Countering WMD Proliferation: The Next Generation's Ideas

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Countering WMD Proliferation: The Next Generation's Ideas

Introduction from the Chair of the 1540 Committee

Twelve years after its adoption, United Nations Security Council Resolution 1540 (2004) has become one of the key components of the international regime to prevent the spread of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and their means of delivery. It is intended to prevent non-State actors, in particular for terrorist purposes, from taking any step that could be a prelude to their use. Resolution 1540 (2004) is unique in that it covers nuclear, chemical and biological weapons and their means of delivery and not just one of them. It is also unique in that it requires States to implement a wide range of appropriate and effective measures aimed at ensuring proper control of materials related to WMD. These steps include, for example, effective measures to account for, secure, and protect them and to control their export. Everyone has a role if we are to attain world-wide, effective implementation of resolution 1540 (2004): States’ legislatures, government ministries and agencies, international and regional organizations, industry, and civil society. In this context, I am pleased that the Stimson Center, with the support of the governments of Finland and the United States, has conducted the 1540 international essay competition, which has captured the attention of a world-wide audience of students. Several features of the essay competition are worth noting: it has raised awareness around the world of the importance of resolution 1540 (2004); it has engaged academe to which we look for new and innovative ideas and proposals to improve its implementation; and it has provided those of us engaged in implementing resolution 1540 with food for thought. Perhaps of more significance, it has engaged the “next generation” of scholars. I congratulate, the winners of the competition as well as those whose essays warranted honourable mention, but I also offer my sincere thanks to all students who submitted essays.

HE Mr. Román Oyarzun Marchesi
Chair of the Committee established pursuant to
United Nations Security Council resolution 1540 (2004) and
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
Permanent Representative of Spain to the United Nations, New York