Journal Article - 1540 Compass
Evolving State and Nonstate Proliferation Threats
UN Security Council resolution 1540 has come a long way since it was approved over a decade ago. Initially, many countries questioned the legitimacy of the Security Council “legislating” requirements for countries all over the world, and there were wide gaps in both reporting and action. Today, UNSCR 1540 is a broadly accepted part of the international landscape, only a few countries have not yet provided at least basic reporting on steps taken under the resolution, and many countries have taken action to fulfill the resolution’s requirements, ranging from enacting export control laws to strengthening security for biological pathogens.
But the threats of both state and nonstate acquisition of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons remain very real. These threats are changing, as terrorist groups morph into different forms, technology traffickers develop new tactics, and technologies advance and spread. There is much to be done to strengthen the international community’s response to these evolving threats, including through more effective implementation of UNSCR 1540. As the Comprehensive Review of UNSCR 1540 proceeds this year, several areas should be considered to strengthen the resolution’s effectiveness.
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