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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

Visit by UN Security Council Committee to the United States

Fact Sheet
Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation
September 12, 2011


From September 12 to 16, 2011, the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1540, along with the Committee’s Group of Experts, visited Washington DC. The visit allowed the Committee to gain a better understanding of how the United States Government fulfills its international obligations under UN Security Council Resolution 1540 (UNSCR 1540). During the visit, the Committee and the Experts were briefed on U.S. efforts to implement UNSCR 1540. Those efforts include implementation of U.S. laws and regulations related to the transfer of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery (WMD), control of WMD-related materials, enforcement of those laws and regulations, and measures to prevent WMD proliferation. They also received briefings on prevention measures such as strategic trade controls, physical security, financial measures, and border controls. In addition to the briefings, the Committee and Experts visited several facilities to personally observe measures and protocols in place that support implementation of UNSCR 1540.

Throughout the visit, the United States and the Committee reviewed and discussed domestic practices to implement UNSCR 1540. The 2009 Comprehensive Review of UNSCR 1540 implementation cited such visits as a way for the Committee to work with the international community to show progress in meeting the resolution’s objectives. Additionally, UNSCR 1977 (2011) encourages dialogue between the Committee and Member States regarding experiences, lessons learned, and effective practices related to controlling WMD proliferation. The visit allowed the U.S. Government to share its expertise in these areas with the Committee, and to respond to Committee questions about how and where the United States covers UNSCR 1540’s many requirements consistent with the Comprehensive Review and UNSCR 1977.

The UN Security Council adopted UNSCR 1540 in 2004, partially in response to revelations about the A.Q. Khan network’s illicit proliferation activities. UNSCR 1540 obligates all Member States to make and enforce effective measures against WMD proliferation. All States are obligated to prohibit support to non-state actors seeking WMD; adopt and enforce effective laws prohibiting the spread of WMD to non-state actors; and enforce effective measures to control WMD.

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

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