WCO contributes to the Comprehensive Review of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1540

30 June 2016

The WCO actively participated in the open consultation carried out by the United Nations Security Council on the Comprehensive Review of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1540 (UNSCR1540), the international instrument adopted in 2004 which requires all states to take and enforce "appropriate effective measures" to prevent proliferation of nuclear, chemical, or biological weapons and their means of delivery.

Held every five years, the review process aims to enable members of the 1540 Committee, which was established to facilitate implementation of the resolution by all States, to analyze and evaluate implementation, to identify best practices and gaps and, based on that, to determine what further action is needed to achieve full and universal implementation of the resolution.

Attending the consultation meeting held in New York from 20 to 22 June were representatives of UN member states, as well as international, regional and sub-regional organizations and non-governmental organizations, and the WCO was among the organizations invited to deliver a statement to the review.

The WCO had been actively involved in the review process by actively participating in the meetings of the Group of Experts assisting the 1540 Committee. Representatives from the group highlighted during the consultation the high level engagement and support that they had received from the WCO and Secretary General Kunio Mikuriya.

Moreover, a number of countries mentioned the leadership role that WCO has played in the implementation of UNSCR1540, more especially in the framework of the Strategic Trade Control Enforcement Project which aims to build or strengthen Customs administrations’ capacities to implement law enforcement and border control measures to detect, deter, prevent, and combat illicit trafficking in strategic commodities (which are defined as weapons of mass destruction, conventional weapons and related items involved in the development, production or use of such weapons and their delivery systems). Activities undertaken under the Project, and in particular the publication of practical materials such as the Strategic Trade Control Enforcement Implementation Guide, were specifically mentioned by some countries as vital to enable and build capacity of Customs administrations to fulfill their 1540 commitments.

In its statement, the WCO suggested that the wording in the resolution referring to "appropriate effective border controls" be further developed, particularly given that national circumstances and the maturity level of legal and regulatory structures varies significantly between countries. The WCO noted that among many Customs administrations there is a lack of awareness of UNSCR1540, both at managerial and operational levels. It is particularly important to raise awareness among senior managers within Customs Administrations so that priority is given to enforcing UNSCR1540 and appropriate resources are allocated.

The WCO also provided a more practical suggestion in the form of a proposal for the development of an Implementation Note "to assist Member States in their implementation of customs- and border-related aspects of 1540". Such a note would supplement and reinforce the existing measures called for in UNSCR 1540.


  • WCO contribution to the Comprehensive Review of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1540

    WCO contribution to the Comprehensive Review of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1540

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