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Homeland Security

Security Council to step up action to keep deadliest weapons away from terrorists

23 February 2007 The United Nations Security Council will intensify its efforts to bring together concerned organizations working to keep weapons of mass destruction from falling into terrorist hands, the president of the 15-member body said today following a daylong debate on the issue.

“The Security Council affirms its determination to promote increased multilateral co-operation as an important means of enhancing States’ implementation of resolution 1540,” Peter Burian of Slovakia said, referring to the measure adopted in 2004 aimed at preventing countries from supplying any forms of support to operatives that “attempt to develop, acquire, manufacture, possess, transport, transfer or use nuclear, chemical or biological weapons and their means of delivery.”

In a formal statement read out at the end of the meeting, which saw the participation of over two dozen speakers, he also called for States to comply with that resolution and related measures.

The statement lauded the activities of international organizations with expertise in the field of non-proliferation of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons and their means of delivery, particularly the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.

At the same time, the president acknowledged that more must be done to tackle the problem. “The Security Council is mindful of the need further to explore with international, regional and sub-regional organizations experience-sharing and lessons learned in the areas covered by resolution 1540 (2004), and the availability of programmes which might facilitate” its implementation, he said.

So far, 135 United Nations Member States and one organization have submitted their first national reports to the Committee set up to monitor compliance with resolution 1540, which Slovakia chairs. Eighty-five States have provided additional information at the request of the Committee. But according to a letter Ambassador Burian submitted to the Council in advance of today’s debate, 58 States have yet to submit their first report.

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