Security Council Resolution 1540 (2004) Point of Contact Training for French-Speaking African States

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 African Union member States, convened a training course for 1540 national Points of Contact from French-speaking African States in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, from 14 to 16 August. It is envisaged that a further training course for other African States will be arranged during 2019.

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. Among others, the conference welcomed the announcement by the 1540 Committee to conduct dedicated training for 1540 Points of Contact and encouraged periodic meetings of African Points of Contact to review implementation efforts, share experiences and map progress.

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 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, 102 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.

This first training course dedicated to 1540 national Points of Contact on the African continent follows similar courses for Points of Contact conducted in the Asia-Pacific region, for States of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), and for States in the Latin American and Caribbean region hosted by China, the Russian Federation and Chile, respectively. These training courses provide the Points of Contact with an in-depth knowledge of resolution 1540 (2004) and contribute to strengthening the cooperation and interaction between States and the Committee, as well as between each other and in strengthening capacity for internal coordination. The training courses also provide an opportunity for States to exchange regional experiences and approaches.

In a message read by the coordinator of the 1540 group of experts, Raphael Prenat, participants were reminded of the continuing threat posed by the proliferation of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons to non-State actors, particularly terrorists and the need for all States to continue to strengthen national efforts to prevent such proliferation. During the opening session, Einas Osman Abdalla Mohammed, in her capacity as representative of the African Union, and Aaron Junhoung Yoo, as representative of the Office for Disarmament Affairs, both emphasized the important role of the 1540 Points of Contact in the implementation of resolution 1540 (2004).

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), INTERPOL, the World Customs Organization and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

The course focused on the obligations for States under resolution 1540 (2004) and issues related to current risks of the proliferation of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons to non-State actors, as well as links with other relevant international non-proliferation and counter-terrorism instruments.

The course presented an opportunity for 1540 Points of Contacts from 19 States to deepen their understanding of resolution 1540 (2004) and to exchange their national implementation experiences with their peers. Participants included national Points of Contact and representatives from: Algeria, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, CAte d'Ivoire, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Congo, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Guinea, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger and Togo.

Resolution 1540 (2004) was adopted unanimously by the Security Council, under the United Nations Charter's Chapter VII, 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 as members of a living network that not only connects with the Committee and its supporting group of experts, but also with each other when it comes to the effective implementation of the obligations of resolution 1540 (2004).

Source: United Nations