Subject: Cooperation between the Security Council and International Organizations for the Implementation of Resolutions 1540 (2004) and 1673 (2006)Mr. President,
I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union.
The Candidate Countries Turkey, Croatia* and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia*, the Countries of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidates Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, and the EFTA country Iceland, member of the European Economic Area, as well as Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova align themselves with this declaration.
The proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery, such as ballistic missiles, is a growing threat to international peace and security. While international treaty regimes and export control arrangements have slowed the spread of such weapons and their delivery systems, a number of states have sought or are seeking to develop such weapons. The risk that terrorists will acquire chemical, biological, radiological or fissile materials and their means of delivery adds a critical new dimension to this threat.
Meeting this challenge, therefore, is a central element of the EU’s external action. Our objective is to prevent, deter, halt and, where possible, eliminate proliferation programmes of concern worldwide. Non-proliferation, disarmament and arms control can make an essential contribution in the global fight against terrorism by reducing the risk of non-state actors gaining access to weapons of mass destruction, radioactive materials, and means of delivery.
It is not least against this backdrop that the European Union fully acknowledges the relevance of Security Council Resolution 1540 (2004) as an important international instrument. It is the first to be adopted by the Council to deal with such weapons, their means of delivery, and related materials in an integrated and comprehensive manner.
The EU is determined to give full support to the Security Council and to the Security Council Committee established pursuant to Resolution 1540 in their endeavour to achieve the broadest possible implementation of the resolution´s requirements.
The European Union fully recognizes the tireless efforts of the Committee established under this Resolution to provide guidance to States on preparing and submitting national reports and fully implementing their obligations under resolutions 1540 and 1673 (2006). Let me indicate that in doing so the Committee should also bear in mind its particular responsibility to the States in need of assistance.
We are all fully aware that the Committee’s capacities are not unlimited and that additional guidance and assistance is necessary. It can be provided by States but also by International Organizations. The EU greatly appreciates the important work in support of national implementation that has been undertaken by a number of International Organizations, such as the International Atomic Energy Agency and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. The EU also acknowledges the commitment of other International Organizations to support the implementation of Resolution 1540 through appropriate activities within their respective areas of responsibility. Furthermore, the support and the useful contributions by NGOs to the implementation of the Resolution are appreciated.
The European Union, does not ignore the dangers emerging from weapons of mass destruction, their means of delivery, or related materials, either. That is why as early as December 2003 it endorsed the EU Strategy against the Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction. This Non-Proliferation Strategy creates a comprehensive and cogent basis for joint action by the EU Member States. It constitutes a central element of the EU’s external action.
It is first and foremost within the framework and on the basis of this Strategy that the EU engages in the effective and global implementation of Resolution 1540, which is one of the focal points of its non-proliferation policy.
The EU Strategy against the Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction and Their Means of Delivery rests on three pillars:
• Rendering multilateralism and its instruments more effective
• Promoting a stable international and regional environment
• Close co-operation with key partners
The Strategy aims at strengthening identification, control and interception of illegal trafficking of weapons of mass destruction. It also suggests a programme of assistance to States in need of technical knowledge in the field of export control. Both are core issues addressed by Resolution 1540.
Every year the EU adopts a list of priorities for the implementation of its Non-Proliferation Strategy. Support for the implementation of Resolution 1540 figures prominently among the EU’s policy priorities. That is why in 2005 the Resolution was added to the list. But even before that time the EU had undertaken, and continues to undertake, a number of activities aimed at strengthening national export control systems where assistance is required. The EU’s substantial legislative corpus in the area of export controls, the lessons learned and the best practices identified during a Peer Review, give the EU a solid background that enables it to support third countries in the development of effective export controls.
In 2006, the EU and Member States held numerous seminars and meetings providing export control training and assistance to States in need of technical knowledge, similar to the one recently held in San Francisco within the framework of the Asean Regional Forum. In addition, the cooperation and assistance programmes under the 2005 Pilot Project programme of the European Commission, implemented by Germany’s export control agency, with the assistance of national experts from EU Member States, were advanced in several countries. All these measures, as well as many others I cannot mention here, contribute to assisting in the effective implementation of Resolution 1540.
Finally, in 2006, the EU co-sponsored and, together with UN-DDA, co-financed three regional seminars through a Joint Action of all EU Member States to support the regional implementation of this Resolution. The seminars took place in regions where countries had the greatest difficulties implementing the Resolution. These seminars were aimed at raising awareness of its requirements, in particular the obligation to submit national reports on implementation and to adopt relevant legislation and other measures.
The seminars yielded very concrete and comprehensive recommendations with regard to follow-up, and pinpointed the real need for assistance. We consider the seminars to have been of particular help in identifying further need for assistance because the countries in need themselves participated in the workshops. The recommendations are a result of their discussion and their input. The European Union will listen to their voices.
In giving assistance to the implementation of Resolution 1540 in third countries, the EU will continue to cooperate and coordinate closely with the stakeholder governments involved. Their involvement and participation in identifying the assistance needed is an important precondition for the success and sustainability of any measure taken. But the EU will also cooperate closely with the 1540 Committee. It is the focal point for the implementation of the Resolution. Any action taken should, therefore, be closely coordinated with the Committee in order to avoid redundancies.
Let me conclude by reiterating that the European Union remains committed to the full implementation of Resolutions 1540 and 1673.
However, our work on 1540 is far from being finished. We have a vision of how the world should look once this Resolution is fully implemented. But that is still a long way off.
Today we face the question of what our next steps should be to strengthen the Resolution. In this context, we also have to outline a perspective for its implementation beyond April 2008, when its second implementation phase will end. We now need to develop a step-by-step approach of concrete measures that will, finally, lead to a full-fledged implementation of Resolution 1540 and to a world that will be safer than it is today, where we face grave dangers caused by the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction by state and non-state actors.
* Croatia and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.