2007.02.23: Open Debate on the Implementation of Resolutions 1540 (2004) and 1673 (2006)

H.E. Ambassador Oh Joon, Deputy Permanent Representative, at Security Council

Mr. Chairman,

1. First of all, I would like to join previous speakers in thanking you for convening today’s open debate on the implementation of Security Council resolutions 1540 and 1673. My delegation views today’s debate as an opportunity to renew our commitment to the complete implementation of these resolutions and to share our views on the best means of doing so.

Mr. Chairman,

2. The world today faces mounting threats from the proliferation of the weapons of mass destruction (WMD). Particularly frightening is the possibility of such weapons being used by terrorists. It has become imperative for the international community to work together to address these threats. Against this backdrop, the unanimous adoption of resolution 1540 by the Security Council in 2004 was a historic step, which was reinforced last year with the adoption of resolution 1673.

3. Three years after the passage of resolution 1540, there are still daunting challenges to the attainment of its goals. As indicated in the concept paper prepared for today’s debate, there are still 58 States that have not yet submitted their first national reports on implementation. While the submission of a report does not guarantee implementation, it is an important first step in the process. My delegation therefore calls for universal submission of national reports. More intensive efforts should be made to achieve this end. In this regard, we welcome the 1540 Committee’s programme of work to intensify its outreach activities and to assist States in preparing and submitting national reports.

4. According to the Committee’s analysis of those national reports that have been submitted, there are significant gaps in many cases between the commitments of States to the resolution and their practical implementation of its requirements. There are also imbalances in implementation among states and regions. My delegation believes that identifying and understanding these gaps and imbalances is important to ensuring the full and effective implementation of the resolution in mid-to-long term. In this respect, the Committee needs to strengthen its monitoring role. It would be also useful to promote good practices and share lessons learned in closing these gaps and imbalances.

Mr. Chairman,

5. While implementation of resolution 1540 at the national level is fundamental, full and effective implementation will also require coordination and cooperation at the sub-regional, regional and international levels. Regional and sub-regional initiatives for implementation would not only spur national governments to action, but also provide a positive example for nations in other regions.

6. Also conducive to attaining the goals of the resolution is the sharing of information and experience on WMD non-proliferation with relevant international organizations and export control regimes. In this respect, it is welcome and opportune that representatives of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and the World Customs Organization (WCO) are participating in today’s debate. Similarly, we welcome the 1540 Committee’s initiative to work closely with international and regional organizations.

Mr. Chairman,

7. The Republic of Korea has been an active participant in international efforts for the non-proliferation of WMD in all its aspects and is a State Party to most of the international disarmament and non-proliferation treaties and multilateral export control regimes. We have faithfully implemented resolution 1540, putting in place the necessary legal and administrative systems to ensure compliance. We are committed to its full implementation at the national, regional and international levels. In this regard, my delegation is pleased to report that the Republic of Korea, together with Australia, plans to host an international seminar next month in Seoul on the subject of brokering controls in all its aspects, at which one session will be devoted to Security Council resolutions on non-proliferation, including resolution 1540.

8. Let me close by commending the strenuous efforts of the 1540 Committee and its Chairman, Ambassador Burian, to facilitate implementation of the resolution. We assure him of our full support and cooperation in this noble endeavour. Thank you.