Statement by the delegation of Ukraine at the 1540 Formal Open Consultations, 20 June 2016
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At the outset, I wish to commend the dedicated and outstanding efforts of the Spanish Chairmanship aimed at reinforcing UNSC resolution 1540 and advocating the nonproliferation goals and principles on the whole.
As we are aligning with the statement of the European Union, to be delivered later, I will limit my intervention to a few national comments.
Ukraine, as a state with a nuclear-weapon-past and a full-fledged Party to the NPT, CWC and BWC, is strongly committed to implementation of resolution 1540 and spares no effort to prevent non-state actors from acquiring materials and technologies that could be used as a weapon of mass destruction. Prior to the Open Consultations Ukraine submitted to the Chair of the Committee updated Information on national implementation of resolution 1540, which we’d like to be placed on the 1540 Committee website.
Ever since 12 years ago, UNSC resolution 1540 has played a crucial role in strengthening global and regional non-proliferation efforts. Its preventive objective makes the resolution a unique and valuable tool.
At the same time, despite the measures taken by the Member States to prevent proliferation risks, we are witnessing growing and even more complicated threats in this area. On the one hand, the risks may arise not only from poor national legislation in place but also from the rapid development of science and technology coupled with a lack of threat awareness among academia, industry and civil society.
On the other – international legal prohibitions have little relevance to terrorists and criminals, who might be tempted to engage in attacks against civilians or critical infrastructure using chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) materials.
Unfortunately, for more than 2 years now my country has been under a foreign military aggression – the most serious crisis in Europe since the World War II. Until to date, Ukraine has no possibility to physically protect and control the activities of the numerous sensitive facilities on the occupied parts of its territory.
Firstly, as a result of the illegal occupation of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, Ukraine has lost control over nuclear material located at the research reactor and subcritical uranium-water assembly at the Sevastopol National University of Nuclear Energy and Industry of Ukraine as well as at five other facilities, which is the property of Ukraine and subject to the Safeguards Agreement between Ukraine and the IAEA.
Secondly, there used to be 14 bio-logical collections with a status of the National Heritage of Ukraine in the several specialized sites, including those in Crimea and in the east of my country. The numerous high-risk chemical industrial facilities were also destroyed because of the Russian military aggression in the east of Ukraine.
The current situation makes these areas highly vulnerable to terrorist acts, including the use of hazardous chemicals, dangerous substances or radioactive material. It also poses a real threat of their potential acquirement and use far beyond the region.
It is critically important to realize the scope and possible consequences of the real non-proliferation threats. Erosion of the existing world order, continuous breaches and unaddressed violations of international law and the ongoing conflicts in different parts of the globe continue to weaken CBRN security architecture as a whole. We must be united in our response to those threats. The international community, including all stakeholders – public authorities, private sector, industry, academia, civil society and NGOs – should redouble their efforts in this area for the sake of strengthening international peace and security.
In particular, with a view to tackling the growing threat of WMD proliferation globally, we support the initiatives aimed at further strengthening the role and potential of resolution 1540 in a long-term perspective, such as the recent establishment of the 1540 Group of Friends.
Ukraine welcomes the constructive and result-oriented approach of the Spanish Chairmanship in the process of the Comprehensive Review of the Resolution’s implementation to be accomplished by the end of this year. It is important that this process focuses also on the ways to ensure that the relevant international legal norms are fully respected and implemented by all Member States.
We stand ready to engage constructively with all like-minded partners on these critical tracks. We do believe the Open Consultations will contribute significantly to fostering resolution’s effectiveness in terms of new security threats and challenges.