Swedish statement at the UNSC Briefing on the 1540 (Weapons of Mass Destruction) Committee

National statement delivered by Ambassador Irina Schoulgin Nyoni on behalf of Sweden at the United Nations Security Council Briefing on the work of the 1540 (Weapons of Mass Destruction) Committee, 12 April 2018, New York.

Thank you Mr President,

I would like to thank the Ambassador of Bolivia for his briefing to the Council today and for Bolivia's continued efforts as chair of the committee. We welcome the important developments in the committee's work during 2017. This includes the appointment of six new members to the group of experts. We are pleased that three of the new experts have already commenced their work and that the remaining three experts will join in the coming weeks.

I would also like to express my appreciation to Japan and Egypt for their contributions, during their time on the Council, as coordinators of Working Group I and III respectively. We welcome Peru and Côte d'Ivoire as the new coordinators of these two working groups and look forward to working with them. You can be assured of our full support. We hope that a coordinator for the group of experts can also be agreed upon soon. Let me also take this opportunity to stress the need to take into account gender balance when appointing coordinators.

Mr President,

Sweden remains strongly committed to strengthening the multilateral disarmament and non-proliferation regimes, to which resolution 1540 is a essential complement. The threat of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction to - and through - non-state actors is constantly evolving and the global non-proliferation framework is under immense pressure. Again and again, in recent years, we have witnessed the use of chemical weapons by both state and non-state actors. And in line with comment by the British Ambassador, this cannot be allowed to become the new normal. It is imperative that we hold perpetrators to account and show the world that the use of these weapons remains unacceptable. We must recognise the changing nature of the threat, react, adapt and step up our efforts.

Let me reiterate, once again, our regret that the Council has failed to establish a new attribution mechanism for the use of chemical weapons in Syria. We will continue to support efforts that aim to achieve this objective. Accountability for the use of chemical weapons in Syria is crucial and must be assured.

Mr President,

We were pleased that the programme of work could be adopted this morning. The adoption was essential for the Committee to remain effective. Sweden, as vice-chair of the Committee, thanks all Council members for their flexibility and spirit of compromise.

I would also like to mention the important joint meeting, which took place last year, between the 1540 Committee and the Counter-Terrorism Committee. Such meetings have proven to be useful and we encourage further exchanges and strengthened coordination with other relevant Security Council committees, including the Counter Terrorism Committee.

Mr President,

There remains a need to highlight the risks associated with intangible transfers of technology, whereby sensitive know-how might be transferred through research, industry or social media. This is an issue that we raised repeated during the comprehensive review in 2016. As vice-chair of the 1540 Committee, we are currently considering ways to further these efforts.

We remain committed to contributing to the implementation of resolution 1540. This includes through the nuclear security cooperation programme of the Swedish Radiation Safety Agency and our engagement in the G7 Global Partnership Programme, where we currently co-chair the Bio-Security Sub-Working Group.

As we have seen in recent days, the threat posed by weapons of mass destruction to international peace and security is clear and present. It is only by working together, in full support for the multilateral institutions we have put in place, that these threats can be managed and overcome.

Thank you.

Contact

Lisa Laskaridis
Head of Press and Communication, Permanent Mission of Sweden to the UN
Phone +1 212 583 2543
Mobile +1 917 239 0941
email to Lisa Laskaridis