CARICOM-UNSCR 1540 Implementation Programme

United Nations Security Council Resolution 1540
Represents first ‘global’ initiative aimed at addressing proliferation
In April 2004, the UN Security Council adopted United
Nations Security Council Resolution 1540, establishing for
the first time binding obligations on all member states
under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter to take
and enforce effective measures against the proliferation
of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD), their means of
delivery and related materials.
All member states of the United Nations have three
primary obligations under UNSCR 1540:
to prohibit support to non-State actors seeking such
weapons and materials
to adopt and enforce effective laws prohibiting the
proliferation of such items to non-State actors
to prohibit assisting or financing such proliferation
and to take and enforce effective measures to
control these items in order to prevent their
proliferation, as well as to control the provision of
funds and services that contribute to proliferation
United Nations Security Council Resolution 1540
Represents first ‘global’ initiative aimed at addressing proliferation
UNSCR 1540 seeks
to prevent the
acquisition, trafficking,
or use of weapons of
mass destruction
(WMD), their means
of delivery, and
related materials
equipment and
By, or to, Non-State
By, or to, State actors
United Nations Security Council Resolution 1540
Key Tenets and Operative Paragraphs
Para 1: general commitment to not support non-state
actors re WMDs
Para 2: criminalize all activities of non-state actors
(unauthorized entities) with regard to WMD-relevant items
Para 3a: appropriate effective measures for nuclear
materials control and accounting
Para 3b: appropriate and effective measures for nuclear
material protection (physical security)
Para 3c: effective border controls
Para 3d: comprehensive national export controls
Para 6: appropriate control lists
Para 8b: international obligations incorporated into
domestic laws/regulations
Para 8d: develop appropriate ways to work with industry
and public
Para 9: engage in dialogue and cooperation on
Para 10: take cooperative action to prevent illicit
trafficking in WMD items
The Role of Civil Society in the international system
Enhancing national governmental and IGO outputs
Collaboration with civil society has helped to move the United
Nations trade, development and human rights agenda forward.
In Doha, at the 13th UNCTAD Conference last December, the
United Nations Non-Governmental Liaison Service (UN-NGLS)
was instrumental in having perspectives from the Civil Society
Forum actively frame deliberations at the 13th Conference. Why
can’t or shouldn’t this be the case for UNSCR 1540?
Civil Society and Strategic Security
Bridging the Security-Development Divide
through greater Civil Society -Intergovernmental Cooperation
Civil society has been able
to positively influence policy
outcomes relating to
traditional security
challenges, such as the
trade in illegal narcotics and
small arms and light
Why has this engagement
not extended to strategic
goods, particularly in
relation to the global
Given the tangential focus on1540 in several member
states, civil society could play an important role in:
Elevating non-proliferation in general and UNSCR
1540 in particular and assisting policy and opinion
leaders in providing a public rationale for efforts to
implement UNSCR 1540
Encouraging governments to fully assume their
responsibilities under the Resolution
The Role of Civil Society in Building capacity
Aiding detection, interdiction and prevention
The use of databases and watch-lists for evaluating
parties involved in transfers remains a primary focus as
well as ensuring that technical experts, intelligence
personnel, and policy officials from all legally entitled
government agencies have the knowledge and
opportunity to evaluate license applications for
proliferation concerns.
Civil society entities have had a significant impact in
providing expertise and building capacity relating to
conventional arms. Several entities are still active in the
Caribbean region. Why has there not been a similar
dynamic concerning WMD?
A central component of the CARICOM-UNSCR 1540
Implementation Programme has involved providing
training and resources necessary to detect, identify, and
prevent transfers that violate export control laws and
regulations. There is room for civil society to assist in:
Training in effective risk analysis and in targeting
strategies to prevent the export, re-export, import,
transit or transshipment of strategic goods
Training in the utilization of trade information and
intelligence to detect suspect transfers and to
minimize impediments to legitimate trade
Civil Society input in furthering non-proliferation
Aiding implementation efforts under the NPT, CWC, BWC
• As is the case with UNSCR 1540, many states in the global south
do not have enabling legislation, regulatory frameworks or
administrative controls , to fully implement the NPT, CWC and BWC.
More importantly, the critical reporting requirements ensuing
from these regimes are routinely ignored. An important role for
civil society is to assist member states in meeting these obligations
which absolutely fulfills 1540 mandates
• Civil society can help in
furthering universalization,
particularly under the CWC
and BWC, thereby aiding
the UNSCR 1540 process
• On the NPT, help states
focus the CPPNM (as
VERTIC has reflected in its
work plan);
• Help states develop
Safeguards Agreements
and Additional Protocols
Civil Society input in furthering non-proliferation
Aiding the development of ‘dual-use’ response systems
• Civil society can be of significant help in assisting member states
meet their 1540 obligations while dealing with other urgent ongoing
domestic security/development priorities.
• A major deficit in the region is the inability of most Caribbean states
to deal with the aftermath of a Chemical, Biological, Radiological,
Nuclear or Explosives
emergency, which could
actually be the product of
an accident as opposed to
a deliberate attack.
• Civil society could assist
with the development of
regional and national
response systems and
help in forming a cadre of
first responders and other
officials who could manage
events of this nature.
Regional 1540 Implementation
Further opportunities for engagement
While CARICOM members have had success in developing a
unitary process to enact domestic export control legislation
through the development of a regional Reference Legal
Framework, or model legislation, to ensure that CARICOM
members meet their obligations to prevent any illicit trade in
strategic goods within the region, there is still scope for real
assistance from civil society in:
– Helping CARICOM members cooperatively improve
maritime and port security within the region to deal with
strategic threats, and with the view to harmonizing
customs control procedures and systems
– Providing needed training to operational personnel to
enable these security practitioners to effectively utilize
techniques and approaches including automated risk
profiling, databases and watch lists to identify suspect
transfers and end-users
O’Neil Hamilton
Regional Coordinator
CARICOM UNSCR 1540 Implementation Initiative
Caribbean Community Secretariat

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