Nuclear Weapons | Discussion Takeaways

UNSCR 1540: Fostering Regional Momentum

February 2013


This policy memo is based on a series of discussions by a group of UN and government officials, as well as representatives of regional, subregional, and nongovernmental organizations at the Stanley Center’s 44th annual UN Issues Conference, “UN Security Council Resolution 1540: Fostering Regional Momentum,” held in Tarrytown, New York, February 21-23, 2013.

Since 2005, two nongovernmental organizations, Stimson and the Stanley Center, have worked closely with the UN’s 1540 Committee, donor governments, and governments across six key regions—the Caribbean, Central America, the Andean region, Eastern Africa, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia—to pioneer an innovative approach to implementing UN Security Council Resolution 1540 (UNSCR 1540). The strategy—the dual-benefit model—seeks to bridge the divide between weapons of mass destruction proliferation and higher priority human security and development issues. In many cases, this approach has yielded new momentum, generating pragmatic implementation by governments and new streams of assistance that meet mutual security and development concerns. In other cases, regional progress has been less evident. The purpose of the discussion at this conference was to consider the lessons learned from these efforts in order to help lay the groundwork for a more robust and fruitful implementation strategy for UNSCR 1540.

Participants reflected on the evolution of the resolution and noted the priorities of the new chair of the 1540 Committee, which were defined as a commitment to revitalizing the committee itself, a vision for a year of universality, and laying the groundwork for increased focus on proliferation financing and transshipment. Participants considered the dual-benefit model and other innovative models of engagement. Discussion focused on how best to foster regional momentum, facilitate buy-in from countries across the Global South, and overcome challenges facing donors and recipient partners, with an eye to seeking additional avenues for the full and effective implementation of the resolution.