Remarks at a UN Security Council Briefing by the Chair of the 1540 Committee

Ambassador Robert Wood
Alternate Representative for Special Political Affairs
New York, New York
March 23, 2023


Thank you, Mr. President. And thank you, Ambassador Perez Loose, for your informative briefing. We congratulate Ecuador for its Chairmanship of the 1540 Committee, and we thank you for the excellent leadership you’ve shown during your tenure.

The United States fully concurs with the Chair’s assessment that Resolution 1540 remains a vital component of the global non-proliferation architecture to prevent non-State actors from gaining access to weapons of mass destruction.

While much progress has indeed been made, we must also highlight the findings of the 1540 Committee’s Comprehensive Review completed on November 30, 2022, that gaps in implementation remain.

Accordingly, we further welcome Resolution 2663, which this Council adopted on November 30, 2022, to renew the mandate of the 1540 Committee and its Group of Experts.

In Resolution 2663, the Security Council also tasked the 1540 Committee and its Group of Experts with conducting increased outreach to Member States and other stakeholders to address these gaps, including through hosting Open Consultations with all UN Member States and other stakeholders, and encouraging states to develop voluntary National Action Plans and participate in voluntary peer reviews. We look forward to actively participating in the Committee’s efforts to pursue this outreach.

Another key feature of Resolution 2663 intended to encourage implementation is the sharing of technical guides that states may find useful when implementing UNSC Resolution 1540. The United States fully supports making such information available for Member States to draw from, and we look forward to participating in upcoming discussions on this topic.

We further look forward to improving transparency in the 1540 Committee by adopting much needed updates to its internal guidelines to account for and describe the activities to be undertaken by the Committee’s Group of Experts, as required by Resolution 2663.

The Group of Experts is one of the most effective tools at our disposal in supporting effective implementation of Resolution 1540, and it will be crucial to clarify the Group’s responsibilities so that it can engage fully in the activities clearly elaborated in the Committee’s mandate.

The possibility of weapons of mass destruction being acquired and used by terrorists or other non-state actors remains one of the greatest threats to international peace and security.  Resolution 1540 is one of the few established, authoritative international instruments in place to address these threats, and the 1540 Committee remains a vital tool for ensuring that the resolution and its implementation are as strong and effective as possible.

Thank you, Mr. President.