination of input from expert panels and seminars sponsored by the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA).
UNODA Occasional Papers No.12: United Nations Seminar on Implementing UN Security Council Resolution 1540 in Africa, May 2007

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05 Apr 2007
9789211560435 (PDF)

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ODA Occasional Papers is a series of ad hoc publications presenting, in edited form, some of the papers or statements made at international meetings, symposia, seminars or workshops organized by the Office for Disarmament Affairs or its regional centres. The UN Seminar on “Implementing the UNSC Resolution 1540 (2004) in Africa” was aimed at raising awareness about the obligations and requirements of the Resolution and at increasing and facilitating cooperation and assistance in implementing it at the national and regional levels.
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  • Preface
    On 9 and 10 November, the UN Seminar on “Implementing the UNSC Resolution 1540 (2004) in Africa” took place in Accra, Ghana. The seminar was organized by ODA* and was the first outreach seminar of the 1540 Committee in Africa. It was co-sponsored by the European Union and the Government of Norway. Fifty participants mainly from twenty-one States in the region, two subregional organizations — Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), Economic Community Of West African States (ECOWAS) — as well as international organizations — namely the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO PrepCom), World Customs Organization (WCO) — participated in the seminar. The Seminar was aimed at raising awareness about the obligations and requirements of UNSC resolutions 1540 (2004) and 1673 (2006) and at increasing and facilitating cooperation and assistance in implementing the resolutions at the national and regional levels.
  • UNSC Resolution 1540 (2004)
  • UNSC Resolution 1673 (2006)
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  • Expand / Collapse Hide / Show all Abstracts Opening session

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    • Welcome remarks: Akwasi Osei-Adjei
      This seminar gives voice to the challenges African countries are confronting in their attempt to fulfill their obligations under UNSCR 1540. To put into practice the provisions under this resolution for international cooperation and assistance, it is essential to harness the appropriate bilateral and multilateral arrangements to enable all States to work together towards the prevention of WMD proliferation.
    • Opening statement: Nobuaki Tanaka
      As no country today is invulnerable to the dangers posed by WMD, it is imperative that all States meet their obligations under UNSCR 1540. In this regard, the African continent has been particularly challenged. While SALW may appear to be the more immediate threat in the region, the serious risk of WMD exists here as well. This seminar provides opportunities to draw upon past experiences with a chance to plan for the future.
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  • Expand / Collapse Hide / Show all Abstracts Status of implementation and national experience in reporting

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    • National experience in reporting: Ghana
      This presentation outlines the requirements necessary for Ghana to successfully implement Resolution 1540, notably, the treaties necessary to prevent the proliferation of WMD. It focuses on the major disarmament treaties as well as other areas of particular relevance. Key domestic institutional stakeholders are highlighted along with guidelines to move forward.
    • National experience in reporting: Kazakhstan
      Kazakhstan believes that UNSCR has been transformed from a UN document into a legally and politically binding instrument against the proliferation of WMD and their acquisition by non-state actors. Various ministries and governmental bodies actively participated in fulfilling Kazakhstan’s international obligations when preparing its national report. The country also possesses existing national legislation that can be applied to the non-proliferation of biological, chemical and nuclear weapons as well.
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  • Expand / Collapse Hide / Show all Abstracts Implementing measures related to accounting, securing, and the physical protection of nuclear, chemical and biological items, including related materials and means of delivery

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    • Relevant lessons: South Africa
      Committed to the non-proliferation and elimination of WMD, South Africa is party to many international conventions and regimes, and has national legislative machinery in place to give effect to measures outlined in UNSCR 1540. Comprehensive policy methods are under development to enhance border controls and import/export regulations. It is only through cooperation and information sharing between States that the challenges posed by WMD can be adequately confronted.
    • Relevant lessons: United Kingdom
      The UK supports UNSCR 1540 to protect States from terrorism, to strengthen systems to meet the highest international standards and to avoid complacency. The Counter-Proliferation Committee, which unites policy and operational issues under one body, and the Counter-Proliferation Implementation Committee, which is tasked with carrying out strategies and initiatives to combat the proliferation of WMD, are two executive actions the UK is employing to comply with its obligations under the resolution.
    • Accounting, securing and the physical protection of chemical materials and installations—An OPCW perspective
      Highlighting the salient features of the CWC, in this presentation the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) spotlights adherence requirements, with an emphasis on their congruency to those of UNSCR 1540. Major challenges ahead include implementation on both global and national levels.
    • Relevant role of the IAEA and opportunities for assistance
      In an effort to assist States in implementing UNSCR 1540, the IAEA has legislation on safeguard agreements and additional protocols, the physical protection of nuclear material and a Code of Conduct on radioactive sources. Its technical capabilities support States’ systems in the maintenance, protection and detection of nuclear materials, and provide information, coordination, advice and guidance on illicit trafficking. The Agency possesses a number of programmes and activities that could help States to implement their international obligations, including the fulfillment of their obligations pertaining to the 1540 Resolution.
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  • Expand / Collapse Hide / Show all Abstracts Reporting and Implementation measures related to border and export controls

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    • The relevant role of the World Customs Organization
      In addressing the security challenges of the 21st century, the WCO has taken strategic measures to strengthen security while facilitating international trade. It has prepared a Framework of Standards to harmonize electronic cargo information requirements, employ enhanced risk management to identify and inspect high risk cargo and reward businesses that meet supply chain security standards. In establishing global standards, customs administration can effectively protect borders while simultaneously support commerce.
    • Relevant lessons from national experience: Algeria
      Algeria's commitment to nuclear safety and security is reflected through its domestic legal framework, ratification of numerous international instruments, training programmes, awareness campaigns and organization of conferences and seminars. To provide verification of the BWC, national legislation is under recommendation, while strict legal provisions have already been implemented to more fully support Algeria’s commitment to the CWC. Although UNSCR 1540 addresses the vertical and horizontal proliferation of WMD, there exists an imbalance between nuclear have- and have-not States that should be re-examined.
    • Keynote address—Significance of UNSCR 1540 and opportunities for cooperation and assistance
      The adoption of UNSCR 1540 was a major step towards strengthening the global framework of non-proliferation. In lieu of addressing this critical danger incrementally, this resolution takes a comprehensive approach. It supports wider acceptance of disarmament and non-proliferation instruments while striving to fill gaps in international treaties. Full implementation of UNSCR 1540 by all countries is a long-term goal and will require continuous efforts at the national, regional and international levels. National performance is crucial, and the 1540 Committee along with DDA and other international organizations stand ready to guide any State in need of assistance in fulfilling their obligations under the resolution.
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  • Expand / Collapse Hide / Show all Abstracts Setting priorities for cooperation and assistance in implementation of Resolution 1540—offers of assistance

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    • Setting priorities for cooperation and assistance: European Union
      In 2003, the EU adopted a strategy on national measures to combat the proliferation of WMD. Since then, it has been developing various types of assistance and cooperation projects, including regional seminars to strengthen communication and lend technical support. The EU has endorsed the 1540 Seminars held in China, Ghana and Peru as opportunities for dialogue, information exchange and technical assistance.
    • Opportunities for assistance: United States
      Implementation of UNSCR 1540 is a vital element in ensuring that no country be a source or beneficiary of WMD proliferation. To assist States in meeting their obligations under this resolution, the United States offers its support and encourages governments to work with the 1540 Committee and donor States to enact and enforce stronger measures for full implementation. As needed, the United States is also prepared to consider further requests for assistance from United Nations Member States.
    • Opportunities for assistance: Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons
      This presentation by the OPCW outlines States’ obligations under both the CWC and UNSCR 1540. It highlights cross-cutting issues and details the tools needed to comply. The OPCW offers assistance through various courses, programmes and information services, and provides a selection of events focusing on the African continent.
    • Opportunities for assistance: Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization
      The Preparatory Commission for the CTBTO works to establish a global verification regime to monitor compliance with the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty. It is building, testing, and provisionally operating the Internal Monitoring System and the Internal Data Centre to provide timely data, assessments and other products and services to Signatory States of the Treaty. Additionally, it offers complimentary hardware and software provisions, technical assistance as well as training to its Member States.
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  • Expand / Collapse Hide / Show all Abstracts Setting priorities for cooperation and assistance in implementation of Resolution 1540—requests for assistance

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    • National experiences on assistance: Kenya
      Having suffered immediate and residual effects from two terrorist attacks, Kenya recognizes first-hand the urgent need for regional and global security. Strategies underway to combat the scourge of violence include legislative measures to control the proliferation of small arms and light weapons, regional partnerships to secure borders and collaboration with civil society on conflict management and arms control. Kenya, is calling for further assistance and cooperation at the regional and international levels, to combat threats posed by the proliferation of illicit weapons.
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  • Expand / Collapse Hide / Show all Abstracts Closing session

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    • Concluding remarks: Peter Burian
      A comprehensive national approach in implementing UNSCR 1540 to subvert the proliferation of WMD would work in conjunction with building effective border controls and legislative institutional systems to combat small arms and light weapons. National plans of action best illustrate a country’s commitment to fulfilling its 1540 obligations while simultaneously providing assisting nations with a blueprint of concrete requirements.
    • Concluding remarks: Nobuaki Tanaka
      UNSCR 1540 works in conjunction with the curbing of SALW, both of which require mutual efforts and alliance throughout the region. DDA stands ready to assist Africa with follow-up activities on the country and regional levels, and to work with the 1540 Committee in procuring the support necessary for the successful implementation of the resolution.
    • Concluding remarks by the chairman of the seminar: J.H. Ephraim
      Every effort should be made to meet the reporting obligations under UNSC resolution 1540. African States are encouraged to indicate where assistance may be needed, and to utilize the 1540 Committee as a clearinghouse to match their requests with the resources being offered by other States. Additional outreach activities must be organized on a subregional level in Africa to further advance resolution implementation.
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