Training Course for UNSCR 1540 Points of contact in the Asia-Pacific Region

July 5th, 2024

From 25-28 June 2024, the Government of China and the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1540 (2004) hosted a ‘Training Course for UNSCR 1540 Points of Contact (PoC) in the Asia-Pacific Region’ in Beijing, China. The training course was supported by the UN Office for Disarmament Affairs and co-funded by the Government of China and the European Union.

The PoC training course was the fourth of its kind in the region, with the first training taking place in Qingdao, China, in 2015: in Xi’An, China, in 2017; and in Xiamen, China, in 2019. This course took place at an opportune time given that 2024 marks the 20th anniversary of the adoption of Resolution 1540. The resolution, which is binding on all 193 UN Member States, aims to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction to and by non-State actors.

The Course commenced on 25 June with opening remarks from the 1540 Committee Chair, José Javier De La Gasca of Ecuador, who highlighted the fact that resolution 1540 serves as a “vital component of the international non-proliferation architecture”, and “main guidance for the international community’s efforts to prevent the proliferation of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons and their means of delivery to and by non-State actors.” Ms. Maria Linder, Minister Counsellor from the EU Delegation to China then went on to highlight the “European Union’s commitment to investing in capacities we build within the framework of UNSCR 1540. These capacities extend to addressing diverse security challenges, from conventional arms control to the international circulation of dual-use technologies, and bolstering the implementation of protection standards set by multilateral export control regimes.” Mr. SUN Xiaobo, Director-General of the Department of Arms Control of the Chinese Foreign Ministry, likewise stressed that China intends to advance global security governance, strengthen the international nonproliferation regime and promote the comprehensive, balanced and sustainable implementation of Resolution 1540. He also emphasized the importance of ensuring unimpeded access of all countries to the benefits of scientific and technological development for peaceful purposes. While Ms. Izumi Nakamitsu, High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, underscored that the Training Course was an opportunity to reflect on the “important contributions the resolution has made to our collective security over the course of the last two decades” and stressed the “crucial role played by national 1540 Points of Contact in preventing the nightmare scenario of WMD terrorism.” Numerous press agencies were in attendance at the opening ceremony assuring wide-spread media coverage of the event.

The substantive sessions of the training focused on providing the PoC – from close to 30 regional States – with an overview of the main provisions of the resolution and showcased the tools at their disposal to bolster their State’s efforts to deny safe havens to any non-State actors with malicious intent. The offers of assistance from the more than 20 international and regional organizations present – among which were the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the Biological Weapons Convention-Implementation Support Unit (BWC-ISU) and the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) – were well received by States who can benefit from the substantive, technical and financial assistance available to them in their efforts to implement this landmark resolution.

Each State representative was invited by the organizers to present on their State’s 1540 implementation activities since the COVID pandemic, as well as on their identified national non-

proliferation priorities over the next 12 months. ODA also engaged State representatives in an interactive dialogue on the challenges they experience, and the help they may need to better fulfill their roles as 1540 PoCs, reiterating the fact that the roles and responsibilities of 1540 PoCs is not defined in UNSCR 1540 nor in its successor resolutions and it is therefore at the discretion of States to determine for themselves.

By the end of the four-day training, and thanks to the two site visits to the Chinese Nuclear Security Technology Centre and the Chinese Institute of Atomic Energy, PoCs were better equipped – both from a substantive and practical viewpoint – to contribute to their State’s efforts to prevent WMD proliferation to and by non-State actors and to carry the 1540 torch back to their respective States to ensure the continued momentum of 1540 implementation.

For further information, please contact Ms. Amanda Cowl, UNODA’s 1540 Regional Coordinator for Asia and the Pacific (