I thank the President of the 1540 Committee and Permanent Representative of Ecuador, Mr. Hernán Pérez Loose, for his presentation, and I congratulate you for taking on this role.
Resolution 1540 is a key pillar of the international non-proliferation architecture. We commend the adoption in 2022 of resolution 2663 as well as the renewal of the mandate of the Committee and its Group of Experts for ten years. The fact that the Committee was able to adopt a program of work for the first time in three years is a positive development.
As the Comprehensive Review pointed out, "while there has been steady progress in the implementation of resolution 1540 (2004) [...], full implementation of the resolution remains a long-term endeavor." Therefore, we need to focus our attention on implementation.
Let me highlight three priorities in this regard.
First, the submission of national reports provides a solid basis for advancing implementation. We encourage the eight States that have not yet provided initial reports to do so. We recognize the importance of international assistance, both for the submission of national reports and for the broader implementation of resolution 1540. In this regard, Switzerland reiterates its standing offer of assistance as presented on the Committee's website.
Second, awareness-raising activities on Resolution 1540 are important to inform about its content and therefore to strengthen its implementation. We welcome the decision of this Council to develop a multi-year outreach program for States. Based on the status of implementation as identified in the Comprehensive Review, this program should help establish a plan and prioritization that will cover national, regional and international events, including activities organized by the Committee, while giving the necessary flexibility to the Committee and its Group of Experts to exercise its mandate.
Third, the Panel of Experts is a key tool of our Committee to advance the implementation of Resolution 1540. Acting under the supervision of the Committee, the Group is fully engaged in all of its activities, including international assistance and outreach. It is therefore important that the Group be provided with the appropriate framework conditions and that the Committee review its internal guidelines on matters regarding its Group.
Resolution 1540 is a key element of the international nonproliferation regime and is complemented by other efforts. Multilateral export control regimes complete this framework and provide a balance between nonproliferation concerns and international cooperation. As an active participant in these mechanisms and current chair of the Missile Technology Control Regime, Switzerland is committed to their implementation and development. As these instruments have developed guidelines for their application, we believe that the experiences gained, which are in the public domain, can feed into the discussion on the development of technical guidelines for the 1540 Committee.