Security Council Resolution 1540 (2004) Points of Contact Training for English-Speaking African States

From 26 to 28 March, the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1540 (2004) in cooperation with the Commission of the African Union, and with the financial support of the European Union, convened a training course for 1540 national points of contact from English-speaking African States in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The course was supported by the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs.

This is the second time that a 1540 points of contact training was dedicated to African States and the seventh training of its kind overall. In August 2018, the fifth 1540 points of contact training and the first dedicated to Africa was held in Addis Ababa, for French-speaking African States. The training course for African national points of contact builds on the assistance and review conference on the implementation of resolution 1540 (2004) in Africa convened by the Commission of the African Union on 6 and 7 April 2016 in Addis Ababa in support of regional implementation efforts.

The course opened on 26 March with a welcome address by Admore Kambudzi, Acting Director for Peace and Security Department of the African Union.

A member of the Group of Experts supporting the work of the 1540 Committee delivered a statement at the opening session on behalf of Dian Triansyah Djani, Permanent Representative of Indonesia to the United Nations and Chair of the 1540 Committee. In his message, the Chair emphasized the importance of effective implementation of resolution 1540 (2004) as a vital and integral component of the international non-proliferation architecture, in particular the international community's efforts to prevent the proliferation of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons and their means of delivery to and by non-State actors. He also pointed out the importance of Points of Contact for facilitating the flow of information between the Committee and States.

Participants included national points of contact and representatives from the Governments of Botswana, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Namibia, Nigeria, South Sudan, United Republic of Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Detailed presentations on various aspects of resolution 1540 (2004) and follow-up resolutions were made by members of the 1540 Committee's Group of Experts and representatives of international and regional organizations, including the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), World Customs Organization (WCO), World Organisation for Animal Health, International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL), United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Africa.

Apart from presentations made by members of the 1540 Committee's Group of Experts and representatives of international and regional organizations, the participants introduced their national implementation status respectively, and had in-depth exchanges and discussions on the experiences and challenges in the implementation of resolution 1540 (2004). The training contributed to strengthening cooperation and interaction between States and the Committee. The training course also provided an opportunity for States to exchange regional experiences and approaches.

Resolution 1540 (2004) was adopted unanimously by the Security Council under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, on 28 April 2004. It obliges all States to refrain from providing any form of support to non-State actors attempting to develop, acquire, manufacture, possess, transport, transfer or use nuclear, chemical or biological weapons and their means of delivery. The resolution requires all States to establish domestic controls to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery to non State actors, including by establishing appropriate controls over related materials. Effective implementation requires constant attention and national Points of Contact play an important role in this regard.

Resolution 1540 (2004) and its follow-up resolutions emphasize the importance of assisting States, upon request, with the implementation of their obligations under the resolution. For this purpose, States are encouraged to inform the 1540 Committee of their points of contact, both in capitals and in permanent missions in New York. In this regard, resolution 2325 (2016) encourages all States that have not yet done so to provide the 1540 Committee with a point of contact for resolution 1540 (2004), and urges the Committee to continue to undertake initiatives to strengthen the capacity of such points of contact to assist on the implementation of the resolution, upon request of States, including through the continuation on a regional basis of the Committee's Points of Contact Training Programme. To date, 106 States have nominated national points of contact who act as an important link between the Committee and the relevant government structures and officials responsible for national implementation.

Source: United Nations