Security Council Briefing: Non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction

Statement by Karel J.G. van Oosterom,
Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the United Nations in New York

New York, 12 April 2018

Mr. President,

Let me express my gratitude to the chair of the 1540 committee, my esteemed colleague from Bolivia, for the his briefing on the work of the 1540 Committee.

We furthermore welcome the new members of the Panel of Experts and coordinators and we wish them well in their new position.

 Mr. President, I will touch upon three points:

  1. The threat of weapons of mass destruction,
  2. The importance of resolution 1540,
  3. Our work going forward.

1. Threat of WMD’s

My first point: the threat of weapons of mass destruction. The use and the threat of the use of weapons of mass destruction to international peace and security is real and remains real.

When such attacks occur, death comes in a gruesome way. Survivors have to deal with the aftermath of such attacks for the rest of their lives.

The current situation is also impacted by the challenges and opportunities presented by scientific and technological developments. And we feel very strongly that this aspect should not be forgotten in the committees work.

Let me also reiterate that we fully support the ambition of the Chair to bring the number of national reports to a hundred percent, as he just mentioned.

2.  Importance of Resolution 1540

Mr. President, this brings me to my second point: the importance of the 1540 mechanism to prevent weapons of mass destruction proliferation among non-state actors.

To address that threat, resolution 1540 is key. With its focus on the use of WMD’s by non-state actors, this resolution fills a clear gap in the international non-proliferation regime.

The resolution also complements the important other work that is undertaken in the area of nuclear security, let me mention for example by the International Atomic Energy Agency, as well as the impetus in this field that was achieved through the Nuclear Security Summit cycle.

Therefore, full implementation of resolution 1540 should be a priority for us all.

And we underline the importance of capacity building in states who need assistance when it comes to export controls, an issue also just mentioned by the Chair. This is an issue which is not also relevant for 1540 Committee, it’s a relevant issue for many of the subsidiary organs

3. Need to strengthen implementation of resolution 1540

My third point, Mr. President, the urgent need for concrete measures to strengthen the implementation of resolution 1540.

In light of the importance of its implementation, we are pleased that agreement finally has been reached on a program of work this morning.

Let me congratulate my colleague of Bolivia for this achievement. 

However, this is not a time to be complacent, now we need concrete action.

The committee must continue its work effectively and efficiently in line with the measures laid out in resolution 2325, especially those in clauses 8 and 9. Outreach towards the wider membership remains a key priority for us. And we welcome in particular the conference just mentioned by the Chair, to host a conference focused on Latin-American and especially Caribbean countries, as three of our autonomous countries in our Kingdom are there; Aruba, Curacao and St. Maarten.


In conclusion, Mr. President. We should reiterate our support towards the important work of the 1540 committee.

It’s necessary to build on the momentum created by the 2016 Comprehensive Review. And only by better working together on the implementation of this resolution, both in this Council but certainly also with the wider membership, we can prevent weapons of mass destruction falling into the hands of terrorists.  

Thank you very much, Mr. President.

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