H. E. RAYMOND O. WOLFE
REPRESENTATIVE OF JAMAICA TO THE UNITED NATIONS ON THE OCCASION OF THE
OF THE STATUS OF IMPLEMENTATION
OF UNITED NATIONS SECURITY COUNCIL RESOLUTION 1540 (2004)
1ST OCTOBER 2009
Firstly, let me congratulate you on your competent stewardship of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1540 and particularly the convening of this open meeting to review the status of implementation of the United Nations Security Council resolution 1540, not only providing an avenue for the broad participation of Member States which are not members of the Council on a matter of serious concern to the global community, but equally important, adding greater transparency and inclusiveness to the review process.
As a Small Island Developing State Jamaica is pleased to participate in this comprehensive review, coming as it does against the backdrop of the historic Security Council meeting of 24th September and the adoption of resolution 1887, which inter alia calls upon Member States of the United Nations to cooperate actively with the 1540 Committee and the new momentum of cooperation extended to matters relating to the global disarmament and non-proliferation agenda, after a decade of stalemate and inactivity.
Our immediate preference continues to be for a world free from nuclear weapons and the means of their delivery, as the only guarantee that weapons of mass destruction will not find their way into the hands of non-State actors. However, Jamaica remains convinced and fully supports a multilateral approach to resolving questions concerning international peace and security including the twin issues of disarmament and non-proliferation and in this connection we have ratified the major Treaties including the Biological Weapons Convention, the Chemical Weapons Convention, the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty and we are a long-standing Party to the first Nuclear Weapons Free Zone – the Treaty of Tlatelolco.
As a demonstration of our commitment to the implementation of the resolution, Mr. Chairman, Jamaica continues to provide updated information to the 1540 Committee pertinent to the two reports which we have submitted to date and will continue this cooperation as is necessary to fulfill our obligation under the resolution.
While we continue to grapple with our deficiencies in implementing the resolution, Mr. Chairman, there are indeed a myriad of challenges inherent in the requirements of the resolution which are beyond the scope of our capacities and resources, and which must be addressed if the resolution is to be completely and successfully implemented by developing countries especially small developing States like Jamaica. We also recognize that these requirements must be tackled in a holistic and sustainable manner bearing in mind that the resolution is strictly a long-term undertaking.
Our efforts to comply and implement the resolution have garnered support through a network of international collaboration and cooperation involving The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the wider hemisphere. CARICOM has benefitted from a number of workshops aimed at facilitating the implementation of resolution 1540. I would like to make reference first of all to the Workshop organized in May 2007 by the Department of Disarmament Affairs and sponsored by the European Union, Canada and Norway. I would also like to highlight the two Regional Workshops sponsored by the Government of Canada. The first was held in Santo Domingo in February 2008 and the second in Kingston, Jamaica last June 2009.The meetings were geared towards awareness-building and export controls and maritime security respectively. CARICOM was also the beneficiary of a UNODC-sponsored Sub-regional Workshop in St Kitts in July 2009 on the preparation of responses to the three UN Security Council Committees dealing with counter-terrorism namely: 1267, 1373 and of course 1540.
Among the recurring findings emanating from these meetings were:
1. a lack of co-ordination among the many ministries, agencies and departments having responsibility for implementing the resolution or aspects of it; Jamaica has addressed this concern by establishing the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade as a focal point with responsibility for coordinating preparation of all Security Council counter terrorism reports, including 1540.
2. limited human capacity;
3. competing national priorities; and
4. reporting fatigue.
As regards the way forward and the identification of possible new approaches, Jamaica endorses the establishment of a voluntary trust fund dedicated solely to assist with the broad based implementation of resolution 1540 while recognizing that existing mechanisms should be further strengthened to cater to specifically targeted areas where gaps have been identified in implementation.
Secondly, the sharing of best practices, information exchange and expertise with developing countries particularly with small developing States like Jamaica would alleviate much of the difficulties currently being experienced especially among those countries which have not yet submitted a report and those caught in the struggles of competing national priorities which includes combating the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons, which is not a threat but a reality and is in effect the weapons of mass destruction for many countries including Jamaica.
The direct involvement of international, regional and sub-regional organizations remains crucial to the process if the resolution is to be accorded the priority it deserves not only from a developing country stand point but from the perspective that a fully global approach is required to confront this global threat. In this scenario also, we believe that civil society has an important role to play as well.
I thank you Mr. Chairman.