Pakistani think-tanks’ chief calls for improving UN resolution seeking to prevent nuclear weapons’ spread

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UNITED NATIONS, June 22 (APP): The head of a Pakistani think-tank Tuesday called for revamping U.N. Security Council Resolution 1540 that aims to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction to non-State actors, saying there was need to take into account emerging threats that were destabilizing large chunks of the globe.

“ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) must not be allowed to lay its hands on radiological materials or chemical weapons,” Masood Khan, a former Pakistan UN Ambassador and now Director-General of the Institute of Strategic Studies, Islamabad, said at formal open consultations at UN Headquarters in New York on the 2016 Comprehensive Review of the implementation of the resolution.

Resolution 1540, an integral part of non-proliferation regime, “needs rejuvenation and renovation,” he said, noting that the threat posed by non-state actors was evolving; the nexus between terrorists and violent extremists was becoming stronger and there was growing evidence of terrorists’ attempts to acquire weapons of mass destruction.

Moreover, Masood Khan said that the breakthroughs in science and technology would make it easier to acquire drones and multiple devices of 3D printing and use of cyberspace.

He called for commissioning of an authentic study to assess the severity and immediacy of the threat of nuclear and radiological terrorism.

To deal with the full spectrum of threats, the 1540 regime must work closely with other entities and regimes, especially the Nuclear Security Summit process, he said, adding the resolution cannot do it all nor do it alone.

Masood Khan also called for streamlining the resolution’s accounting, security and export control measures.

Industry, civil society and academia were now key partners in promoting the 1540 process and preventing non-state actors’ access to dual use technologies. “They should therefore be brought out of the margins and shadows and integrated into the mainstream.”

Since 2004, he said, Pakistan has implemented a comprehensive export control regime, and its legislative, regulatory, administrative and enforcement measures are at par with the standards followed by the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), the Australia Group and the European Union. The emphasis all
along has been on robust laws, comprehensive scope, catch all control, barriers against diversion, preparedness and response, and international cooperation.

“What is more, Pakistan’s Strategic Export Control Division is fully involving industry, academia and civil society to garner support for the implementation of its export control regime,” Masood Khan said. “Our commitment to the success of Resolution 1540 is second to none. Let me add that these credentials, among others, make Pakistan eminently eligible to become a member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group.”