1540 Committee: the non-proliferation regime continues to be put to the test [fr]
Briefing by the Chair of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1540 (2004).
Statement by Mrs Anne Gueguen, Deputy Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations
Security Council - 19 March 2019
I join others in commending Indonesia, through Ambassador Djani and his team, in leading the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1540 (2004). He can count on France’s support over the next two years within the important framework of preparing the comprehensive review of the implementation of resolution 1540 (2004).The resolution is a pillar of the non-proliferation architecture that underpins our entire collective security system. Through its adoption in 2004, the Security Council made a priority of the threat of the proliferation and use of weapons of mass destruction, particularly by non-State actors. Fifteen years later, as 2018 unfortunately demonstrated, the non-proliferation regime continues to be put to the test. Other speakers have already described in detail the threats facing it, including the acknowledged risk of the use of chemical weapons by any actor and the persistence of the illegal nuclear and ballistic-missile programme in North Korea.
France is particularly concerned about the new trend involving the proliferation of missiles, their components and associated technologies to non-State actors in the Middle East. Clearly, that poses a threat to regional security and beyond and must stop. The illicit transfer to non-State actors of missile production capabilities enabling the delivery of weapons of mass destruction is a matter of great concern. That is why the raison d’être of the 1540 Committee is more relevant now than ever.
The 1540 Committee is the architect of the action taken by all States that contribute to the shared work of meaningfully combating proliferation. I join others in paying tribute to the Group of Experts that supports it and whose analytical and awareness-raising work remains essential. Accordingly, in order to contain proliferation, we must ramp up our efforts now more than ever. In that regard, I will focus on two main lines of action.
First, at the national level, every one of our countries must strive to coordinate meaningful efforts to implement resolution 1540 (2004). We must ensure the security of sensitive material and equipment in our countries and strengthen export controls, in particular with regard to the risks involving the use of emerging technologies. I would also refer to the prevention and suppression of proliferation financing. France enjoys a solid and unique national legal framework in that regard. My country is also particularly involved in preventing the threat of terrorists acquiring sensitive nuclear and radioactive materials. We support the work of the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism and the Group of Seven Global Partnership against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction, which we currently chair.
Secondly, as we are more effective together, we must not focus our non-proliferation efforts in isolation. We must give priority to strengthening cooperation and assistance. France, which is coordinating the Working Group on Assistance, attaches particular importance to strengthening the regional dimension of ensuring alignment between the needs and the proposed assistance. The holding of regional seminars is a successful format upon which we must build. We welcome the work of the other actors mentioned, including the European Union, but we must also do more by focusing on dynamic and interactive exercises, such as tabletop exercises, so as to enable participants to learn concrete lessons and take them on board.
Lastly, in order to be effective, we must also consider the scope of the challenges facing us by strengthening synergies with other forums facing the same issues outside the United Nations — such as the International Atomic Energy Agency, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, the World Customs Organization and export control regimes — and the various internal agencies of which the United Nations is comprised, in particular the committees dealing with terrorism.
At a time when the challenges to our security are constantly on the rise, we must remain fully mobilized to preserve and strengthen the non-proliferation regime. Resolution 1540 (2004), the focus of today’s meeting, makes a difference as it establishes both a legally binding framework and concrete follow-up framework to ensure the implementation of the obligations which are incumbent upon all. France will remain fully committed to fully supporting and contributing to the work of the 1540 Committee.