Non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction : the terrorist threat - 22 December 2015 [fr]
Security Council - Non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction - Statement by Mr. Philippe Bertoux, Political Counsellor of France to the United Nations - December 22, 2015
I thank the Ambassador Oyarzun Marchesi for the very thorough briefing he has just made on the activities of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1540 (2004) over the past quarter, as well as for his observations.
The proliferation of radiological, biological, chemical and nuclear weapons and the risk that they may fall into the hands of terrorists are very real dangers, as the Ambassador has very aptly reminded us. The crimes committed by Daesh in Syria and Iraq, which seem to know no bounds, means that we cannot rule out such a possibility.
The adoption of resolution 1540 (2004), 11 years ago, marked a decisive step in preventing those dangers by requiring, via a resolution under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations, that States take specific measures to prevent such weapons from falling into the hands of terrorists. The setting up of the 1540 Committee has since ensured the ongoing monitoring of the implementation of the resolution, and encouraged cooperation among Member States in that fight.
We have seen undeniable progress in implementing the resolution over the course of the past 11 years.
First, the vast majority of Member States have adopted measures to translate the provisions of the resolution into their national legislation, including informing thе Committee of such measures via implementation reports. I commend the Group of Experts for analyses and outreach efforts, which are essential to the Committee’s work.
Secondly, today we see that an increasing number of international, regional and subregional organizations have adopted strategies to implement and promote the provisions of the resolution.
The European Union, for example, has promoted the implementation of the resolution since 2004; and that commitment was renewed in July 2013 by the Foreign Affairs Council, which adopted a decision on resolution 1540 (2004) allocating €1.5 million towards regional efforts to implement its provisions.
Despite the undeniable success of the past 11 years, much work remains.
Given the emerging technologies that terrorists may be able to exploit, all Member States must further strengthen their export and border controls, prevent and suppress the financing and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and ensure that sensitive goods and materials are as secure as possible within their territory.
The comprehensive review of the implementation of the resolution, which the 1540 Committee has just launched in accordance with resolution 1977 (2011), must meet those challenges.As I already mentioned, the preliminary analysis by the Group of Experts on the measures taken by States Members pursuant to resolution 1540 (2004) shows improved implementation of the resolution, which is very positive. However, the implementation is uneven, depending on the region and the type of action. We hope that the review will help identify priority areas where the Committee can focus its efforts.On the issue of assistance, I want to assure the Council of the commitment of my delegation, which coordinates the working group on the subject, with the aim of improving the efficiency of the assistance mechanism.
I cannot conclude my statement without saying that the fight against the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and against the risk that they will fall into the hands of terrorists is also being conducted in other forums. The Nuclear Security Summit to be held in Washington, D.C., in the spring of 2016 should enable us to consolidate the achievements of the process launched in 2010. We are firmly committed to that, particularly in terms of securing high-intensity radioactive sources, as any theft could have extremely serious consequences.
The second International Conference on Nuclear Security of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), scheduled for December 2016, will help to define the IAEA’s upcoming nuclear security plan of action for the period 2018-2021. It will also strengthen the security of radioactive sources. We must emphasize the broadest possible participation at the ministerial level to ensure the success of that important conference.
Again, the risk is real. Mobilizing all of energy of the international community is necessary to combat the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and prevent them from falling into the hands of terrorists.
Lastly, my delegation joins you in advance, Madam President, in echoing the words you will express later to the outgoing members. It has been a pleasure and privilege for us to work with Chile, Jordan, Lithuania, Nigeria and Chad — which I list in French alphabetical order. We have had two particularly intense years, during which the contribution of all five members has truly enriched the history of this venerable institution. We have been very active, and even hyper-active at times. We would like to thank them all very sincerely.