Igor Khripunov, Editor, 1540 Compass

Igor Khripunov, Editor, 1540 Compass

From the Editor

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As UN Security Council resolution (UNSCR) 1540 (2004) reaches its 10-year jubilee and we take stock of its strengths and weaknesses, it should be recognized that no institution tasked with addressing existential global risks reaches full maturity in such a relatively brief period of time. With this acknowledgement in mind, the current special issue features diverse contributors’ vision of the resolution’s past, present, and future. They have different angles and approaches anchored in history, evolving geopolitical realities, scientific progress, and legal issues, but it will be up to our readers to make their own judgments and conclusions.
To facilitate this task, the special issue is structured differently from previous ones. We group the contributions into just two sections. The first tier is about the past, the present, and the future in a generic global context, while the second attempts to provide insights into specific regional topics. For instance, has Africa’s security landscape improved significantly as a result of 1540 implementation? Has the biosecurity infrastructure been sufficiently bolstered in the Middle East? Can the 1540 promotion experience in Asia provide valuable lessons to follow in other regions?
Without prejudging possible conclusions by Compass readers, my own finding is that the resolution has won ample recognition for its uniqueness and value. For proof, look no further than the joint statement on UNSCR 1540 adopted at the recent Nuclear Security Summit held at The Hague. These countries, representing all five continents, committed themselves to achieving full global implementation of the nuclear-security elements of the resolution by its next comprehensive review in 2016. They intend to host and contribute to regional and subregional capacity-building events in support of UNSCR 1540 implementation while considering opportunities to provide support and resources for the work of the 1540 Committee and its programs, including voluntary financial contributions. One more significant commitment is to report on the progress of their efforts in relevant nuclear security forums, thus enhancing coordination and networking among major stakeholders.
Undoubtedly, this statement about nuclear security must be emulated within other domains covered by the resolution—paving the road for comprehensive cooperation.

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