Cambodia takes steps towards strengthening its Strategic Trade Control Enforcement to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction to non-State actors

November 28th, 2022

The United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA) supported the Royal Government of the Kingdom of Cambodia in organizing a national workshop to raise awareness amongst policymakers and senior Government officials on resolution 1540 (2004) which aims to prevent the proliferation of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons to non-State actors. This workshop was part of UNODA’s ongoing program to support States’ efforts towards fully implementing their obligations under this resolution.

Jointly organized with the World Customs Organization (WCO) and with a financial contribution by the Government of Japan, the event took place in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, on 28 November 2022. It gathered senior officials from more than 15 Cambodian ministries and agencies, including the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Defense, Agriculture, Commerce, Environment, Industry, Justice, the National Authority on Chemical Weapons, the National Counter Terrorism Committee, and the Armed Forces and Customs. International partners also attended the workshop, including representatives from Germany, Japan, and the United States.

A key subject of interest was Cambodia’s efforts to establish an effective strategic trade control system – one of the obligations under resolution 1540 (2004).  Participants explored ways to better integrate and enhance coordination among various ministries to enable a more effective licensing mechanism for strategic goods. They also discussed how 1540 provisions must be considered in the implementation of other disarmament and nonproliferation treaties, including the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC), and the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC).

Awareness-raising seminar for policy makers and senior managers on United Nations Security Council Resolution 1540 (2004) and Strategic Trade Controls

Crucially, the workshop helped build and foster a network of focal points throughout different ministries and agencies, serving the purpose of enhanced inter-ministerial coordination. Additionally, the participants were informed of the role of the 1540 National Focal Point, who serves as a liaison with the relevant UN Security Council Committee.

The workshop will be followed by a four-day training for frontline customs officials on enhancing Cambodia’s strategic trade control enforcement under the framework of resolution 1540 (2004). Additionally, ODA and the government of Cambodia will cooperate to prepare a National Action Plan and to submit updated reports to the 1540 Committee, as part of ongoing support to fast track Cambodia’s efforts to achieve full implementation of resolution 1540 (2004).