April 2018 Monthly Forecast

Posted 29 March 2018
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Non-Proliferation (1540 Committee)

Expected Council Action

In April, the chair of the 1540 Committee, Ambassador Sacha Sergio Llorentty Solíz (Bolivia) is scheduled to brief the Council on the work of the committee, which deals with the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

Key Recent Developments

On 18 January, the Council held a high-level briefing on non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction with a focus on confidence-building measures. During the meeting, organised by Kazakhstan, which held the presidency in January, Council members discussed various issues regarding non-proliferation, including confidence-building measures that would strengthen the implementation of resolution 1540. Secretary-General António Guterres briefed the Council and noted that the UN could play an important role in supporting member states in further developing and expanding confidence-building measures, while also providing a venue for dialogue between the parties in developing new norms for resolving disagreements.  

On 3 January, the committee published a report on the review of the implementation of resolution 1540 that detailed the committee’s activities during 2017. It held two formal meetings in 2017—in January to discuss the adoption of its programme of work and in July to discuss the programme’s implementation and progress made. By the end of 2017, 179 out of 193 member states had submitted reports on the implementation of resolution 1540.  

Under Bolivia’s presidency in June 2017, the Council held an open debate on “the global effort to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction by non-state actors” with an emphasis on the implementation of resolution 1540 and the work of the committee. Over 40 member states participated and most of them underlined the continuing significance of resolution 1540 in the effort to prevent proliferation of weapons of mass destruction by non-state actors. Some members raised concerns over the alleged use of chemical weapons in Iraq and Syria. The US urged member states to apply pressure on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to stop using chemical weapons. In its statement, Russia said that resolution 1540 was inadequate given the current global threats. It also emphasised the growing threat of terrorist groups like the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) acquiring weapons of mass destruction.

Following the completion of the second review of the status of implementation of resolution 1540 in December 2016, the Council adopted resolution 2325, which called for further efforts to strengthen implementation of resolution 1540. In addition, resolution 2325 clarified the reporting cycle by deciding that the 1540 Committee would brief the Council in the first quarter of each year in addition to providing the annual joint briefing with the 1267/1989/2253 ISIL (Da’esh) and Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee and the 1373 Counter-Terrorism Committee. 

On 11 May 2017, the committee chair briefed the Council together with the chairs of the other counter-terrorism-related committees as mandated by resolution 2325. In his briefing, Solíz noted that there are many areas of complementarity between the committees despite their differing mandates, and he also stressed the importance of promoting further cooperation between the committees. Ambassador Amr Abdellatif Aboulatta (Egypt), chair of the 1373 Counter-Terrorism Committee, delivered a joint statement on behalf of the chairs of the three committees. Among other things, the statement emphasised the threat posed by terrorists in committing acts that could possibly involve the use of weapons of mass destruction. Furthermore, it underlined the significance of cooperation between the committees and their expert groups in addressing the risk that terrorists and other non-state actors might acquire weapons of mass destruction.

On 16 March 2017, Solíz provided his first briefing in his capacity as chair of the 1540 Committee, updating Council members on the committee’s planned activities during 2017. He emphasised the importance of cooperation among states for the effective implementation of resolution 1540. Solíz used the briefing to call on remaining states that had not done so to submit their reports to the committee.  

At press time, the committee had yet to adopt its programme of work or hold any formal meetings this year. Usually, the programme of work is organised around four main themes: monitoring and national implementation; assistance; cooperation with international organisations and other relevant UN bodies; and transparency and media outreach.    


Security Council Resolutions
15 December 2016 S/RES/2325 This was a resolution on the 1540 Committee.
20 April 2011 S/RES/1977 This resolution renewed the mandate of the 1540 committee for 10 years. The committee was requested to conduct a comprehensive review of the status of implementation of resolution 1540 and recommend any necessary adjustments to its mandate every five years. The committee was also asked to consider by 31 August the feasibility of a coordination and leadership post for the group of experts, as well as the expertise and broad geographical representation required for the group of experts. In addition, the Council decided that the committee should submit an annual programme of work to the Council before the end of each May, with the next due by 31 May 2011.
28 April 2004 S/RES/1540 This resolution established the 1540 Committee and its mandate, affirmed that proliferation of nuclear weapons as well as the means of delivery constitutes a threat to international peace and security.
Security Council Meeting Records
18 January 2018 S/PV.8160 This was a high-level briefing on non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction focused on confidence-building measures. President Nursultan Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan presided and Secretary-General António Guterres briefed.
28 June 2017 S/PV.7985 This was an open debate on “the global effort to prevent the-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction by non-state actors” focusing on implementation of resolution 1540 and the work of the 1540 Sanctions Committee.
3 January 2018 S/2018/34 This was the annual review of the implementation of resolution 1540.
10 February 2017 S/2017/126 This was the 1540 Committee’s programme of work.