In Resolution 1540, the United Nations Security Council, acting under its Chapter VII power to adopt measures that are legally binding on all U.N. member states, obligated all states to adopt and enforce effective procedures to prevent terrorist actors from acquiring weapons of mass destruction or related equipment and technologies. Resolution 1540 also requires U.N. member states to report on steps they have taken to fulfill the resolution's substantive requirements. A specially convened 1540 committee reviews the member states' reports on these measures.
Although the adoption of Resolution 1540 is itself a significant expression of international consensus about the need to address the threat of WMD terrorism, its ultimate contribution to international security will depend on whether it is effectively implemented.
This CISAC project evaluated implementation of Resolution 1540. CISAC researchers with experience in international law, nuclear weapons and nonproliferation consulted with research and policy colleagues to develop specific policy recommendations designed to enhance implementation of Resolution 1540. They presented their analyses and recommendations to U.N., diplomatic and policy communities in New York and Washington, D.C.
In the project's first phase, researchers reviewed and analyzed country reports and the reporting matrices developed by the 1540 Committee and proposed a set of preliminary policy recommendations. The second phase consisted of gathering input from research and policy colleagues around the world, during a workshop at Stanford on July 20 and 21, 2006. In the final phase, the researchers revised and finalized their recommendations to present to U.N., U.S., and international policy makers.