Statement by Ambassador Thoms in the Open Debate of the United Nations Security Council on Non-Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction

Aug 23, 2016

(check against delivery)

Mr. President,

At the outset, let me express our gratitude to you for convening this Open Debate on Non-Proliferation.

I would also like to align myself with the Statement (to be presented) by the European Union.


Mr. President,

While it is undisputable that substantial progress has been made in the 12 years since the adoption of UNSCR 1540, there is no doubt that the risk of non-state actors acquiring, developing, trafficking in or using WMDs and their means of delivery remains high. Unfortunately, it is a risk that can quickly become a reality as the use of chemical weapons by ISIS in Syria and particularly in Iraq clearly shows. Therefore we urge all States to continue to work towards the aim of full implementation, bearing in mind the importance of a global, multilateral and binding approach to non-proliferation.

Germany reaffirms its unwavering commitment to the full and universal implementation of the obligations deriving from UNSCR 1540. This, of course, includes enhancing the security of nuclear materials worldwide.

Germany continues to encourage and to assist other states in implementing UNSCR 1540. We have already done this- for example by sharing experiences and identifying effective practices.

Against the background of recent proposals to intensify efforts to combat the use of chemical weapons by terrorists, we need to carefully examine what contribution UNSCR 1540 can make in this context, working closely with other fora like the OPCW. The key to preventing such acts is without a doubt the national implementation of Security Council resolutions and other obligations. We need to think more carefully about ways to enhance the implementation of relevant resolutions.

UNSCR 1540 requires States to take a number of specific measures, adopting and enforcing effective laws and establishing export controls of dual-use goods and technologies. At the same time we need to keep in mind that in a globalized world, the involvement of the private sector is vital for successful non-proliferation. After all, it is the private sector which must implement many of the rules and laws.

Against this backdrop, Germany initiated the “Wiesbaden Process” in 2011, which focuses on private sector engagement in the context of UNSC Resolution 1540. Up to now, four international 1540 industry outreach conferences have taken place. Industry representatives from diverse sectors such as aviation, biosecurity, banking and finance, electronics, energy, health, pharmacy and transport have shared best practices in export control and compliance. We are proud that “Wiesbaden” has become a brand and that the issue is part of the 1540-agenda.

Listening to concerns and proposals of industry representatives has helped and will facilitate a more effective implementation of UNSCR 1540, by

a)   strengthening export controls, b) controlling access to intangible transfers of technology, and c) controlling information that could be used for WMD and their means of delivery.

The fourth Wiesbaden Conference in November 2015 aimed at contributing to the Comprehensive Review by focusing on lessons learned from past conferences. There are three outcomes that I wanted to mention in particular: firstly, ways and challenges to effectively implement compliance programs within enterprises. Secondly, the creation of industry networks, especially to help small and medium-sized enterprises to comply with all national regulations and requirements. And finally, the establishment of regional fora. In sum, these outcomes will help to further spread the idea behind Wiesbaden.

Moreover, on a broader scope, we are engaged in fighting the proliferation of biological and chemical weapons. We are of the opinion that it is crucial to raise awareness of illegal procurement activities and dual-use risks among enterprises in the biotechnology and chemical industry. As producers of products that are critical due to their dual-use risk, enterprises play a key role in the implementation process of UNSCR 1540.


Mr. President,

Let me close my remarks by stressing that Germany stands ready to broaden the scope of the Wiesbaden process by addressing, biosecurity, chemical and nuclear security, transport, brokering and export control.

Thank you.

© GermanyUN

Statement by Ambassador Thoms in the Open Debate of the United Nations Security Council on Non-Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction

Botschafter Thoms in Security Council meeting: Non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction