With the support of the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA), The Federal Republic of Nigeria convened a national consultative meeting on strengthening the implementation of UN Security Council resolution 1540 (2004). The meeting was held on 16-18 October 2023 in Abuja.
Nigeria was among the first countries in Africa to affirm commitment to resolution 1540, which aims to prevent the proliferation of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons and their means to delivery to non-State actors. Since submitting its first report to the 1540 Committee of the Security Council in October 2004, Nigeria took concrete steps towards enhancing national implementation. Over the past years, legislation and enforcement measures were enacted in several sectors, including human and animal health, environmental protection and hazardous substances management, as well as customs and border controls.
Notably, the 2019 National Security Strategy of Nigeria recognizes that the proliferation of chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) weapons constitute a threat to domestic and international peace and security. It thus prioritizes the safe, secure and authorized use, storage, transport, and other related activities involving CBRN material in the country. More recently, Nigeria introduced the Terrorism Prevention and Prohibition Act (2022) which strengthens the prohibition of the proliferation of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons and the financing thereof. In 2022, Nigeria also launched the five-year National Biosecurity Policy and Action Plan. The Integrated Nuclear Security Sustainability Plan is also under review.
Against this background, the objective of the meeting was to deepen knowledge among national stakeholders of the requirements of resolution 1540 and review the status of its implementation at the national level. The meeting also launched the process of drafting a voluntary National Implementation Action plan to consolidate, integrate and enhance multisectoral efforts.
The meeting was attended by fifty mid and senior level officials from thirty-two ministries, departments and agencies of Nigeria. The national stakeholders presented their respective policies and mandates on nuclear, chemical and biological safety and security. Presentations covered licensing, inspections and oversight of the peaceful use of controlled materials; the ongoing legislative and regulatory processes to fill the gaps and address emerging issues; as well as detection, preparedness and response to related incidents and emergencies.
Also participating in the meeting were representatives from the 1540 Committee Group of Experts, the International Atomic Energy Agency, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism and the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention. The participating international organizations delivered informative presentations on resolution 1540 and the related international instruments, as well as the technical and capacity-building assistance delivered and offered to Nigeria.
The meeting participants shared experiences and perspectives on the current implementation challenges and potential solutions. In this regard, participants discussed means to harmonize security and safety policies and practices, and to balance prevention and response in light of evolving domestic, regional and global risks. Participants further discussed the imperative to coordinate inter-agency action and leverage synergies resulting from the shared mandates of the various departments and agencies.
Based on a review of Nigeria’s 1540 Matrix and the updates presented by the national stakeholders, a group exercise was conducted in which participants analyzed gaps and challenges, identified action to be taken in the short and medium term, and the role and pursuant responsibilities of the competent institutions. The Office of the National Security Adviser, which houses the national point of contact on resolution 1540, will lead the subsequent inter-agency process to finalize, validate and adopt the national implementation action plan. UNODA will continue to provide the required technical and advisory support in this regard.
The meeting was supported by contributions from Germany and the United States of America made to the UN Trust Fund for Regional and Global Disarmament Activities.
For more information, please contact UNODA 1540 Support Unit at email@example.com.