Protected: Week 4 Discussion • Global Trade & WMD

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  • What was made quite clear in the progression of videos in this week’s series was the ideological flow of the concept of a need to prevent the proliferation of WMD, particularly via the maritime route, on a global level, all the way down to the the regional and subregional levels. Included in this progression were the obvious differentials in the abilities of nations to participate in these efforts, to include the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI). What was made abundantly clear was that states, such as G8 or UN Security Council member states, typically have economic and other resources that are not available to smaller or less developed nations, thereby inhibiting these latter states’ ability to participate in the PSI and other nonproliferation programs (as was made clear in the final video by the Stimson Center). Therefore, while it appears most nations around the world (though not all) agree in principle to the idea of UN 1540 and PSI, for example, what is also clear is that many nations have other legitimate demands on their finite resources (combatting disease, etc.) that take priority over the less tangible and immediate concerns of nonproliferation.

    I think that it is here that regional organizations and even the UN must step in and listen to those smaller, less-developed states who wish to help in global nonproliferation, and assist wherever possible in aiding these nations in these efforts. I would further argue that even at a bilateral level, the issue of providing material and other assistance to these less developed countries, this issue is a critical one, especially if a nation wants to participate, but simply cannot due to economic and other shortfalls. Where I see some potential points of assistance might be, as was mentioned in the Stimson video, was that PSI-related activities could be “rolled in” to other regional, subregional, multilateral, or bilateral security relationships and programs, thereby reducing costs while maximizing the existing training and assistance already in place in these security-related programs. For example, the US could, if it chose, in its relationship with, say, Suriname (a nation that does not have abundant funds for WMD nonproliferation enforcement activities) include WMD training in its counter narcotics training programs as an adjunct feature that would not cost Suriname addition resources, but would benefit that nation, and therefore that region, via information sharing or other related activities at little to no additional cost.

    Setting aside that issue, if more and more countries – even those in the developing world – put more focus on “managing trade related to sensitive items” I feel that it would change the way businesses operate. I think that better manangement of trade in those items, within pre-existing laws of those states (or introduction of new enforcement laws, for example) could be a cost-effective way of improving nonproliferation. It is clear that some states, including notable rogue states such as North Korea, take advantage of weaker states’ management of financial and other institutions in order to facilitate their own WMD programs. These institutions, such as banking (as seen in the video) are vulnerable (and some possibly willingly so) to explotiation by wealthier clients who use these banks to finance their illicit WMD-related activities. Clearly, even unilateral action by the US in the case discussed in the video, can have a “ripple effect” that resonates globally and can disrupt illicit WMD-related activities and enhance non proliferation efforts. That said, again, many states may need outside assistance to identify such illicit activity, and it is there that the global community must come to together to aid these less-developed or less well-resourced states in these efforts.

    Dr. Tom Hunter25 June 2014
  • With the assistance of the UN, regional organizations, and wealthier states, I do believe that developing nations can create control systems through Resolution 1540.

    While developing nations have a larger number of more basic human security issues than their first world neighbors, non-proliferation and the control over the spread of WMDs should still be on their list of priorities. Traffickers and non-state actors often use developing or weakened states from which to base their operations, so these countries must have a strategy in order to secure their territories.

    By supporting efforts such as Resolution 1540, developing countries ensure that the international community attempts to approach this issue together, rather than leaving each state to fend for itself. Nations are going to have to confront the threat of non-state actors; developing approaches together will make efforts more effective. Developing countries also get the benefit of assistance from their wealthy counterparts, thus enabling them to spend their time and resources on other pressing security concerns, rather than reinventing the non-proliferation wheel.

    Regional organizations can provide extra support for nations. They have a larger capacity to focus on non-proliferation (which is a regional issue) and so can take the pressure off of national authorities who may not have the staff or the budget. Regional organizations can also offer geographical and contextual expertise as to the issues that the UN on its own cannot offer. Additionally, they can act as advocates and intermediaries to the UN when individual states seek assistance or leverage that they cannot obtain on their own. Finally, regional organizations are more equipped to implement a shared vision for Resolution 1540 within their member states, providing coordination of policies and legislature that member states may not have the capacity on which to focus.

    I would think that global industry will need to implement additional internal policies to ensure that companies are following Resolution 1540. They may have to delay shipments or fulfilling orders, hire staff, and provide training, but, if they wish to continue to make a profit by participating in the global marketplace, these changes are necessary. Since many industries will need to adjust, no individual company will be singled-out.

    Emma F25 June 2014
  • Another initiative that belongs into the category of new initiatives to tackle WMD proliferation is the Container Security Initiative (CSI), launched in 2002 by the US Bureau of Customs and Border Protection. As we heard in the lecture, 90 per cent of the world’s trade is transported in cargo containers. The CSI aimed at providing better screening and detection technology to important cargo hubs/harbors around the world and thereby not only preventing illicit (WMD-related) cargo from leaving those harbors towards the US but also enabling those countries to increase their own security (by being able to better screen incoming containers as well). This is a good example for both sides profiting.

    Marco26 June 2014
  • This reminded me of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs…and in that context WMD containment is at the top of the pyramid. Countries that are struggling to feed their people and fend mass disease need to address those issues first. Yet at the same time, any of the global regimes, PSI etc. are only as good as the weakest link. So it seems that if they are to be successful it will be on the strong nations to fund/support/train the weaker nations in WMD control plans.

    shelley26 June 2014
  • The dual-benefit approach is a sensible approach to “selling” 1540. For small, developing economies there is certainly a need to bring 1540 closer to their realities and context, and the complicated theoretical discourse on WMD is not something that they will relate to easily or rush to embrace. But a key issue here is that 1540 is a Chapter VII resolution and is mandatory on the 193 UN Member States, and there need to be creative ways of ensuring that countries “buy into” the insrument and give it the importance it needs. Tying the resolution to general development goals (the idea that becoming a friendlier trader by complying with international standards will improve your trade status and scope) and security goals (the notion that implementing 1540 will strengthen your overall security and allow you to address other areas that may be more problematic on a daily basis such as weapons smuggling, drug trafficking, human trafficking, etc) is a more effective way to drive the resolution, but it is important to also ensure that the obligatory nature of some of the operative paragraphs is understood, and that for that very reason alone States must comply. The latter is the real substance of the resolution, while the former is a creative way for encouraging its implementation.

    Regional organisations play a critical role in the implementation of UNSCR 1540. They understand the context of the regions and have a better idea of the needs and challenges locally, as well as the tools and mechanisms available to address them. Caricom has worked in the Caribbean to position the resolution based on its knowledge of the region, the resources available, the political will and the capacity of the Member States. UNLIREC (part of UNODA) is also advancing work in the region to build on Caricom’s efforts and those of the University of Georgia, and is also doing it under a practical and “context-conscious” approach. Support that developed States can give to developing economies for the implementation of 1540 should certainly contnue to be channelled through regional organisations to ensure optimisation of resources, non-duplication of efforts and training programmes that can help to harmonise trade controls, legislation, control lists and other 1540 relevant elements thrpughout the different regions and subregions.

    Nicolas L.27 June 2014
  • I have my doubts about whether the approach of dual-benefits to 1540-related assistance will really help developing economies create an effective trade control system in the short term. However, what I think it will do is get these countries “in the game”. As we are seeing throughout this course, progress in the fight against proliferation of WMD is incremental, maybe sometimes seeing only baby steps towards control. If dual-benefits incentivize these countries to establish export control programs, then the result is at least to have a structure for control that might someday grow into substantive programs. This has to be better than leaving these countries disengaged.

    I like how one of the regional organization interviewees acknowledged that WMD issues can have rippling effects that reach far beyond the countries that may be directly involved. I believe this is true. And with improvements in transportation and communication technologies that are growing exponentially, this will be more the case in the coming years. When countries overcome the basic problems they have with organized crime, disease and famine, they perhaps will be better able to focus on the proliferation issues that affect them at least indirectly. By getting them engaged even superficially early, they will have the structures to build upon.

    I think regional organizations can be effective for 2 major reasons. First, they understand better the perspectives of the countries in their regions and the balance that the governments of those countries must strike to deal with the complexities of existing in the modern global community. Second, having a regional advocate for non-proliferation helps to cut through the perception that solutions to proliferation are really only helpful for the developed countries who may be perceived as pushing measures only to further enhance the economic lead that they already have over the rest of the world.

    As for the effect on Industry of more and more countries enacting their own trade controls, it will in the near term be a burden as more resources will need to be dedicated to understanding, reconciling and managing compliance with various (and sometimes conflicting) controls. It will also likely cause some disruption in supply chains where controls force stoppages or redirection of activities from the most efficient path in order to maintain compliance with those controls. Those companies who use a global network of operations to conduct their businesses will be most impacted. But I think that over time, the variety of controls will become reconciled as pressures for better efficiency will come from businesses within those countries.

    George27 June 2014
  • UNSCR 1540 is a global effort to minimize and eliminate the risk of WMD. Developing countries ( low GDP, low capita per income, minimal education on WMD) might become targets of terrorist groups.

    Bad guys can use these countries as transhipments hubs and even manufacturing facilities to produce MWD.

    U.S Dept of Commerce and Dept of State different bureaus in charge of regions have been very active assisting developing countries implement necessary measures to safeguard these countries national security and international trade.

    Europa Trade Help desk also has different fundings and programs to assist different trade groups CARICOM, MERCOSUR… to conduct trainings, workshops at different levels.

    UNSCR 1540 paves way to a new era “Protecting global trade” Every country in the world will benefit. Developed countries with plenty of resources certainly will assist individual countries, regions.

    Bachlien Scanlan28 June 2014
  • After watching this video it was striking to me how fear of nuclear weapons really is a first world problem. Most poor countries do not have to fear a nuclear strike, but have to worry about transnational and development problems, but these countries are not members of the security council and can not mandate that their security concerns are effectively dealt with. Also, if these countries do not have production facilities to produce dual use items, they will have little interest or capacity to meet their obligations under the resolution. Since this is the case, efforts of more developed countries to provide funds and expertise to poorer countries to support the obligations, or to waive certain obligations for certain states, makes more sense than maintaining the resolution as an unfunded mandate. The problems of these states becoming transhipment points is a real threat, but it makes more sense for the developed countries that are producing dual use items to take greater steps to safeguard what they are doing than relying on poor countries to diligently watch their ports, especially considering the ability to bribe people who are not sufficiently paid in poorer countries or to using existing networks for other contraband items.

    The regional approach seems to make more sense than to have a widely divergent approach that will scare of multinational corporations that will become frustrated if they have to deal with too many different regulations creating difficulty and confusion for compliance officers. Also, it is possible for these new laws and regulations to build on similar ones for things like drugs and human trafficking and money laundering, and if anything can be used as a tool to stop all kinds of trafficking instead of stove piping each individual effort.

    Leon Whyte29 June 2014
  • I think the ideas put in the video were very practical. The issue is that for developing countries, trade control and WMD material trafficking are not at the top of their agenda. Their relative lack of resources, low political will, and the fact that MNCs would prefer to operate in countries with fewer regulations all point to the fact that developing countries have little incentives on their own to implement 1540 export controls.

    Unfortunately, this lack of incentive is what allows WMD traffickers to exploit the lax set of regulations in these countries in order to move materials around the world. It is a problem that is a bigger issue for first world countries, but it requires a global effort to solve. The dual benefits and assistance, as well as the regional implementation approach, help countries move towards uniform regulations and compliance for 1540. Regional implementation can help make it so that developing nations can comply with 1540 without doing so at the expense of attracting investment or taking away resources from development efforts.

    Aaron Kiesler29 June 2014
  • UNSCR 1540 has just celebrated 10 years since conception and if you look at what has been accomplished in those 10 years you will get mixed reviews. Some proponents believe in the good that has come and stand behind the intent as if wearing a badge of honor. Others less keen on such an agreement will say the UN Security Council has created something unattainable for how can member states plagued with poverty and deadly disease reallocate resources from fighting those causes in order to create better export controls when they don’t really export to any great length?

    Additionally, with the leeway afforded to UN members for implmentation of 1540’s goals, one may argue that the effectiveness of implementation is weak in some member countries. Naturally there are best practices but lack of resources can severly hinder effective implementation. For example, several member states are notorious for having inconsistent Customs processes, some individuals in the same office may be extremely rigid in the application of export controls while others can be lackadaisical. Without systems in place to run checks and balances it is hard to be effective.

    From a compliance standpoint, these obstacles could cause a reduction in trade with certain members. It entirely possible that member states that do not produce satisfactory report cards could be listed as risky to do business with. Companies from member states with solid programs that support 1540 may shy away from doing business with those countries. The sad thing about this hypothetical scenario is that the member states stuggling to meet their obligations under 1540 are most like the nations that could benefit remendously from international trade. This appears to be a Catch 22.

    Erin T29 June 2014
  • In my opinion the efforts to meet the obligations according to UNSCR 1540 and the development of those countries afflicted by domestic needs it is a proactive solution able to developing economies with an effective trade control system. the collaborative approach expected in 1540 for the trade system and now for the solutions of domestic issues should be the base on developing a more safety world. This process through a collaborative regional approach between countries with shared challenges can work. Up to this point we focused on the management of international control for no proliferation, but about the development of certain technologies in such countries I think it has to do an analysis on the opportunity of doing it.
    By a compliance point of view the impact on industries will be how to be compliant with. Industries need to have clear rules on doing business in the right way as to perform their internal compliance programs. That is the reason it is important the transparency of Governments’ activities and the establishment of global common rules on no proliferation of WMD.

    Laura Arcuri30 June 2014
  • “Yes, but…”

    In agree with the comments highlighting the importance of a regional approach to implement the 1540 resolution. Regional approaches are useful as countries are aware of cultural issues, national priorities, and challenges related to the implementation of the resolution.

    For the creation of an effective trade control system, there are at least three key factors that will impact the successful establishment and implementation of such system: political support to establish the necessary legal framework for the creation of the system; the availability of resources such as infrastructure and personnel; and the implementation of the system at the operational level (e.g. custom officers).

    Concerning the establishment of the legal framework, the video explained that policy makers in developing countries have other priorities and that the 1540 Resolution/nonproliferation is not on the top of their list. Framing the 1540 resolution in a way that could also help address those other priorities of interest to policy makers would help at least to raise the awareness of policy makers concerning nonproliferation and could also contribute to the establishment of a trade control system. Concerning resources, the international community could help developing countries in developing infrastructure and human resources that would not only benefit the effective implementation of an export control system, but also address priorities such as drug trafficking. It must be noted, however, that the availability of financial resources plays a key role in implementing the dual-benefit approach successfully. If the international community is not ready to provide such resources, the duel-benefit approach will fail. The major challenge for a trade control system is related to the third issue, namely the implementation at the operational level. For example, most developing countries suffer from corruption and this poses a challenge for the implementation of an effective system. The development of an “export control culture” is a long-term process and, therefore, long-term commitment from the international community and national governments is necessary. In summary, the dual-benefit approach does help the creation of an export control system, but long-term commitment is necessary (e.g. availability of financial resources).

    Christhian R.30 June 2014
  • Having dual benefits of 1540-related assistance in order to create effective trade control systems to address regional/domestic concerns (illegal arms, drugs, human trafficking, etc) while also monitoring illegal WMD and sensitive material exports is an interesting approach to involve more countries in WMD non-proliferation initiatives. As mentioned in the video, many of these countries have significant domestic problems to deal with, and monitoring the transshipment/export of WMD materials through their country, especially if the materials aren’t intended to be developed or used in their country, is not a priority. Dual-benefit assistance can therefore appeal to these countries by alleviating some of their domestic concerns, while also strengthening export controls on items of international concern. With a stronger trade/export control infrastructure, illegal arms and drugs could be monitored alongside WMD using the same system in these countries. Though monitoring WMD exports is critical to international security, it cannot be forced upon countries where basic human security needs need to be addressed, so dual-benefit assistance is a best effort to make strides on both fronts, even if it can’t provide a 100% solution to either problem.

    Erin C30 June 2014
  • As others have commented, two of the key issues appear to be 1) the idea of regional cooperation and 2) foreign assistance. Regional cooperation appears to be successful in many of the examples cited (e.g., the Caribbean), but what hasn’t been addressed is where regional cooperation would break down. Looking at NTI’s website, it appears that regional cooperation is nowhere near as strong in other areas of the world. I think a salient quote would be “The major regional and sub-regional organizations on the continent ‘play almost no role in promoting Resolution 1540’” ( citing Jean du Preez and Dominique Dye, “Implementing Resolution 1540 in Africa; Balancing Competing Priorities,” in Lawrence Scheinman, ed., Implementing Resolution 1540: The Role of Regional Organizations, UNIDIR, 2008, p. 119).

    What is interesting about the case of Sub-Saharan Africa, however, is that where regional cooperation seems to be unsuccessful, international assistance appears to achieve some success. Per the above link from NTI, it looks like US and EU assistance has made some limited progress (debatable, but NTI makes it seem that any success is more than the regional cooperation attempts. As highlighted in the lesson, it seems that approaches need to be tailored toward individual countries; what is effective for some countries is ineffective for other countries

    Matt30 June 2014
  • It seems the issue is the lack of political need and perhaps the lack of necessity in the eyes of leaders on undeveloped countries. One solution from the top of my head would be regional offices/structures to be integrated on local level. That would mean an office with a mandate and expenses paid by the UN located at the country in question staffed with local people. This would achieve a better communication between the 1540 Committee and the targeted national governments, it would increase the governments awareness of certain problems and ways to resolve them, governments would not to allocate staff and or engage think-thanks for solutions and it would create a few jobs. Pertaining to the last “achievement” I do realise I speak about 5-10 people per country, but given that this number is very close to the number of educated people with some know-how on the subject of WMD in each of the targeted countries, it would significantly improve the leaders’ exposure to the matter.

    L.L. Sakaliyski30 June 2014
  • Even though the fight on terrorism is of high priority the fight on world hunger and fighting the basics disease which kill thousands everyday are as much important if not more. Like all of us in our daily life try to manage our family budgets to balance between the wants and needs the governments of the developing nations have the same challenges.
    Each day these governments battle between spending the limited funds on health care, food, education, transportation and the basic needs of its people. The assistance provided by the UNSCR 1540 can only be a Band-Aid fix, and what is really needed is investments by industries which can assist in the economic growth of the country which in turn can invest the additional resources that it receives in implementing better border controls to assist in the nonproliferation of WMDs.

    Antonio30 June 2014
  • 1540 has ben instrumental is preventing global crises involving WMDs, and the Committee, as well as regional organizations, have an obligation, both morally and financially, to assist developing countries with implementation. No country is wrong to assume that implementation may hurt trade, or even harm their own economy, but I do believe there can be a balance between the two. I agree that, as stated in the video, “security and development needs to be a model for creating peace.” 1540, while it may contain flaws that have resulted in harder version of implementation of domestic controls, is a great tool, and it should be viewed as an opportunity, not a restraint. The video closes with mention that, because of the global economy, one threat in one hemisphere can easily be felt in another. That being said, while developed countries may still be able to shield their own economies from certain disasters, 1540 should be looked at as a chance for greater cooperation in both security and trade.

    The world changes on such a vast scale daily; just look at the growth and expansion of technology. These new products force us to live a new way, and to maintain contact in a new way. As a result, economies change, opportunities change, etc. This should be viewed as potential for world trade. These changes to trade and security can result in new corporations responsible for balancing both, which can, in turn, lead to the creation of new jobs, which would be highly beneficial to developing economies. Those countries needed additional assistance should get it until they can act on their own, and not a moment should be wasted until people can have a sense of security that a port in South Africa shouldn’t be any less safe than a port in Canada.

    As much as too much security can slow down and hurt the world economy, I can guarantee that if there ever is a WMD attack at a port or major city, trade will be hurt even worse.

    Scott Sharon30 June 2014
  • As it was mentioned in one of the lectures there were some early challenges arising from the adoption of the 1540 Resolution that are directly linked with the issues highlighted in the video, most of them concerning its legitimacy (the resolution was not opened to debate for developing economies) and, in this sense, with the lack of capacities of these countries (different form the context of the G-8 economies in terms of available resources). As weel as the new concepts arising by the resolution but also the awareness of its specific “operative paragraphs” and its consequent national implementation.

    In this regard, it is required to States to establish a National Strategic Control System featuring all the elements contemplated on its operative paragraphs. Due to the different level of capacity of the countries that are call upon its implementation, it is important to consider how to better give assistance in order to get an effective implementation of Resolution 1540. Furthermore, considering the other problems far greater than the threat of WMD, as mentioned too and provide assistance and training packages from a developing perspective. Security and development as an attractive combination to take advantage in order to focus on at the time take measures to deal with WMD by States.

    It is also relevant to consider that Resolution 1540 calls upon to educate in each State domain on its domestic controls and on the Resolution itself, but also the civil society (such as creating or strenghtening their internal compliance program). Puting more focus on managing trade related to sensitive items have an impact on global market (the case of flag of convinience could be an example of this as a business practice in order to reduce operating costs or avoid the regulations of the ownership´s country, less controls or safety issues).

    Karina Hinojosa1 July 2014
  • As others have noted the effectiveness of selling 1540 implementation to developing countries by leveraging the fact that the aid can be used to help combat more pressing issues has been hit and miss. It appears as though in regions where the west has large amounts of soft power it has been relatively effective, such as the implementation in Central America and the Caribbean. In other areas where there is less regime stability and less pressure the dual benefits assistance is not particularly enticing as taking assistance may require the diversion of what limited resources are available from other programs in order to meet expectations of effectively utilizing the assistance and meeting 1540 standards. In many cases basic improvements in border and trade controls with no emphasis on WMD-related activities may be more valuable to the country and may in fact be more effective at stopping WMD-related activities by increasing the difficulty of illegal activities. Regional organizations of course play a significant role especially in areas where individual countries do not have the capital to organize trade control systems themselves. These organizations are critical so that countries can share information and work together to stop coordinated activities between non-state actors operating in multiple countries.

    As more countries put more focus on trade of sensitive items businesses will be incentivized to manufacture items within the same region or country to minimize export control related costs. As 3-D printing becomes more advanced and applicable to a broader set of materials this may make it possible to manufacture more things closer to their final destination. In addition business may also be driven to integrate more directly with export control systems than has been done in the past so that they can ship sensitive items without excessive export control costs, but this would require a significant amount of cooperative effort from export control offices of the country.

    Cameron1 July 2014
  • As the video mentioned, many developing nations have more pressing issues, such as health crises, porous borders, and small arms/drug trafficking. Furthermore, many of these same countries are rarely involved in trade pertaining to WMD. However, 1540 assistance, as noted in the video, can help address some of these problems. Increasing a countries ability to effectively regulate their trade will help curb not only WMD related proliferation, but small arms and light weapons proliferation as the same systems and people can regulate both. Furthermore, training and advice received through 1540 assistance may help those nations better utilize their smaller border protection forces and increase their effectiveness. Regional coordination, according to the video, also seems to be helpful. Groups of nations lacking specific resources are better able to get the resources they need if they work together.

    Cameron L.1 July 2014
  • Despite the fact that developing states have other priorities (education, health, sanitation, infrastructures, etc) UNSCR 1540 related assistance could help them develop their export and import control systems which indeed will improve their overall security strategies. As we have seen in the last video, regions like Central America and the Caribbean could benefit from these actions and tackle some of their domestic problems in other areas like drugs, firearms, and human trafficking by improving their export controls (control lists, licensing screening technologies, capacity trainings, etc). There is definitely a value on it, especially if developing states are able to obtain international cooperation and assistance upon request to develop their export/import control systems until they have enough resources to maintain them.

    In addition, I see regional organizations playing an essential role identifying needs, channeling resources and guiding the 1540 implementation agenda. As they have been done so far, their role is essential to gather expertise and ensure the adequate pace of discussions and implementation measures.

    Manuel Martínez1 July 2014
  • It is challenging to make the case that nations facing dire short-term crises of development, public health, and internal conflict should add international WMD trafficking to their list of concerns. It is not correct, however, to therefore assume that the security threat posed by illicit WMD proliferation is utterly unrelated to human security and economic well-being.

    At its core, UNSCR 1540 is about the strengthening of the rule of law, or at least a bolstering of certain enforcement capabilities under international law. The individuals in the video were not wrong to point out that these efforts, while seemingly targeted at specific activities, can have ancillary benefit. Central America, for example, faces the regional challenge of trafficking in arms, drugs, and human beings. These networks can also be exploited to transport WMD, and thus efforts towards 1540 compliance will have a beneficial impact on the legal structures needed to combat the contemporary, more obvious threat that regional governments must deal with every day.

    Less directly, a low prioritization of 1540 compliance, even if entirely understandable in the short term, may adversely affect national or regional development in the long term. Simply, industries might be less willing to invest and conduct operations in areas with the kind of security vacuums WMD-interested non-state actors call home. Additionally, if the norms contained within 1540 and related regional and international institutions strengthen, the risk of sanction that could endanger a company’s supply chain might grow. This is not to say that a company will explicitly take 1540 compliance into account when determining where to invest/operate, but a strong, internationally responsible compliance regime will certainly impact business decisions, particularly for firms in industries related to energy and advanced manufacturing.

    Though initial compliance costs might affect how companies conduct business in the short term, over time global industry would adapt and benefit from a regime focused on information-sharing and assistance to actors in search of it. Companies would become more confident that their own supply chains were secured from illicit activity – knowledge with application not simply in the WMD context, I might add.

    Pat D.1 July 2014
  • This approach (having dual benefits to 1540 related assistance) will not bear fruit over night, but I feel that it will lead to gradual changes for the better over time. While not optimal this is certainly better than nothing at all. Perhaps one way to expedite the process might be for the US and other like-minded developed world countries to offer a level assistance in areas that are more pressing for the developing world (e.g., disease control/prevention, drug trafficking) that is in some way proportional to the efforts the developing country (or region) in question puts forward towards implementing measures aimed at stemming the flow of WMD-related materials and technologies. Regional organizations could facilitate this effort in the sense that it would be easier for the US, EU and others to interact with a single player (albeit comprised of many members with diverging interests) rather than the individual member governments separately.

    More countries putting greater emphasis on managing trade in sensitive goods will change the way business operate as they will need to implement new internal processes to ensure compliance with more and more of these (similar but different) measures across different countries. This will entail potentially significant additional time and costs, for example on account of the different permits / inspections / certifications – particularly as it will relate to sea traffic. Industry should help streamline this change – and lessen the differences across borders – by working with governments (for providers and recipients of 1540 assistance) to ensure that measures which are adopted are as uniform as possible across borders.

    James1 July 2014
  • Even though countries may have competing human security priorities, these dual-benefit pitches by the UNSCR 1540 Committee are helpful because the global non-proliferation network is only as strong as its weakest link. Should a nation in Africa, the Caribbean, or Asia inadvertently become a new hub of illicit commercial activity, that would have significant negative implications for global non-proliferation goals as well as the free flow of legitimate trade and economic activity through that country.

    One of the challenges I saw while working in government a few years ago on threat reduction activities was how the UNSCR 1540 Committee tried to avoid duplicate efforts by states offering compliance assistance. While countries — both on the receiving and providing ends of technical assistance — were required to report requests, offers of assistance, and actual delivered help, there always appeared to be a sense among diplomats working on threat reduction programs that they didn’t know what the other countries were spending money on. A lot of effort was exerted to produce easy to digest information and databases, brief potential donors/assisting countries on where there need was the strongest, and what was already being done so there wouldn’t be duplicate programs. Regional organizations are quite helpful in providing guidance on these needs and how best to provide assistance.

    These efficiency procedures were important to the U.S. goal of trying to expand threat reduction programs from the Former Soviet Union to regions of the world such as Africa, the Caribbean, and Asia that have requested UNSCR 1540 implementation help. This was especially necessary once the type of non-proliferation assistance moved from the traditional efforts (e.g. preventing nuclear weapon transfers, limiting large-scale centrifuge and enrichment programs) to important but less traditional priorities (e.g. border enforcement, targeting organized crime, human trafficking) that have emerged as related to WMD proliferation. There are many internal U.S. agencies with overlapping interests, jurisdictions, and assistance programs that need to be efficiently managed, let alone coordinating those efforts with international agencies and partner countries.

    As long as there is strong leadership at the UNSCR 1540 Committee and at the national level to avoid “mission creep” and keep a clear focus on the central priority of these programs, I have no problem with dual-benefit approaches.

    Tim W1 July 2014
  • The dual-benefit facet of 1540-related assistance could in fact be one of the main reasons that developing countries would be able to create an effective trade control system. Given that developing countries are more preoccupied with more basic national security issues, using 1540-related assistance to create trade controls that deal with a broad range of issues is likely one of the only ways to achieve marginal gains in the sphere of controlling proliferation of WMD. By enacting 1540-related assistance to enhance existing measures in areas such as border control, port security, and exports controls, both “donor” and “recipient” nations benefit from increased security postures.

    Regional organizations have the potential to magnify the effects of 1540-related assistance by providing increased coordination and verification capabilities. Coordination through regional organizations offers benefits that coordination through more global channels like the United Nations cannot. For example, by creating a community of like-minded stakeholders through a regional organization, participants in 1540-related efforts could reap the benefits of more stable trade arrangements. This in turn is a pillar of more stable governance, which lends itself to more effective security measures.

    Steven Y1 July 2014
  • The benefits of nations of the “global South” getting involved in 1540 implementation could be huge. First, it is starting to eliminate more and more the hiding places that non-state actors may seek out to conduct illicit trade. Whereas the spotlight was initially focused on major trading destinations and hubs, attention to export controls and combatting illicit trade has quickly spread around the world. Second, it can only help that the notion of non-proliferation is engrained early in a nations development as they continue to struggle with the internal strife and poverty that are remnants of the colonial era. Then, as technology and industry improve and they attain capacity to produce these weapons, they will be well-versed in the controls and committed to the non-proliferation regimes. The United States of America learned the lesson too late, and now faces massive hurdles in its effort to prevent WMDs from falling into the wrong hands.

    However, getting to that point is another challenge. I think we need to be careful lest this be construed as “how can developed countries get undeveloped countries to play ball”? This is the antithesis of sustainable implementation. Providing financial assistance to implement 1540 helps in the short term, but some countries don’t prioritize this threat. Rather than receiving money to pay for their 1540 implementation, perhaps more commitment from the U.S. in other areas of international law is the key. Even if poorer governments are seeking financial assistance and are not concerned with what treaties and conventions the U.S. ratifies, more engagement and participation in international law on the part of the U.S. and other developed nations may serve as a catalyst to naturally motivate countries to be concerned about non-proliferation.

    Brett S1 July 2014
  • The approach mentioned in the video – of having dual-benefits to 1540-related assistance—is really going to help developing economies create an effective trade control system by also helping to secure borders, secure ports, and deter arms trafficking thus making their nation safer at a much smaller scale than that of WMD related threats. The value of supporting these activities in countries whose main priority is dealing with other more basic human security needs is continuing to close the gaps in international trade, especially in countries where funds are not available. The role I see regional organizations playing is that of support, guidance, and financial and implementation assistance.

    Global industry will be impacted if more and more countries—even those in the developing world—put more focus on managing trade related to sensitive items by potentially adding import / export costs through licenses or additional port fees. I do not think that this change the way businesses operate in the globalized marketplace in the long term, however the short term may be impacted through delays or added costs until the full globalization and understanding of the implications at the ports of interest are fully understood.

    Robert F.1 July 2014
  • The UN 1540 resolution was created mainly to prevent non state actors, and terrorisms, to manufactured, acquire, poses, transport, transfer or use WMD, and their means of delivery, but this required the states meet obligations according to UN 1540 SCR. The developed countries don´t have restrains to comply with the resolution, because they need to control WMD material and they had the threats in their back. But the developing or small countries, had other concerns about health, organized crime, corruption, domestic needs and financing to think about establish trade control system. Since my point of view is very important to share and to help financially to start implementing the 1540, and because the countries that are call upon its implementation have different levels of economical capacity, and needs a variable types of assistance in order to get an effective implementation. For that it is important to educate the political class and authorities in each State on disarmament and proliferation.
    The creation of 1540 Committee, as well as regional organizations were good steps to assist developing countries with implementation. The countries sometimes don´t see the “security and development needs to be a model for creating peace”, the official governments usually looking for the direct impact of the implementation in their economies.
    In areas like the Caribbean and central America, as some African countries, may need a regional response, and also need the support of the developed countries to the developing countries by implementing assistance programmes and encouraging them to request assistance for the implementation of the nationals action plans. Finally the UN 1540 resolution should be looked by the developing countries as an opportunity for cooperation in both security and trade.
    If we can integrate and implementing the UN 1540 resolution around the world, focus on managing trade related to WMD materials and sensitive technology and dual use goods would have a great impact on global market.

    Rodolfo Gamboa1 July 2014
  • I think Leon in his comments said it best — nuclear weapons proliferation seems to be a #firstworldproblem (hashtag mine). The primary policy issues of, say, Botswana are not going to be the same as those of France. However, as Mr. Alexander Chacon in the video explained, issues that may be functionally similar to WMD trafficking could be addressed if smaller developing nations work to implement 1540.

    Still, in the debate between regulating dual-use goods and fighting malaria, Botswana would choose malaria. So it makes sense for regional organizations to set up coordinating / implementation committees to oversee the effective execution of 1540 at different levels. This only works if funding is made available to developing nations to help them get on board and implement 1540 guidelines — and it has to be advertised as, “Oh, and by the way, if by taking care of your most pressing needs you can also prevent proliferation, that’s great!”

    Still, it’s something the international community has to do, since transshipment hubs exist in more countries than just the ones on board with nonproliferation commitments today.

    Global industry has not only a great opportunity, but a tremendous responsibility and (in my opinion) a mandate, to make it easier for governments to implement 1540 guidelines by working very hard on the front end of the supply chain and ensuring sensitive / dual-use controlled items and equipment never leave the manufacturing floor or distribution center in the first place. We can get every nation in the world to commit scarce resources to 1540 by installing portal monitors, training border security officers, cracking down on illicit financial networks, and more — but if there are no goods being trafficked in the first place, wouldn’t that be even better?

    Rizwan L1 July 2014
  • I agree with what Brian Finlay of the Stimson Center says in the video from the Stanley Foundation: “We cannot or frankly should not, morally, be pushing small countries to redirect internal resources” from their priority needs to a program for controlling weapons of mass destruction. On the other hand, as he and Ambassador Albert Ramdin say, it can be possible for this UNSCR 1540 mandate to work for the benefit of developing countries to help manage their other priority needs – including security needs such as small arms trade, human and drug trafficking, etc. with the assistance program inherent in Resolution 1540.

    During the 7169th meeting of the Security Council held on May 7, 2014, to commemorate the 10th anniversary of Resolution 1540, one of the first speakers was the representative from Rwanda, who reported that his country had met its obligations under Resolution 1540. The meeting ran live on U.N. Web TV and I watched the first 40 minutes of the recording.

    Most of what I heard sheds a positive light on the work of the 1540 Committee, such as the fact that “over 30,000 measures or actions have been reported to the 1540 Committee.” That point was made in an opening statement by U.N. Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson. But he also made references to downsides, such as the use of chemical weapons in Syria and the fact that 20 countries have not submitted a report on the work done to implement Resolution 1540. He added that ” terrorists and traffickers tend to target countries that have less well – or poorly monitored or controlled – customs, borders, trade, ports and airports.” He described those 20 countries as mostly “facing serious economical or social issues.”

    Surely Rwanda has faced “serious economical or social issues” and Eugene-Richard Gasana, the permanent representative to the U.N. from Rwanda, called on those who have not met their obligations to R1540 to do so. He added that that while significant progress has been made in “raising awareness” during the last 10 years, that much work still needed to be done in capacity building. He also referred to many of the challenges to implementation of R1540 that we have discussed in this course, such as procurement attempts by middlemen and private entities for profit, covering up of end users, and poor border mechanisms. He praised the work of the World Customs Organization for capacity building in the area of border control and the FATF for it collaboration in area proliferation finance. He that Rwanda believes there is a strong link between the fight terrorism and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. against proliferation shared a common thread. He recognized the work of the African Union protocol in helping countries develop national instruments.

    Rwanda still has its share of social and economic problems, and probably more intense involvement from outside of Africa than other countries, but if R1540 is seen as a valuable initiative for multiple reason in that country, then I believe it can benefit other developing countries, as well.

    Rwanda was followed by Chile, whose permanent representative to the U.N., Alfredo Labbe, also voiced his country’s full support for R1540. The synergistic work of regional organizations was apparent in the examples of support, seminars, etc. mentioned by both of these U.N. representatives. Mr. Labbe also mentioned the capacity building support Chile received to meet R1540 requirements in a workshop conducted by the The Center for International Trade and Security (CITS) at the University of Georgia.

    CITS also hosted a delegation from the Chinese State Nuclear Security Technology Center (SNSTC) from June 16-20, 2014 in Athens, Georgia. According to the university website, “CITS experts provided training to the delegation on subjects including nuclear nonproliferation, nuclear security, and nuclear security culture. This event demonstrates CITS’s (1) continuous efforts within its active programs in China and (2) great expertise in nuclear security and nuclear security culture issue areas.

    Valerie "Terry" Ellis1 July 2014
  • The value of supporting initiatives to creating effective trade control systems even despite the fact that a country may have other issues for nation-state development that are rather more pressing is that it will yield long-term benefits for greater international security. It is often known that solo entrepreneurs such as AQ Khan have exploited and operated with (or in) countries that have lax, outdated, or weak export systems, thereby creating and expanding his nuclear smuggling network and upsetting both the regional and international nuclear power balance.

    It is imperative that every country does its part to limit and deter the most glaring opportunities for illicit activity as it relates to WMD proliferation even despite WMDs not being a high priority because the controls that would be set up would affect and mitigate a nexus of issues that are remotely linked to the potentiality of WMD proliferation, e.g. organized crime, money laundering, fraud, smuggling, trafficking of illicit goods and contraband. Strong trade control systems would be as likely to crack down on these concerns as well as the threat of WMD proliferation.
    Regional organizations allows for collaboration and cohesion within the boundaries of its nodes from that of the federal, state, and local levels, by nation – as well as creating collaborative networks laterally among other regions. The organization creates a sense of responsibility and accountability for each of the regions to contribute to salient concerns 1540 seeks to address, e.g. control of WMD materiel, revaluation and assessment of domestic controls relating to border / maritime / export control / financial security. Moreover, success of the regional organization relies on the effective capacity of information sharing which is an extension of the expectations of governmental tier granting its full cooperation. Laterally, the appointment of a 1540 coordinator makes sure each region is respectively following protocol – as well as creating standards of accountability and systems of information sharing among each other region. Surely conflicts of interest and differences of opinion may arise among regions, but their coordinators and representatives can make these concerns known to the rest of the collation; it lays the stage for diplomacy and negotiations so as to fill in the gaps and discrepancies at the core of these prime regional differences resulting in overall a more thorough, comprehensive, and dynamic set of protocol. As stated before as well, the economy, and therefore illicit nonproliferation and export violations, operate in a globalized setting often at the behest of regional and international networking at play – therefore, developing official organizations longitudinally and laterally to facilitate coordination makes their need all the more apparent. Regional organizations seem to be of special benefit to smaller, less developed nations since they have more hurdles to tangle with than already well-established developed countries; communication, counsel, and even aid/transfer of resources between bilateral or multilateral networking are benefits such regions can accrue.

    The call for compliance would certainly change how businesses operate. The transitions may clash strongly with current company policy, and it will take time for new policies to created, enacted, and refined to create the fair balance of security and economic sovereignty that is desired but short term nuisances and setbacks would ultimately be eclipsed by creating measures that reduce the field of opportunities for illicit state and non-state activity.

    Chris Samson1 July 2014
  • Dual-benefits from 1540-related assistance seems to be a win-win situation. While developing countries may not prioritize trade control activities, a dual-benefits program that controls the trade of WMD related materials can also control the trade of concern to that region, such as drugs or arms. This will also seemingly bolster the controls infrastructure, strengthening trade, and ultimately will allow the country to focus on other more pressing issues like health, while also contributing to international security.

    Bo K.2 July 2014
  • The breakdown of UNSCR 1540 would deal a massive blow to the nonproliferation regime efforts and in turn undermine the Security Council’s international credibility. Fortunately, this is can be avoided. Unlike many other resolutions, UNSCR 1540 does not give due credit/significance to the potential role of regional and sub regional organizations in promoting or supporting implementation. These organizations have become increasingly vital to assisting the United Nations’ and other international organization in fighting threats to international peace and security. This might be due to regional organizations enjoying a higher degree of political acumen and credibility, in turn instilling confidence among its members that their interests remain a priority at all times. Indeed, a strong case can be made that, in taking steps to involve regional and sub regional organizations, the international arena would be providing a platform for states to strengthen themselves and confront other challenges to the region’s stability, security and development. A strong example of this is the establishment of the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) in the Horn of Africa. Though initially established to deal with the draught threatening the region, it slowly changed increasing its scope to an all encompassing one which spearheaded the negotiations between the Government of Sudan and the Sudan’s People’s Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A). The negotiations, though sponsored and coached by international actors and mediators, remained a regional effort and a shift in paradigm. It was essentially an ‘African solution to an African Problem’, which resulted in the signing of a Comprehensive Peace Agreement, ending Africa’s longest civil war. Regional actors are a force to be reckoned with, the sooner the international community recognizes and acts accordingly, the sooner mutually beneficial outcomes cane begin to flourish.

    D. Mahmoud2 July 2014
  • The 1540 UNSCR dual benefits related to the assistance to those economies in the developing world is positive. Most of the countries, if we talk about small countries such as Central America’s Nicaragua, El Salvador, among others, need assistance. Many of them rely on trade and tourism. Some of them, may even be cheap labor considered countries, that are interested on continuing to participate in the world markets and in having an effective trade control system.

    The value of supporting these activities in countries whose main priority is dealing with other more basic human security needs, is that by gaining the knowledge of the WMD dual use material, export control lists and even having knowledge of how the traffickers, middle men and front companies act, they will act in compliance of the international system. Small or developing countries do not want to be in a diplomatic dispute, have their trade industry halted or face sanctions from regional organizations or donor countries . The role that regional organizations play is highly important because people and their governments live in the globalization era and cannot isolate from others in the international arena. In the case of Latin America, there is the Organization of American States, Mercosur, that relate to issues of countries of the region, and in the last in the case of trade. It is important for countries not to be at fail, with something as relevant, as trade and the compliance of export control lists.

    The way global industry may be impacted if more and more countries—even those in the developing world—put more focus on managing trade related to sensitive items is that companies and customers will want to abide with the rules. Nobody wants to be in a black list of companies not to do business with, and if you do, will have to be monitored. In addition, as a legal customer, you do not want to waste time with a company that does not have qualified personnel or does not know about export control list, the regime and the compliance. It is not rational to make business with companies of bogus origin, personnel and goals.

    My perspective is that this will indeed change the way businesses operate in the globalized marketplace. At the beginning will be complaints by those in the trade industry, but in the end if you want to trade, you abide by the rules, especially in making business with America and its partners in the global system.

    Karen Espinal2 July 2014
  • I don’t think the question is whether there will be dual-benefit from 1540 assistance, but instead, what are the ultimate ramifications in today’s global environment to NOT adhering to the U.N. mandate? Banco Delta Asia was an excellent example of the ripple effects a company, or country might feel if there are ostracized from industry for lacking compliance, or even showing a desire to comply. In that case, it was simply a company, and Macau did not overly suffer for it. However, North Korea certainly did on a national scale. Therefore, it may not seem like dual-benefits emerge quickly for less developed countries, but there is an international trade and cooperation aspect that can potentially have a very positive effect on countries’ economies in the long-term. As the video suggested though, it is vital that the 1540 Committee balance the implementation along with domestic and regional needs of the host countries (including narcotrafficking, famine, civil wars, etc.) if this is to be a welcomed change to states’ grand policy.

    The very astute addition to 1540 was in providing regional support. Here we see regimes that have naturally existed for a long time, and already have established lines of communication and an understanding of local cultures and needs. 1540 implementation almost acts like, “icing on the cake,” by providing a necessary layer for the sustainable trade development of these regional entities. With this kind of support, there is less of a concern that other domestic issues of a state will be overlooked. In addition (as one speaker mentioned in the video), there is an overlap with other illicit networks operating. Take human cargo for example; having further checks of cargo, even if for the sake of confirming no WMD related materials are being transported, will also offset these kinds of criminal activities by attrition of 1540’s very existence. This, in turn, will have a positive, sustainable economic effect on a nation’s long-term economic state.

    Now let’s look at two scenarios; 1.) 1540 IS NOT overly adhered to, and trade continues to move at a rapid pace to further global economic growth, and 2.) 1540 IS adhered to, and trade slows by a small percentage, thus reducing global economic growth. Which is the correct way? Well, I thought to look at it like building a skyscraper. Let’s assume we are at the 5th floor of a 75 floor construction cycle; if we have a foundation with significant cracks and corners cut, we have to ask ourselves how long it will take for them to show…and when they DO show, what kind of a structural effect will it have at THAT time? I.e. – maybe slowing things down might not be the worst idea, and if 1540 is not implemented now, when? No one is asking whether or not there is a gap that needs to be filled; this is apparent. Although the trade industry might suffer a small to mid-sized blow in the short-term, from a utilitarian perspective, it would benefit in the long-term.

    Brandon S3 July 2014

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