ASEAN States meet to strengthen implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1540

October 12th, 2022

The United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA), in collaboration with the Government of Thailand, hosted the ‘UNSCR 1540 (2004) Workshop for ASEAN states’ at the United Nations Conference Centre in Bangkok from 21- 22 September 2022. The two-day workshop enhanced understanding of the main provisions of UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1540 (2004) aimed at preventing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery to non-state actors, and to strengthen collaboration on its implementation throughout the sub-region.

Over 30 attendees participated in the meeting, including representatives of the 10 ASEAN Member States, the ASEAN Secretariat, relevant international organisations and UN agencies, as well as a number of countries, including Australia, Japan and the United States of America, that provide financial contributions to assist implementing the Resolution’s provisions in the region.

At the outset, the Government of Thailand reaffirmed its solid commitment to the implementation of UNSCR 1540 (2004) and its readiness to cooperate with the international community in promoting disarmament and non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

Next, UNODA presented an overview of the status of the resolution’s implementation in the region, noting that the implementation rate has increased across ASEAN countries over the past few years. Participants also heard about the “assistance matchmaking mechanism” that is available to them through the 1540 Committee, which facilitates technical assistance, including by engaging actively in matching offers and requests for assistance. Another tool that States can make use of in implementing the Resolution, the presenters added, is the peer review process, which involves two or more States sharing their experiences and expertise on areas of mutual interest.

ASEAN States discuss their updated 1540 matrices

Over the course of the workshop, the ASEAN States each presented their national priorities and challenges in implementing the resolution and discussed ways to strengthen momentum in the region, including by reinforcing the 1540 point of network among all ASEAN States. International and regional organisations, including the ASEAN Secretariat, the Biological Weapons Convention – Implementation Support Unit, the European Union Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Risk Mitigation Centres of Excellence, the International Atomic Energy Agency, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, and the World Customs Organization, showcased their 1540-related assistance offers to ASEAN States with a view to contributing to the full and effective implementation of the resolution.

Resolution 1540 (2004) was adopted unanimously by the Security Council, under the United Nations Charter’s Chapter VII, in 2004. It obliges all States to refrain from providing any form of support to non-State actors attempting to develop, acquire, manufacture, possess, transport, transfer or use nuclear, chemical or biological weapons and their means of delivery. The resolution requires all States to establish domestic controls to prevent WMD proliferation and their means of delivery, including by establishing appropriate controls over related materials.

The workshop was made possible thanks to the generous contribution of the Government of Japan.

UNSCR 1540 (2004) workshop for ASEAN States