The Governments of the Philippines and Singapore held a peer review aiming to enhance the implementation of UNSCR 1540

June 27th, 2024

28-29 May 2024 (Manila) With a view to strengthening implementation of UNSCR 1540 (2004), the Governments of the Philippines and Singapore began a peer review to share information, experiences, and challenges and to identify areas for improvement related to the implementation of the resolution with a particular focus on export controls. With financial support from Japan, the United Nations Office for Disarmament (UNODA) Affairs provided administrative and substantive assistance to the exercise. 

The specific items usually discussed as part of the Peer Review include: (1) legal and regulatory frameworks (i.e. control lists); (2) general provisions for administrative and criminal violations; (3) preventing dual use emerging technology (goods, software) from being used to develop weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery; and (4) the United Nations Act (UN Act) – domestic implementation of UN Security Council resolutions.

This UNODA-supported Peer Review represents the first of its kind in Southeast Asia and the Pacific. It is hoped that this Peer Review will set the stage and serve as a pilot exercise for numerous other States in the region wishing to follow suit. In support of this initiative, the government of Japan participated as an Observer, lending relevant input and guidance where appropriate.

The first session of the Peer Review, held in Manila from 28 to 29 May 2024, was comprised of interactive case scenarios ranging in topics, such as interagency collaboration and knowing-your-stakeholders, operating a robust licensing system, catch-all controls and seizure and forfeiture. An interactive session was also conducted on the identification of items (and entities) of concern and concluded with a mock trial on enforcement mechanisms, including investigation and prosecution.

The second Peer Review consultation is expected to take place in Singapore in September 2024 with the purpose of arriving at a final outcome document. This document is intended to be formally submitted to the 1540 Committee at the UNHQ in New York in October 2024 at a side event to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the landmark UNSCR 1540.