March 2020 Monthly Forecast

Posted 28 February 2020
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Non-Proliferation (1540 Committee)

Expected Council Action

In March, the chair of the 1540 Committee, Ambassador Dian Triansyah Djani (Indonesia) is scheduled to brief the Council on the work of the committee, which deals with the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

The mandate of the committee expires on 25 April 2021.

Background

Adopted in 2004, resolution 1540 aims to address a concern that non-state actors might use weapons of mass destruction for terrorist purposes (individuals and sub-state groups are not covered under existing treaties dealing with nuclear, chemical and biological weapons). It requires all states to prevent non-state actors from obtaining access to nuclear, chemical or biological weapons and their delivery systems. Furthermore, it requires states to establish domestic controls to prevent the proliferation of such weapons.

The mandate of the 1540 Committee, which was last extended by resolution 1977 in 2011, calls for the committee to conduct a comprehensive review of the resolution’s implementation before the mandate expires and to submit to the Council a report containing conclusions of the review. In addition to its day-to-day activities, during 2020, the committee will likely maintain a strong focus on activities related to this comprehensive review. One of the more notable events planned in the context of the 1540 review process this year will be open consultations in June in New York. UN member states, international and regional organisations, and civil society will be able to take part in this meeting.

Following the completion of an earlier review of the implementation status of resolution 1540, in December 2016, the Council adopted resolution 2325, which called for further efforts to strengthen implementation. 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.

In March 2019, Ambassador Djani briefed the Council on the work of the committee. While noting that effective implementation of resolution 1540 required constant efforts at national, regional and international levels, he emphasised that substantial progress had been made. In May 2019, Djani delivered a joint statement on behalf of the chairs of the three terrorism-related committees. He said that these committees share a common understanding of the threats posed by terrorism, particularly emphasising ISIL, which notwithstanding its military defeat in Iraq and Syria is still an organisation with centralised leadership that operates globally.

On 23 December 2019, the committee published a report on the review of the implementation of resolution 1540 that detailed the committee’s activities during 2019. The committee held three formal and six informal meetings during the year, and continued outreach activities in an effort to achieve universal reporting on the implementation of resolution 1540. By the end of 2019, 184 of the 193 member states had submitted such reports. In 2019, the committee visited four countries (Chile, Kuwait, Madagascar and Togo) to discuss the implementation of resolution 1540.

The committee held its first formal meeting this year on 19 February during which the Chair briefed the chairs of the regional groups on the ongoing activities related to the comprehensive review of resolution 1540. The programme of work, which has been agreed by the committee, had not been published at press time. 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.

UN DOCUMENTS ON NON-PROLIFERATION

Security Council Resolutions
15 December 2016S/RES/2325 This was a resolution on the 1540 Committee.
20 April 2011S/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.
Other
23 December 2019S/2019/986 This was was the annual report on the work of the committee.