UN Security Council Resolution 1540 (UNSCR 1540) obligates all Member States to make and enforce effective measures against the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, their means of delivery, and related materials (WMD). All States have three primary obligations.
1. Prohibit support to non-state actors seeking WMD.
2. Adopt and enforce effective laws prohibiting the spread of WMD to non-state actors.
3. Enforce effective measures to control WMD.
The Security Council established a Committee to oversee implementation of the resolution and assist States in meeting their obligations and by its efforts to make available assistance more widely available.
The United States supports universal implementation of UNSCR 1540, an important international standard for all States regarding the establishment of controls on WMD. UNSCR 1540 is also a key component of international efforts to prevent terrorists and other non-state actors from acquiring these dangerous weapons and the means to produce them. On April 20, 2011, the Security Council adopted UNSCR 1977 which extended the mandate of the Committee until April 2021. UNSCR 1977 also requests the Committee to consider recommendations on the Committee’s working methods, modalities, and structure, and to consider the feasibility of a coordinator and leadership position for the Committee’s Group of Experts.
Ensuring effective implementation of UNSCR 1540 is an important objective for U.S. nonproliferation policy. The UN Security Council recognized that a great amount of effort and resources are required to implement the resolution in a meaningful way, and invited member states to offer assistance for other member states to establish necessary controls to fulfill their obligations under UNSCR 1540. Although the United States and other countries provide bilateral assistance, the international community does not have sustainable resourcing for countries that need it. The 2010 Washington Nuclear Security Summit also recognized this need and supported efforts to provide better resourcing for 1540 implementation.
To address this need, the United States made a voluntary contribution of $3 million to the UN Trust Fund for Global and Regional Disarmament. The UN Office for Disarmament Affairs manages the existing fund in partnership with the Committee. Our contribution is helping the Committee fulfill its role in matching States needing assistance to States able to provide help. More specifically, these funds will support regional organizations to promote implementation of UNSCR 1540, support States to develop national legislation on WMD, and develop relevant training programs.
For more information on current efforts to implement UNSCR 1540 worldwide, please contact U.S. 1540 Coordinator Thomas A. Wuchte at (202) 736-4275 or at email@example.com.