|Title||Amb. Kim's bilateral meeting (as UN Security Council 1540 Committee Chair) with the Foreign Minister of Trinidad and Tobago.|
I would first like to express my sincere appreciation for the heartfelt hospitality by the Government of Trinidad and Tobago. It is a real pleasure and privilege for me to be here today in Port-of Spain, even though I should have visited in February to celebrate the world renowned carnival festivities with you all.
However, we know very well that Trinidad and Tobago is acclaimed for many other qualities as well. It is the number one ranking country in the region in terms of GDP. Its commitment at the Arms Trade Treaty negotiations, as a representative for CARICOM, last month left deep impressions in many others including myself. It is also noteworthy that your country has been an active player in the global non-proliferation regimes including the IAEA, NPT, CWC, BWC, and the CTBT.
Naturally, I see Trinidad and Tobago as a crucial partner in our efforts to combat the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD). This is what brought me here today on the first visit to a State conducted by the Chair of the UN Security Council 1540 Committee. I appreciate Trinidad and Tobago's offer to work together in identifying and discussing possible next steps in furthering the objectives of UN Security Council resolution 1540 (2004).
By unanimously adopting resolution 1540 in 2004, the UN Security Council addressed the risk that non-State actors may acquire, develop, traffic in, or use nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons and their means of delivery. As terrorists and proliferators do not respect borders, the global non-proliferation system is only as strong as the weakest link in the chain. They will abuse such weak points as their outposts and even as their launch pads.
Resolution 1540 (2004) elaborates very important roles for all UN Member States to play in this regard. In particular, States are required to adopt and enforce appropriate and effective national laws and establish domestic controls to prevent the proliferation of WMD by non-State actors. Such measures encompass accountability, physical protection, border controls, export, and transshipment controls as well as critical financial aspects.
While these obligations appear brief as written, it must be recognized that they cover a wide array of issues. Furthermore, their full and effective implementation will require actions of a different kind and at different levels, with the participation of all relevant national stakeholders including the industry and the private sector. The implementation of resolution 1540 (2004) is a continuous task that requires sustained efforts.
The 1540 Committee plays a central role in monitoring and facilitating the implementation of resolution 1540 (2004) by States. WMD proliferation is a global challenge; no one country can take it on alone. This is where cooperation comes into play. The 1540 Committee serves as a clearinghouse that facilitates matchmaking between requests and offers of relevant assistance for capacity building. We can serve as a focal point to share effective practices and promote cooperation with and among international, regional, and sub-regional organizations.
As you are aware, having made the preparations for the 2007 Cricket World Cup, free movement of people, materials, and finance comes with increased risks. If such risks are not properly assessed and addressed, they will come back to disrupt security and progress one day down the line.
Under such circumstances, it is important that Trinidad and Tobago demonstrate to the international community that it is capable of creating, maintaining, and perfecting necessary security architectures against WMD proliferation. By doing so, we would also be able to help address other traditional security concerns and implement relevant multilateral treaty obligations. Guarantees for the safe flow of people, materials, and finance will in turn create an enabling environment to support economic development.
Taking this timely opportunity for a visit, I very much look forward to seeking a win-win solution for the 1540 Committee and your country and forging a lasting partnership to contribute jointly to the realization of a world safe from WMD proliferation. In this connection, I would encourage all participants to take advantage of the presence of two members of the Group of Experts supporting the 1540 Committee, Mr. Enrique Ochoa and Mr. Nicolas Kasprzyk, who are both eager to share their expertise and to engage in active dialogue.
Finally, I kindly look to Trinidad and Tobago to serve as a model for other countries as a regional leader in the implementation of resolution 1540 (2004), and to become a strong supporter for, and partner of, the 1540 Committee. As Chair, I will remain committed to providing all necessary support in achieving our mutual goal.