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Combatting weapons of mass destruction: what IGAD is doing right
14 September 2015

Nairobi, Kenya – Ensuring that weapons of mass destruction are not diverted to the wrong hands aligns directly with Africa’s security objectives and developmental goals.

One of the key, legally binding instruments in this regard is United Nations Security Council Resolution 1540 (UNSCR 1540). Since adopting it in 2004, African states have made steady progress in implementing the resolution, which calls on states to prevent criminals, militant groups and other non-state actors from acquiring or using weapons of mass destruction.

On 21 November 2014 at an African Union (AU) workshop for regional economic communities and regional mechanisms, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development Secretariat (IGAD) presented possible activities for 2015. This included a regional workshop to promote instruments such as UNSCR 1540, the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism, the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material, and the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC).

In this context, the Institute for Security Studies (ISS), in partnership with the IGAD Secretariat and the AU, is hosting a workshop for IGAD states on enhancing the implementation of resolution 1540 and other non-proliferation instruments on 14 and 15 September 2015.

‘The ISS is making an important contribution in moving the momentum forward, driven by its dedication to strengthening and facilitating the implementation of resolution 1540 in Africa,’ says Raphael Prenat, a member of the Group of Experts that supports the work of the 1540 Committee.

The AU continues to encourage implementation efforts on the continent through its leading role on UNSCR 1504-related matters. Einas Osman Abdalla Mohamed, Senior Policy Officer of the AU Commission’s Peace and Security Department says: 'Ongoing cooperation between regional economic communities and African states, as witnessed between the IGAD Secretariat and member states at this event, is another step forward in overcoming remaining challenges in the continent’.

At the workshop, IGAD member states and international experts will share and exchange their experiences, effective practices and lessons learnt in implementing key non-proliferation instruments such as UNSCR 1540, the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC), the CWC and so-called ‘counter-terrorism conventions’ promoted by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). Delegates will also address coordination matters and discuss cooperation efforts at the sub-regional level.

Khalid Abdelrahman, Head of the Security Institutions Capacity Building Pillar of the IGAD Security Sector Program (ISSP), expressed the need for more capacity-building initiatives and activities in the IGAD region. ‘As such, the IGAD Secretariat is determined to partner with states in their implementation efforts’.

The event is attended by delegates from all IGAD member states, the 1540 Committee, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), the Biological Weapons Convention Implementation Support Unit (BWC-ISU), the UNODC, the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI), the Australia Group, the Verification Research, Training and Information Centre (VERTIC) and two former 1540 committee experts.  

Read more on Twitter: @issafrica #UNSCR1540

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Click here to download the Workshop Agenda

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About the Institute for Security Studies

The ISS is an African organisation that aims to enhance human security on the continent. It does independent and authoritative research, provides expert policy analysis and advice, and delivers practical training and technical assistance.