Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies Program on Energy and Sustainable Development Stanford University


Publications




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Enhancing Implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1540

Report

Authors
Allen S. Weiner - Stanford University
Chaim Braun - Stanford University
Michael M. May - Stanford University
Roger Speed - CISAC Affiliate at Stanford University

Published by
CISAC, September 2007


The threat of the use of weapons of mass destruction by terrorist groups is perhaps the gravest threat confronting the international security system. In 2004, the United Nations Security Council, acting under Chapter VII, adopted Security Council Resolution 1540 (UNSCR 1540). UNSCR 1540 calls on UN member states to enact legislation and to take effective measures to prevent non-state actors, and terrorist groups in particular, from obtaining weapons of mass destruction. UNSCR 1540 also obligated states to report on measures they have taken to fulfill the substantive requirements of the resolution. In addition, UNSCR 1540 established an ad hoc committee ("the 1540 Committee") to receive states' reports and in turn to report to the Security Council on implementation of the resolution. In 2006, the 1540 Committee's initial two-year mandate was renewed for another two years.

UNSCR 1540, as administered by the 1540 Committee, has largely been effective in encouraging states to provide detailed descriptions of the domestic legal authorities and administrative structures they have in place to address the threat of WMD proliferation. Additional progress can and should be made by the Security Council and the 1540 Committee, however, to ensure that the maximum nonproliferation and security benefits that might be produced by UNSCR 1540 are achieved. Our recommendations address implementation, adaptation, international cooperation and assistance, information sharing and assessment, and organizational implications.