Speech

"I encourage the Committee to continue to be bold in its ambitions in response to the proliferation threats we must face together."

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Statement by Ambassador Tatham of the UK Mission to the UN, to the Security Council meeting on the Non-Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction

UN Security Council

Thank you Mr President,

I would like to thank the Republic of Korea for their strong leadership of the 1540 Committee over the past two years. Your engagement and drive has been essential for the work of this important Committee.

2014 marks the 10 year anniversary of this Resolution. This is an important milestone. The instability currently seen around the world only strengthens the need for robust controls on all chemical, biological and nuclear materials. We have to prevent any proliferation to non-state actors. With even better national reporting, increased focus on effective implementation and the promotion of best-practice in tackling proliferation risks, the 1540 Committee can go on to make an even greater contribution.

States continue to demonstrate their firm commitment to implementing Security Council resolution 1540. The submission in 2014 of the first ever National Reports from Malawi, Lesotho, Liberia and South Sudan has reduced the number of non-reporting states to 20. The further submission of new updates to National Reports and voluntary National Implementation Action Plans are also welcome.

Resolution 1540 retains one of the highest rates of reporting compliance. But we have not yet achieved universality of reporting. The final yards can sometimes be the hardest, but also the most important. I urge those states yet to submit such Reports to do so without delay.

Under the Republic of Korea’s able leadership, the Committee has rightly focused on effective implementation practices. The information the Group of Experts intend to provide on country matrices will prove an invaluable resource to the Committee to fulfil the vital function of matching offers and requests for assistance.

Mr President,

The United Kingdom continues to play its part in supporting and promoting best practices. We hosted a delegation of Committee Members and Experts earlier this month for their first visit to the United Kingdom. We look forward to the Group of Experts’ report from the visit and encourage more states to engage the 1540 Committee in its outreach functions.

As part of the wider visit to the United Kingdom, my Government additionally teamed up with Chatham House and Kings College London to host a conference on the challenges and opportunities presented by the tenth anniversary of resolution 1540. This attracted participation from seventy non proliferation practitioners from government, academia and civil society and was opened by Virginia Gamba, Director and Deputy High Representative, UNODA.

The continuing relevance of resolution 1540 to evolving proliferation risks, such as so-called intangible transfers of technology and information that could be used to build and deliver weapons of mass destruction, emerged as a key theme from that event’s discussions. As we approach the 1540 Comprehensive Review in 2016, I encourage the Committee to continue to be bold in its ambitions in response to the proliferation threats we must face together.

Thank you.

Published 24 November 2014