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Statement at the Security Council Open Meeting on Implementation of Resolutions 1540 (2004) and 1673 (2006)

Ambassador Jackie Sanders, U.S. Alternative Representative to the UN for Special Political Affairs
New York City
February 23, 2007


Thank you, Mr. President.

I join others in thanking Under-Secretary-General Tanaka, Director-General Pfirter, Mr. Zlauvinen, and Mr. Schmitz for their briefings today. The activities of these international organizations contribute greatly to states' implementation of Resolutions 1540 and 1673, and we hope that our discussion today strengthens the relationships among us and furthers our collective effort.

Mr. President, we appreciate the opportunity for the Council to focus on promoting implementation of Resolutions 1540 and 1673 and to highlight its resolve to counter the proliferation of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons, their related materials, as well as their means of delivery. The threat posed by weapons of mass destruction in the hands of terrorists or rogue states is one of the gravest dangers facing the planet, and in adopting resolution 1540, the Security Council sent a warning and an ultimatum to the broad range of facilitators of proliferation.

Unfortunately, Iran has yet to heed this warning or make the strategic decision to cooperate with the international community and end its pursuit of nuclear weapons capability. The report by the Director General of the IAEA, which this council received yesterday, makes clear that Iran has not complied with UN Security Council Resolution 1737, thereby highlighting the Iranian regime's continued defiance of the international community. This marks the second time that Iran has failed to comply with a resolution of the Security Council. The report also describes Iran's failure to cooperate fully with the IAEA's investigation and reiterates that, in addition to Iranian cooperation being long overdue, certain Iranian actions are hindering the IAEA's ability to verify the purposes of Iran's nuclear programs. This is unacceptable. As resolution 1737 indicates the Security Council should be prepared to take additional appropriate measures to communicate to the Iranian regime that its non-compliance is not acceptable and to persuade it to cooperate

Mr. President, states' actions to implement fully resolution 1540 form an important part of international efforts to deny terrorists access to weapons of mass destruction and to ensure that states seeking to develop a nuclear or ballistic missile capability in violation of international obligations will not succeed. In this regard, we also recognize and support the efforts of this Council and the 1540 Committee to promote states' full implementation of resolution 1540 through the activities set forth in resolution 1673.

We appreciate the chance to share the experience the United States has gained in our own implementation of resolution 1540. For example, consistent with the resolution's requirements concerning proliferation finance, President Bush in June of 2005 issued Executive Order 13382, which establishes a targeted financial sanctions program that blocks the assets of designated WMD proliferators and their support networks. It also prohibits U.S. nationals and others within the jurisdiction of the United States from engaging in transactions with those to whom the United States has applied such sanctions. We have created a special 1540 coordinator in the State Department, who works with many relevant agencies on implementation. Last May, we completed a national action plan for implementing resolution 1540.

The United States would like to ensure that 2007 is the year of 1540 implementation. To do that, states must establish clear national priorities, develop national implementation plans, and begin to act upon them. We stand ready to work with other states to identify and share lessons learned and best practices concerning implementation. At last week's ASEAN Regional Forum workshop on 1540 implementation, which the United States co-sponsored with Canada and Singapore, we were impressed to hear about the many developments states in that region are pursuing to promote their own implementation.

The United States is providing significant assistance to states working to implement 1540 fully, and we welcome and are prepared to consider additional requests for such assistance. The 1540 Committee's website lists the assistance the United States is offering, both bilaterally and multilaterally. For example, our Export Control and Related Border Security (EXBS) program has budgeted almost $132 million since 2004 for training, equipment, and infrastructure development related to 1540 implementation. In 2007, this program is sponsoring 1540 workshops with outreach partners in Oman, Kenya, Tanzania, the Caribbean, and Central and South America. As well as providing funding to the IAEA for its activities to support 1540 implementation, we provide joint training and assistance with the IAEA, to IAEA member states. Similarly, the United States and the OPCW have a long-term relationship in providing advice and assistance to enable states parties under the Chemical Weapons Convention to comply with their obligations under that treaty.

Today's debate also highlights the ways in which this Council can enhance its cooperation with organizations like the OPCW, the IAEA, and the World Customs Organization in promoting 1540 implementation. We urge the Council to encourage UN member states which may need assistance with 1540 implementation to avail themselves of the assistance the IAEA and the OPCW provide to strengthen national legal, regulatory, and institutional infrastructures related to nonproliferation, nuclear security, and chemical weapons. The Council should encourage the Committee, the IAEA, and the OPCW to consider how they might enhance their respective relationships, with a view toward identifying activities that could enhance states' fulfillment of their 1540 obligations. For the IAEA, activities relating to the Nuclear Security Programme might be particularly appropriate. For the OPCW, cooperation on activities such as technical assistance visits could be especially productive.

Mr. President, thank you again for organizing today's debate, and for your leadership role on this important issue.

Released on February 23, 2007

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