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21 June 2016, New York – European Union Statement by Mr. Jacek Bylica, the Special Envoy for Disarmament and Non-proliferation, at the Formal Open Consultations on the Comprehensive Review of the status of Implementation of Resolution 1540 (2004) 20 – 22 June 2016



Mr. Chairman,

1. I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union and its Member States. The Candidate Countries Turkey, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia*, Montenegro*, Serbia* and Albania*, the country of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidate Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova and Georgia, align themselves with this statement.

2. First of all, allow me to congratulate you, Ambassador Oyárzun and all your Colleagues from the 1540 Committee and the Group of Experts for the excellent work done in preparing these Open Consultations on the Comprehensive Review of UN Security Council Resolution 1540.

Mr. Chairman,

3. UN Security Council Resolution 1540 (2004) remains a central pillar of the international non-proliferation architecture. UNSCR 1540 has become even more important in the current context characterised by more acute and diffuse threats, in which the distinction between international and internal security is blurred.

4. We expect the Comprehensive Review to reaffirm the centrality, importance and authority of the Resolution in the multilateral non-proliferation architecture. The Review should also be used to strengthen support for the 1540 Committee and its Group of Experts. The EU and its Member States believe that the future development of UNSCR 1540 should take account of new and emerging trends in nuclear, chemical and biological security. This also means that the 1540 Committee and its Group of Experts should be in a position to effectively support States to implement UNSCR 1540 in light of them.

5. As a result of the Comprehensive Review, the EU and its Member States favour a strong restatement of the Council’s support for the full implementation of Resolution 1540, including potentially through a further Security Council Resolution.

Mr Chairman,

6. In the run-up to this consultative meeting, the EU submitted to you a report entitled “EU support to the full and universal implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1540”. This report demonstrates the strong and consistent commitment by the EU and its Member States to UNSCR 1540 during the past decade and sets out our proposals on how this instrument should develop in the future in order to adapt to the new security challenges.

7. I will not set out in detail all the elements contained in this report [tbc: which you were so kind to publish already on the 1540 Committee’s website]. But let me draw the attention of the distinguished Delegates to five salient points:

8. Firstly, you will notice throughout the report the strong EU commitment to UNSCR 1540 implementation, both internally within the EU and on the international scene. Take for example the EU-funded ‘CBRN risk mitigation Centres of Excellence initiative’, launched in 2010. With 8 regional secretariats and 54 partner countries, it has been very successful in strengthening national and regional CBRN governance. Another example is the robust EU export control regime which is directly applicable and binding for all EU Member States. EU legislation is updated regularly to take into consideration technological developments and the latest decisions of the relevant international non-proliferation regimes and export control arrangements. The EU has also developed a dedicated EU-P2P export control programme for dual-use items, worth EUR 30 million since 2004 and aimed at helping authorities in 34 States in six regions to strengthen their export control regime and to better comply with the obligations in UNSCR 1540. In close collaboration with EU Member States, the EU continues to implement CBRN Action Plans and to strengthen CBRN security throughout the EU. Likewise, the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation “Horizon 2020” encourages novel solutions to protect critical infrastructure and fight crime and terrorism. On the international scene, the EU and its Member States continue to strongly support the various regimes such as the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC), the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and the Global Partnership against the spread of weapons of mass destruction.

9. My second observation will concern the EU’s direct support to the Global Trust Fund managed by UNODA in support of UNSCR 1540. I am pleased to inform the distinguished delegates that the EU is favourably considering the adoption of a new Council Decision in support of UNSCR 1540 implementation and universality. We are confident that new projects under this scheme can be implemented from the beginning of 2017 onwards, taking into account the outcome of the comprehensive review.

10. Thirdly: reporting and implementation. The EU and its Member States recently carried out targeted outreach towards the 17 States yet to submit a first report to the 1540 Committee. The EU outreach effort can give rise to EU follow-up support action at the request of the countries concerned. But we should encourage all States to provide regular, high-quality reporting on national implementation. Renewed efforts are also needed to encourage the elaboration of National Action Plans. The nomination of national Points of Contact (PoCs) and the creation of PoCs in international, regional and sub-regional organisations is another means to strengthen the UNSCR 1540 network structure. Moreover, law enforcement capacities should be strengthened if States so request. Country visits and regional exercises could help determine and identify the challenges for effective implementation of UNSCR 1540.

11. My fourth point is on assistance. The 1540 Committee’s process for matching requests with offers of assistance should be improved. The 1540 Committee should have the technical, human and financial resources it needs to effectively fulfil its responsibilities; it should support States to develop strong, detailed assistance requests. Consideration should be given to providing the 1540 Committee with a permanent or longer-term mandate, reflecting the long-term nature of proliferation challenges. The 1540 Committee should strengthen its engagement with assistance providers, including with the EU and its Member States and other donors participating in the Global Partnership. The Comprehensive Review will likely result in new needs and assistance requests. It is important that donors respond accordingly by making the best use of available resources and considering mobilising additional resources, including contributions in kind.

12. A fifth and last point is a very important one for the EU: outreach to the private sector and civil society. The UNSCR 1540 Committee should promote an active role for industry, including through close coordination with relevant EU programmes, the Wiesbaden process, the Botticelli project and other industry initiatives. Such efforts should include a broad range of countries, regions, sectors, sizes (especially SMEs) and types of players: suppliers, exporters and transporters. Outreach to industry and the financial sector should in particular aim at:

  • encouraging companies to set up internal compliance programmes;
  • encouraging cooperation between governments and industry/the financial sector, for instance when drafting legislation or implementing strategic trade controls;
  • addressing the challenges posed by cross-border supply chains.

13. Increased outreach should also target civil society at large as well as academia, national parliaments and the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) to raise awareness of the Resolution and its legal requirements.

Mr Chairman,

14. The Comprehensive Review provides an important opportunity to review implementation of UNSCR 1540 since 2010. I wish to reaffirm the readiness of the EU and its Member States to collaborate closely in this process with the 1540 Committee and its Group of Experts, with all UN Member States and with other non-governmental stakeholders. Together we should explore how implementation of UNSCR 1540 can be strengthened to effectively contribute to international peace and security.

Thank you for your attention.



* The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Albania continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.



  • Ref: EUUN16-092EN
  • EU source: European Union
  • UN forum: First Committee - Disarmament and International Security Committee,Other
  • Date: 21/06/2016

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