Madame President,


I would like to thank the Chairman of the 1540 Committee and Permanent Representative of Ecuador, Ambassador De la Gasca, for his presentation.


For almost twenty years, Resolution 1540 has been a major pillar of the international non-proliferation architecture. Unfortunately, its Committee is affected by a clear lack of trust among its members, which undermines its effectiveness and its ability to implement its mandate.


Let me highlight three examples.


Firstly, this Committee is responsible for implementing Resolution 1540, but it is regrettable that to date it has still not been able to take a decision on the subject to be pursued under paragraph 12, 15 months after the adoption of Resolution 2663. While several proposals have been put forward by the Committee Chair and the coordinator of the Working Group on Monitoring and Implementation, consensus failed due to the opposition of one permanent member. Switzerland reiterates its flexibility regarding the topic to be chosen and encourages the Committee to choose a theme that addresses the shortcomings identified during the 2022 comprehensive review. We call on all members to work constructively and show flexibility in order to give the Committee an opportunity to implement its mandate.


Secondly, we welcome the fact that the Committee has been able to fill the vacancies on the Expert Group. We would also like to thank the three members of the expert group who have continued their commitment during this difficult period. It should be remembered, however, that the process of selecting the experts took more than a year. It should also be pointed out that the rules established jointly by the Committee members at the start of the process were not respected. Despite repeated calls from elected members, candidates from permanent members were treated differently from candidates from other countries. We call on the permanent members to fully respect the rights of elected members to equal representation and not to take the nomination of their own experts for granted.


Thirdly, cooperation and assistance are the driving forces behind the implementation of this resolution. The Committee and its group of experts can play a central role in matching the demand and supply of assistance. We welcome the initiative to review the assistance modalities and the successive drafts drawn up by the group of experts. For Switzerland, the version currently proposed is balanced and would ensure that requests for assistance receive all the attention they deserve. However, due to the opposition of one permanent member, the Committee has been unable to reach agreement for over a year. Switzerland is of the opinion that it should be possible to reach a consensus quickly, given that it is not a question of establishing a new procedure definitively, but rather of remedying identified shortcomings, while recognising the need to adapt procedures on a regular basis.


Madam President,


The twentieth anniversary of Resolution 1540 should be a fitting occasion to celebrate its achievements and reflect on the challenges ahead. While we welcome the proposal to negotiate a presidential statement, we regret that the holding of a public information meeting - although mandated by Resolution 2663 - which would give the required visibility to our resolution, failed to reach consensus within the Committee. In order to regain effectiveness, it is time to re-establish a minimum of trust between the members of the Committee.


All States have a responsibility to help rebuild this trust. In this vein, the Pact for the Future provides an excellent opportunity to rebuild a common basis for dealing together with the threat posed by the acquisition and trafficking of nuclear, chemical or biological weapons by non-state actors. We must assume this responsibility collectively.


Thank you.