It is a distinct pleasure and honor to say a few words on behalf of the United States at this important meeting. My objective in the following remarks is to provide a brief overview of the United States’ commitment and approach to implementing UNSCR 1540, with an emphasis on our efforts to significantly strengthen the longterm viability of this landmark effort. This workshop can help open the door for the OSCE to make an impact across our region by promoting cooperation to fulfill 1540 objectives.
This workshop also serves as a follow on to the OSCE’s participation at the September 30-October 2, 2009 UN Comprehensive Review in New York as we prepare for the renewal of the 1540 Committee in April 2011. Just last month, the outgoing Chair of the 1540 Committee, Mexican Ambassador Claude Heller, addressed the need to strengthen ties with regional organizations. You will hear from many speakers that the threat posed by weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and their delivery systems is one of the gravest dangers the international community faces today. UNSCR 1540 places a requirement on each state to play its part in diminishing this threat – a requirement that unites all of us.
Almost three years ago, the 1540 Committee issued its Report on international efforts undertaken towards this landmark resolution, specifically mentioning early OSCE activities that complement the UNSCR’s objectives. The Report also emphasized the importance of institutional relationships in advancing objectives related to not only UNSCR 1540, but also cooperative efforts towards effective nonproliferation and capacity-building. We believe that this event is an important step toward moving to the next level in identifying the OSCE’s appropriate contribution in these important areas.
While 1540 sets broad requirements, the United Sates recognizes that United Nations (UN) member states have the sovereign responsibility to regulate their national commerce; inspect cargoes transiting their borders, waters, and airspace; maintain financial systems and oversight of them; and monitor and control their exports. It is important to note that laws and controls, if effectively enacted and implemented, will address the threat of not only WMD proliferation but also terrorism, crime, and drug trafficking -- key competencies that will make important contributions to the OSCE’s growing and evolving approach to addressing transnational threats.
Implementation of 1540 is a classic OSCE “crossover” issue, encompassing various elements of the multidimensional security portfolio. One challenge that we hope to tackle with this workshop is to find the best way to leverage the competencies of regional organizations to complement and enhance the international community’s important work to address the proliferation of WMD, their delivery systems, and related technology. The OSCE, as the largest regional security organization in the world, can make unique and valuable contribution to international nonproliferation efforts with its comprehensive approach to security.
The OSCE as an institution offers a unique platform upon which all of us can share the types of national activities we are implementing and the tools we are using to address similar challenges. I would like to share with you some of the activities the United States has undertaken in our efforts to implement the requirements of UNSCR 1540. Foremost, the U.S. strives to balance security with trade facilitation, so we have been careful to ensure that assistance programs and initiatives will not stifle robust trade while meeting security needs. Working in concert with the international community, the United States has developed a broad array of tools to combat the spread of WMD and their delivery systems that complement UNSCR 1540. I would like to highlight a few of them.
The G8 Global Partnership (GP) is a 10-year, $20 billion initiative launched at the G8 Summit in Kananaskis in 2002, with the aim of preventing terrorists and proliferators from acquiring or developing weapons of mass destruction. The many achievements of the GP include improved accounting, control, and physical protection of nuclear and radiological materials; dismantlement of nuclear submarines with safe storage of spent nuclear fuel; and enhanced nuclear, biological, and chemical security overall. The GP has grown to include 23 Partners, with programming initially focused in Russia/FSU, but now focused all around the world.
The Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) is a multinational activity that aims to stop trafficking of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD), their delivery systems, and related materials to and from states and non-state actors of proliferation concern. Today more than 90 countries have endorsed the PSI Statement of Interdiction Principles and participate in its global exercise program.
The Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism (GICNT) is another crosscutting, action-oriented partnership of nations. The 82 GICNT partners and its 4 observers are determined to strengthen individual and global capacity to prevent, detect, and/or respond to a nuclear terrorist event. Partners of the GICNT are committed to a set of nuclear security principles that encompass a broad range of deterrence, prevention, detection, and response objectives. Through multilateral activities and exercises, partners share best practices and lessons learned in order to strengthen both individual and collective capabilities to combat the threat of nuclear terrorism.
The U.S. Export Control and related Border Security (EXBS) program funds training aimed at helping countries develop strong strategic trade control systems consistent with international standards, without impairing the flow of legitimate trade. EXBS is currently working with over 60 countries and economies globally and collaborates on a bilateral basis with a number of other states.
The results of outreach and initiatives since the adoption of UNSCR 1540 have demonstrated broad international commitment to the non-proliferation goals of the resolution, and we are committed to developing further implementation-focused ideas for the OSCE, as well as ensuring the 1540 Committee has the resources to perform its important clearing-house role for the broad range of technical assistance programs.
The OSCE has taken a leading role in helping to initiate a complementary regional approach to the broad nonproliferation goals related to UNSCR 1540. We recognize that each OSCE participating State will tailor its plan of action to reflect its own national priorities. The United States also strongly supports regional and intergovernmental organizations working with the 1540 Committee, because the United Nations plays the leading role in not just passing resolutions but also in ensuring that regional infrastructures to implement its broad requirements are in place. I quote from the recent outcome document of the Comprehensive Review:
“Other measures to enhance the capacity to gather information on the implementation of resolution 1540 (2004) could include: outreach activities such as conducting country-specific visits, with the consent of the States concerned and workshops to delve deeper into understanding the challenges of national implementation; redoubling its efforts to get all States to submit reports, both the outstanding first reports and additional information. Moreover, sharing information on inter-agency cooperation, enforcement activities, voluntary implementation planning, and timeline data, were among other proposed measures to improve the Committee’s understanding of the national implementation measures in accordance with resolution 1540 (2004).”
Ambassador Jose Urbina, the former Chairman of the 1540 Committee, made note of the importance of regional organizations facilitating national implementation of the resolution in a December 2008 statement to the Forum for Security Cooperation of the OSCE: “…if the regional organizations and states of Europe cannot provide leadership on fulfilling their resolution 1540 obligations, then universal implementation of the resolution will prove immensely more difficult than we already imagine.”
At the recent regional workshop for Balkan States hosted by Croatia, one delegation noted that 1540 implementation should be viewed as an opportunity to build capacity, and not as a constraint on sovereignty or trade. We see these regional efforts as important ways to complement and support the work of the 1540 Committee and its recommendations. Effective nonproliferation cooperation is imbedded in over two-dozen regional and intergovernmental organizations because of UNSCR 1540. We also work closely with the European Union, which has been at the forefront on UNSCR 1540 and in supporting regional approaches – particularly through both Council Joint Actions and EU Commission third-country assistance, and also welcome again the recent ideas proposed by the outgoing Chair to hold focused regional discussion with the 1540 Committee.
There is no doubt that OSCE participating States will continue to have a strong role in supporting 1540 on a national basis, as well as through their participation in more-tailored efforts through, for example, the OSCE’s Conflict Prevention Center’s Borders Unit, OSCE’s Border Management Staff College in Dushanbe, Strategic Police Matters Unit, and Action against Terrorism Unit (ATU), as well as through appropriate OSCE field operations. In particular, we would like to explore training and programmatic opportunities with OSCE field operations in close collaboration with other regional and sub-regional organizations. The OSCE’s work is especially relevant and complementary given that the 1540 Committee has only eight experts – the Committee wants to work in this complementary manner with regional organizations, as I believe both this presentation and the following ones will help to articulate.
The United States looks forward to your questions and comments to further this broader discussion within the OSCE. As we move ahead, we welcome this meeting with all relevant entities within the OSCE to capitalize on the benefits of full implementation of UNSCR 1540, and hope that today’s session is a welcome contribution.