Assessing UNSCR 1540’s significance for national export controls. Andreas Persbo Nuclear Law and Policy Researcher VERTIC. What does UNSCR 1540 require?. The resolution aspires to create a comprehensive, international export control regime. Export Transit Transshipment Re-export
Nuclear Law and Policy Researcher
The resolution aspires to create a comprehensive, international export control regime.
The paragraph is not limited to non-state actors, but applies to proscribed items in general, whether in relation to states, industry or terrorist groups.
The paragraph applies to “materials, equipment and technology covered by relevant multilateral treaties and arrangements, or included on national control lists, which could be used for the design, development, production or use of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons and their means of delivery.”
France: the resolution‘does not compel any State to abide by the rules of instruments to which some States have chosen not to accede’. Moreover, the resolution ‘leaves each state free to define the penalties, legal regulations and practical measures to be adopted’
Pakistan: ‘the list prepared by closed regimes such as the Missile Techology Control Regime (MCTR), the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) or the Australia Group cannot automatically be accepted by or imposed upon States that are not parties to those regimes’
Many states have nevertheless decided to look at AG, MCTR, NSG or ZC lists.
Resolution 1540 is only the second time the Council has used its powers to take a far-reaching, general decision, that can be described as being legislative in nature. The first time this happened was following 11 September 2001, in response to the threat of international terrorism (UNSCR 1373)
The identified threat, the proliferation of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons, as well as their means of delivery, is without doubt real, but remains abstract. The resolution is not responding to a concrete situation.
UNSCR 1373, which bears many similarities with UNSCR 1540, has been regularly reaffirmed by subsequent Security Council practice. States have not objected to its adoption.
Lawmaking resolutions are, by now, firmly established in Security Council practice, but the real test for UNSCR 1540 is to see if states are implementing it. The best way to look at this is by examining reporting.
The submission of new reports have slowed down considerably since December 2005
The majority of States which has not reported are either a least-developed state and/or a small island developing state
11 States in category
Reporting states only