The Philippine delegation appreciates your leadership in convening these important and timely consultations on the implementation of resolution 1540. The Philippines reaffirms its commitment to advancing our shared goal of securing nuclear and other radioactive materials that are used for peaceful purposes, and preventing the illicit trafficking of such materials. Needless to state that we are navigating a particularly tense and confrontational geopolitical environment.
At the outset, the Philippines welcomes the appointment of Ms. Amanda Cowl as the UNSCR 1540 Regional Coordinator for Asia, who will be based in Bangkok. This would help better facilitate the implementation of the resolution in the Asia region.
The Philippines shares the concerns by other delegations that one of the main challenges of international security is the risk, which is no longer far from reality, of possession and deployment of nuclear, chemical, or biological weapons for terrorist purposes and access to such weapons by other non-state actors. It is critical to address this risk.
In accordance with the UNSCR 1540, the Philippines passed and now implements the Strategic Trade Management Act (STMA) which seeks to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) by managing the trading of strategic goods. The Philippines has also ratified major WMD treaties such as the NPT, BTWC, CWC, and most recently the TPNW and the Amendment to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material. The Philippines also regularly submits national reports to the 1540 Committee, the most recent of which is in 2020.
The Philippines has its own National Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) Action Plan aimed at reducing the threat of, and damage from, CBRN incidents of accidental, natural, and intentional origin, including terrorist acts. Our CBRN National Action Plan offers a unified approach to build the capacity of the Philippines to respond to the risks associated with CBRN materials.
The Philippines has also been hosting the Regional Secretariat for South-East Asia of the EU Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear Risk Mitigation Centres of Excellence (CBRN CoE) Initiative. The initiative, which was presented during ARF Workshop, aims to mitigate CBRN risks of criminal, accidental or natural origin through the promotion of a coherent policy, improved coordination and preparedness at national and regional levels and by offering a comprehensive approach covering legal, scientific, enforcement and technical issues.
For the purposes of this open consultation, we provide the following points for the improvement of the UNSCR 1540 implementation:
First, greater international cooperation with the IAEA playing a key role is needed to enhance national capabilities in nuclear security. We do note that the relationship between the IAEA and 1540 is specified as complementary. At any rate, like other countries, we are still challenged by the scientific expertise and resources needed to put in place effective and appropriate national systems for nuclear security.
Second, one recommendation to address gaps in terms of implementation is a mechanism of a Peer Review wherein two or even three countries can review each other’s compliance with UNSCR 1540. The 1540 Group of Experts could facilitate and provide the parameters on how to conduct the Peer Review as well as to provide more details on it. It would be useful to review the effectiveness of respective national laws and see how such review could contribute to 1540 compliance.
Third, online platform or e-meetings can be utilized to further ramp up assistance to States in drafting their national report or a National Implementation Action Plan. While an in-person visit to states at their invitation is important, the Committee and Groups of Experts may take advantage of the many online platforms available.
Like many other delegations that spoke before me, the Philippines recognizes the benefits of the contribution of the civil society, academia, scholars, and other stakeholders in the discourse on disarmament. The Philippines further welcomes the proposal for a gender perspective in the implementation of the 1540.
To conclude, I wish to emphasize that addressing the threat of nuclear terrorism will assist us in implementing our commitments for a world without nuclear weapons in accordance with the NPT.
I thank you, Mr. Chair.
 Juan Ramón de la Fuente Ramírez is the 1540 Committee Chair. He is the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Permanent Representative of Mexico to the United Nations.
 Based on ZPE-0996-2019 dated 31 October 2019