In an ever-changing global environment, the prospect of non-State actors acquiring weapons of mass destruction (WMD) remains a major threat. In this context, many countries face challenges and vulnerabilities, such as porous borders and the absence of border security management strategies. As the global community grapples with the ramifications of WMD development by non-State actors, building security resilience and addressing vulnerabilities related to bioterrorism is even more crucial.
The Terrorism Prevention Branch of UNODC (UNODC/TPB) delivered two workshops to enhance efforts against the proliferation of WMDs by non-State actors to strengthen border security and support implementation of UN Security Council resolution (UNSCR) 1540 (2004), on 18-19 September 2023 in Lusaka, Zambia, and on 21-22 September 2023 in Gaborone, Botswana.
The events convened 20 participants from Zambia and 16 participants from Botswana. The participants discussed strategies adopted by both countries to strengthen their regulatory, legal and administrative frameworks. The workshops were enriched by the expertise provided by INTERPOL, the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, the World Customs Organization, and the World Health Organization.
During the event, the benefits of joining and effectively implementing the seven international legal instruments against chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear terrorism (CBRN) to further support States in complying with provisions of UNSCR 1540 were highlighted.
Mr. Humphrey Kaloza, the UNSCR 1540 (2004) point of contact of the Government of Zambia, stressed that “workshops of these nature remain fundamentally important to our ability to increase our implementation activities. The presentations provided us with additional perspectives on how to ensure that key requirements of the resolution are reflected in both national, legal and regulatory mechanisms. In addition, the discussions provided major assistance to our operational efforts in this domain.” The workshops and the promotion of the implementation of international legal instruments have led to a holistic approach to border security. These efforts encompass legal, technological, and collaborative aspects, creating a robust defense against terrorism and the illicit trafficking of proliferation-sensitive materials at the national and international levels.
These workshops concluded a two-year global project entitled “Promoting border security and non-proliferation through the implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1540 (2004)”, funded by the Government of Canada.