VERTIC article on UNSCR 1540 legislative implementation published in 1540 Compass

An article by Scott Spence, Programme Director for National Implementation, has been published in the Summer 2015 issue of the 1540 Compass. The article, 'New Tools for Legislative Implementation of UNSCR 1540: Legislative Guide to National Implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1540 (2004) and the National Legislation Implementation Kit on Nuclear Security', can be found at pages 17-20. The 1540 Compass - published by the Center for International Trade & Security at the University of Georgia in co-operation with the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs using contributions from Kazakhstan, the Republic of Korea, Norway, the United States and the European Union - is a journal of views, comments and ideas for effective implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1540 to prevent WMD proliferation and terrorism by non-State actors. Mr Spence's article describes two contributions by VERTIC's National Implementation Measures (NIM) Programme to this effort: the 'Legislative Guide to National Implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1540 (2004)' and the 'National Legislation Implementation Kit on Nuclear Security'.

The Legislative Guide, which is available in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish, was developed to serve as a useful reference for States when they are engaged in the process of implementing UNSCR 1540 through domestic legislation. It identifies and organises in one document the model laws, implementation kits and handbooks that have already been developed by the IAEA, OPCW, VERTIC and other legislative assistance providers to assist States in implementing the international legal instruments to prohibit and prevent the proliferation of biological, chemical and nuclear weapons and related materials. The development of the Guide was made possible through the financial support of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada (Global Partnership Program) and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office of the United Kingdom (Strategic Programme Fund).

The 'National Legislation Implementation Kit on Nuclear Security' was developed by VERTIC at the request of the Government of Indonesia and presented by Vice President Boediono to the Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague during 24-25 March 2014. 29 Summit nations from all regions of the world, along with the United Nations, supported the Joint Statement on the National Legislation Implementation Kit on Nuclear Security, which confirms that the Kit “… provides States with references to a wide array of consolidated elements and provisions contained in relevant international legal instruments and guidance documents on nuclear security that together contribute to the global framework for nuclear security”. In Paragraph 11 of the Hague Communiqué – the final document from the Summit – the participating States “… welcome efforts aimed at developing model legislation on nuclear security, which could provide States with building blocks to develop comprehensive national legislation in accordance with their own legal systems and internal legal processes”.

The development of the Kit was made possible with the assistance of VERTIC, and through the financial support of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada (Global Partnership Program) and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office of the United Kingdom (Strategic Programme Fund). Translation and publication of the Kit was made possible with additional funding from the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs of Switzerland.

The Kit, which is available in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish, has two objectives:

  • to help States develop comprehensive national legislation on nuclear security, in accordance with their own respective legal cultures and internal legal processes; and 
  • to provide States with references to a wide array of consolidated elements and provisions contained in relevant international legal instruments and guidance documents that together establish the global framework for nuclear security.

The Kit includes a Model Law and a useful description of the process for developing nuclear security legislation. The Model Law includes:

  • an overview (objective, scope and a description of the Model Law’s sections);
  • definitions;

as well as provisions for

  • national regulation of nuclear security, including the establishment of a competent authority;
  • physical protection and security of nuclear and other radioactive material and nuclear facilities;
  • security of radioactive sources;
  • notification of incidents;
  • transport, import, export and transit of nuclear material and radioactive sources;
  • offences and penalties;
  • jurisdiction; and
  • criminal proceedings and international co-operation.

Both the Legislative Guide and the Kit, along with other NIM Programme implementation documents, were presented by the UK Mission to the UN in New York to the Chair of the Security Council's 1540 Committee as examples of best practice and have been included on the 1540 Committee's website. Questions about the Legislative Guide or the Kit should be directed to Scott Spence

Last changed: Jul 31 2015 at 4:23 PM

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