UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon on Tuesday, urged UN Member States to make sure they are properly equipped to prevent non-state actors from acquiring Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD).
Ban made the call while speaking at the two-day open Consultations of the Security Council 1540 Committee against WMD terrorism Comprehensive Review in New York.
Member States, he said, also needed to endow resolution 1540 with the means to guard against the misuse of technological advances.
He also urged members of the Security Council to take responsibility for improving the world’s preparedness in response to the possible use of a WMD by a non-state actors.
He said that resolution 1540 has become an important component of the global security architecture.
“It is a pillar of the UN strategy to confront the global challenge of non-state actors acquiring weapons of mass destruction.
“It must be strengthened to keep up with the times.
“We have made good progress in prevention, but we must also think about what to do if, despite all our efforts, prevention fails.
“I would like to stress that the best way to prevent non-state actors from using WMD is by eliminating all such weapons, completely and irreversibly.
“I count on the international community to urgently step up its efforts on disarmament and non-proliferation of all kinds of weapons of mass destruction. Let us redouble our efforts to create a safer and more secure world,’ he said.
Ban said that throughout his tenure as secretary-general, Security Council resolution 1540 has been an important tool to prevent non-state actors from acquiring weapons of mass destruction. For twelve years, it has functioned as a fine example of international cooperation.
He said the alliances forged between the Committee and regional and sub-regional organisations has greatly benefitted the world.
Likewise, he applauded the committee for the partnerships it has established with civil society, academia and the private sector.
A collective approach, he said,is critical for a robust and adaptable resolution.
He expressed his gratitude to those Member States that have provided funds or in-kind assistance, including to the Office of the High Representative for Disarmament Affairs and its regional centres, to support implementation of the resolution since 2004.
“However, we must all acknowledge that the world has changed since 2004. Sadly, this has not always been for the better.
“The use of poison gas in the Syrian Arab Republic was an alarming reminder of the continuing threat of weapons of mass destruction, or WMD.
“Dangerous non-state actors have demonstrated global reach. They have actively sought the full range of WMD capabilities.
“They often operate on the territory of states that unfortunately lack the capacity to address these dangerous activities,’ he told committee members.
These non-state actors, he said, take advantage of the open borders and technologies that define the modern world and our global society.
Ban said that they seek to misuse the broad diffusion of technology, for their own evil ends.
The UN chief said that he was concerned about the increasing danger of malicious use by terrorists of Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear material against a population centre.
The resolution 1540 (2004), imposes binding obligations on all States to adopt legislation to prevent the proliferation of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons, and their means of delivery.
It also imposes binding obligations on states to establish appropriate domestic controls over related materials to prevent their illicit trafficking.
It encourages enhanced international cooperation on such efforts. The current review of the resolution is the second one, since its adoption in 2004.
The findings of the first review were endorsed in resolution 1977, adopted in 2011, in which the Council decided that the committee should conduct another review within five years, as well as prior to the renewal of the Committee’s mandate, which expires in 2021.
The current process started officially on April 28, 2015, when the committee approved a paper outlining the modalities for the conduct of the review with a view to completing the process by 30 November 2016, as called for in resolution 1977.
According to the report , the review is meant to be both retrospective and forward-looking.
It aims to improve implementation of the resolution by recommending specific action, while analysing the operation of the committee and making recommendations for adjustments if necessary.
Over the past year, the comprehensive review has been a key focus of the committee and its Group of Experts.
It has also been a high priority for the current committee chairman, Amb. Román Oyarzun.
Top on the review are several areas and challenges that participants may want to address.
On the topic of monitoring and national implementation, the data analysis conducted in preparation of the review shows that there has been progress in the rate of implementation over the last five years.
The paper also notes, however, that there was less progress with regard to accounting, security and export control measures.
It states that there were also significant differences in the rate of implementation between nuclear, chemical and biological, as well as regional differences, among others