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CARICOM-UNSCR 1540 Implementation Programme. Support for implementation at the hemispheric level of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1540 (2004). Washington, DC March 22, 2012. The proliferation of WMD: underscoring the threat

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Implementation Programme

Support for implementation

at the hemispheric level


United Nations

Security Council Resolution 1540 (2004)

Washington, DC

March 22, 2012


The proliferation of WMD: underscoring the threat

Explaining and highlighting the Hemispheric Challenge

  • The United Nations and the international system as a whole have seen some success– particularly since 2004 – in making the case that the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) poses a genuine threat to international peace and security, but gains have been more modest in terms of convincing the developing world about the critical nature of this global security challenge
  • In the case of Latin America and the Caribbean, prior to 2008 and with the exception of a few of the larger economies in the hemisphere, there has been limited engagement in embracing UNSCR 1540 and developing and implementing requisite legislative, regulatory and administrative strictures that will serve to prevent proliferation
  • In real terms, participation and integration into the global trading system has also been a correlate – if not a predictor – of member states’ non-proliferation-related activities, which has been the case in the Americas
  • To deal with this reality and to address the ‘engagement imbalance’ UN member states in Latin America and the Caribbean have been increasingly looking to multi-lateral and regional joint-action to foster 1540 implementation

Preventing the proliferation of WMD

Issue of importance to Hemispheric Security

  • In assessing the context of the UNSCR 1450 implementation process in the Americas over the last two years, a key transformational dynamic has been the role that NGOs have played in shaping the debate within the IGO community and within member states on (a) the pace and scope of the 1540 implementation (b) the need for a more nuanced – if not realistic – approach to the 1540 implementation process, that takes into account structural and economic disparities and existing development priorities
  • The success of this new paradigm, which has markedly enhanced the implementation process, was due in large part to significant efforts by the ASG of the OAS and his office, which provided constant and critical advocacy – both within and outside of the Americas – for the appropriation of personnel and resources to aid this effort
  • This new engagement has laid the basis for both the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the Central American Integration System (SICA) to explore regional approaches to the UNSCR 1540 implementation process. While the CARICOM process is nascent and the SICA initiative moves to formal initiation, there is clear consensus that the thrust, focus and momentum of 1540 implementation has changed in the Americas – and indeed changed for the better.

Facilitating the implementation of UNSCR 1540

Confronting administrative and structural challenges

Fashioning Innovative approaches to facilitate implementation:

  • Reality is that 15 individual states are implementing UNSCR 1540, with all the attendant political, resource and structural challenges
  • In awareness-building stage, utilization of regional security institutions is fundamental: CONSLE, COFCOR, MSRMCS
  • Instituting a ‘Virtuous Cycle’ to encourage compliance
  • Engagement on non-proliferation must be predicated on existing security realities (trade in illegal narcotics and small arms in the case of the Caribbean) to ensure that the issue is viewed as important and will resonate with policymakers as well as enforcement personnel
  • Integrate small developing states into adopting non-proliferation aims through the institution of capacity-building programs (July 2010 Commodity Identification Training (CIT) workshop and OPCW legislative initiative in June 2011)

Facilitating the implementation of UNSCR 1540

Confronting administrative and structural challenges

Understanding contextual reality:

  • Stakeholder-identification and advocacy-building are key to building non-proliferation awareness in small, developing countries like CARICOM members
  • Major differences in approaches to awareness-building in small, developing countries; policymakers, opinion-leaders, enforcement/operational personnel don’t instinctively see role in preventing proliferation
  • Because these states have had no functional familiarity with terrorism or insurgent activity, threats posed by WMD are not readily perceived
  • Security culture and overall threat perception are largely different; non-proliferation as a concept must become a part of the region’s security vernacular
  • After September 11 attacks, no engagement within regional organs to specifically address this; engagement limited to working within the context of the Inter-American Committee Against Terrorism (CICTE)

Facilitating the implementation of UNSCR 1540

Confronting administrative and structural challenges

Fashioning Innovative approaches to facilitate implementation:

  • Key approach is to use existing security concerns that dove-tail with non-proliferation goals and can be addressed through the 1540 implementation process (CARICOM Programme initiative with the world Health Organization (WHO) to build capacity in natural disaster mitigation and to respond to public health/mass casualty emergencies. Security protocols involved in these processes are also components of any standard response system to an attack involving chemical or biological agents
  • CARICOM 154O programme is also working with several member states, including Jamaica, where there has been close cooperation, not only with policy entities but with enforcement branches such as the Jamaica Constabulary Force and also its military, the Jamaica Defence Force to institute modules that focus specifically on existing non-proliferation treaty obligations
  • A similar initiative is underway, with the Caribbean Customs Law Enforcement Council (CCLEC) which more broadly focuses on strategic trade

Realizing non-proliferation through cooperation

Instituting legislative, regulatory and administrative controls

  • Like other small developing countries, a key challenge confronting CARICOM member states relates to the lack of existing capacity – on the legal, regulatory and administrative fronts – in adopting and enforcing necessary measures aimed at preventing the proliferation of WMD and instituting necessary controls related to strategic trade commodities.
  • In addressing this challenge, CARICOM has forged a cooperative approach, facilitated by the United Nations 1540 Committee which seeks to develop a Reference Legal Framework (RLF) that will assist states in the region to institute controls that will target potential illicit transfers and enable the eventual interdiction, investigation and prosecution of these activities.
  • A regional ‘gap analysis,’ which will inform the development of the RLF, is being funded by USG and is being coordinated with the International Atomic Energy Agency, the United Nations Office for Drugs and Crime (UNODC), and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), among others.

Realizing non-proliferation through cooperation

Instituting legislative, regulatory and administrative controls

  • Given the region’s primary maritime environment and geography, CARICOM members, as required by the Resolution, are mandated to enact enabling legislation that, while focusing on the harmonization of regional export control arrangements, will also serve to:

(a) Control items that are transiting or being trans- shipped through the Caribbean’s waters, airspace, or territory, including free ports, and will center on the transfers of dual-use items, technology in both tangible as well as intangible forms, and other related services

(b) Control foreign-origin items re-exported from CARICOM member states

(c) Control items temporarily transferred to another state – including commercial material and equipment transfers to foreign-owned holdings

  • Focus will also be placed on adopting licensing procedures and practices that promote non-proliferation and an emphasis will be placed on also ensuring that applications processes for licenses covering strategic goods entail rigorous end-user/end-use analysis.

Building Effective Non-proliferation capacity

Responding to vulnerabilities in the maritime domain

  • The Maritime transportation is the primary mode of world trade. Ships carry approximately 80% of world trade by volume and about 96% of world trade by weight.
  • Growing share of transshipments in regard to the totality of maritime containerized traffic, from around 11% in 1980 to about 28% in 2005
  • Transshipment hubs present attractive economic targets for terrorism

Over the next two decades, the total volume of international trade is expected to double => Increased risk of diversion of sensitive items via maritime supply chain


Building Effective Non-proliferation capacity

Aiding detection, interdiction and prevention

  • The use of databases and watch-lists for evaluating parties involved in transfers will be a main focus. In addition, a key area of emphasis will be to ensure that technical experts, intelligence personnel, and policy officials from all legally entitled government agencies have the knowledge and opportunity to evaluate license applications for proliferation concerns.
  • A central component of the CARICOM-UNSCR 1540 Implementation Programme will also involve providing training and resources necessary to detect, identify, and prevent transfers that violate export control laws and regulations, and will include:

(a) Training in effective risk analysis and in targeting strategies to prevent the export, re-export, import, transit or transshipment of strategic goods

(b) Training in the utilization of trade information and intelligence to detect suspect transfers and to minimize impediments to legitimate trade; and the implementation of measures to account for, as well as to secure and maintain, the appropriate physical protection of strategic goods


Building Effective Non-proliferation capacity

Commodity Identification Training (CIT)

  • The CARICOM programme will help customs officials and port facility security personnel to:

(a) Identify chemicals relevant to the Convention

(b) Develop practical ways to implement the Convention’s provisions and to eliminate discrepancies between quantities of Scheduled chemicals declared by importing and exporting States Parties in respect of the same transfers.

(c) Develop capacity in effectively tracking the import and export of Scheduled chemicals

(d) Acquaint officials with current recommendations of the World Customs Organization (WCO) on identifying Scheduled chemicals in the Harmonized System - as well as potential changes to that System and also the referenced recommendations

  • A key objective is to further familiarize customs officials with relevant information sources including the OPCW Central Analytical Database, as well as to highlight discrepancies in the reporting of transfers of Scheduled chemicals. Officials will also be familiarized with techniques for controlling Scheduled chemicals in free ports and free zones, risk assessment, trans-shipments, and software for customs services.

Building Effective Non-proliferation capacity

Adopting multi-dimensional approaches to facilitate compliance

  • At both the OAS Hemispheric Workshop on UNSCR 1540 Implementation in Buenos Aires in May 2008 and the OAS-CARICOM Workshop on Maritime Security and Exports Controls Workshop in Support of UNSCR 1540 Implementation in Kingston, Jamaica in June 2009, CARICOM members stressed the need for the development of a nonproliferation model that addresses the root causes of proliferation rather than simply treating its symptoms. States also called for initiatives that would also bring to bear the significant technical support availed by the non-governmental community, as is represented by the Henry L. Stimson Center, the Stanley Foundation and other similar entities.
  • In this vein, the CARICOM implementation programme seeks to build on traditional security assistance approaches, by dually focusing on developmental challenges which fundamentally impact both traditional national security priorities as well as the ability of states to address the phenomenon of the proliferation of WMD.

O’Neil Hamilton

Regional Coordinator

CARICOM-UNSCR 1540 Implementation Programme

Caribbean Community Secretariat

246-241-4531 (Barbados)

202-329-4110 (US)