Report on the UN Security Council Resolution 1540 Committee's Open Consultations and Global Emerging Pathogens Treatment (GET) Consortium Side Event at the UNHQ New York June 20-22, 2016.

Report compiled by Diran Makinde and Akin Abayomi
Resolution 1540 was adopted in 2004 by the Security Council under Chapter VII of the UN Charter which gives the Council the authority to deal with threats to international peace and security. UNSCR 1540 established obligations for all Member States to develop and enforce appropriate legal and regulatory measures against the proliferation of chemical, biological, nuclear weapons, and their means of delivery, and ensure the security of related materials, to prevent their i illicit trafficking. It also encourages enhanced international cooperation on such efforts. In January 2013, the 20th Summit of the Assembly of the African Union (AU) adopted a decision requesting the AU Commission to take all necessary steps, in collaboration with the 1540 Committee and the relevant partners, to support Member States in their efforts in the implementation of the resolution. The AU has since taken a number of important initiatives including the organization of awareness-raising workshops and trainings for the national points of contact designated by Member States pursuant to the resolution. Moreover, in April 2015, the AU Commission organized a two‚Äźday assistance and review conference on the implementation UNSCR 1540 in Africa which focused on addressing the assistance requests submitted by AU Member States to enhance the national implementation of UNSCR 1540 at the national level. A number of AU Member States are committed to this UNSCR 1540 but are hindered in its implementation by constraints such as financial, human resources, limited infrastructure, technological capabilities and knowledge to harness the benefits of chemical, biological and nuclear sciences and technology in the areas of health, agriculture and energy.

From 20 to 22 June 2016, the 1540 Committee held formal open consultations with Member States, relevant international and regional organizations and civil society in order to have the benefit of their perspectives on how best to achieve the goals of the resolution. The meeting provided an opportunity for substantive contributions to be made through a combination of plenary debate and thematic discussions on monitoring and implementation; assistance, including the role of international organizations; and the role of transparency and outreach. While noting that progress had been made over the past five years in implementation of UNSCR 1540, participants recognized that accomplishing the objective of its full implementation is a long-term task that will require continuing efforts by Member States, the 1540 Committee and also by international organizations. The Global Emerging Pathogens Treatment Consortium (GET) an international civil society entity established by African experts in various medical and legal fields, at the height of the Ebola Infectious Disease was invited to contribute to the Comprehensive Review process and was represented by Prof Akin Abayomi, Prof Diran Makinde, Mrs Alice Mungwa and Mr Scott Spence. See Annex 1 for GET statement at the Open Consultations. During the Open Consultations, GET organized a side event focused on biosecurity to contribute to the discussions on the implementation of UNSCR 1540. Panelists were Dr. Akin Abayomi; Dr. Diran Makinde; Dr, Dana Perkins, former member of the 1540 Committee Group of Experts and currently a Senior Science Advisor in the US Department of Health and Human Services; Mr. Scot Spence, Programme Director for National Implementation- Verification Research, Training and Information Centre , UK(VERTIC). Presentations and discussions were moderated by Mr Trevor Smith Senior Program Manager for the Senior Program Manager, Biological & Chemical Security, Global Partnership Program (GPP), Canada. Prof. Akin Abayomi and Prof. Makinde gave an overview of GET's activity and progress made in Africa towards universalization of 1540. This was followed by commentaries from Mr. Scott Spence and Dr. Dana Perkins (See Annex 2 for the abstract and program of events and notes).
The UN press statement on the Open Consultations is available at: http://www.un.org/press/en/2016/sc12428.doc.htm

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