Your Excellency Mr. Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations,
Ladies and gentlemen,
I wish to first thank you, Mr. Secretary-General, for your participation today and for your remarks.
2. Malaysia highly values the Secretariat’s role in facilitating synergies, in coordinating and supporting cooperation between the various UN entities, Member States and intergovernmental institutions in preventing WMD proliferation to non-State actors. The Security Council, consistent with its primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security and in accordance with the Purposes and Principles of the United Nations, has a key role to play in this regard.
3. I wish to also thank Mr. Roux, Dr. Koblenz and Mr. Kim for their respective presentations which have shed much light on the different aspects of the topic under discussion.
4. We are honoured by the large number of delegations participating today; attesting to the importance of concerted international action to preventing WMD proliferation to non-State actors. It is my hope that our deliberations today will contribute towards that end. My delegation aligns itself with the statement of the Non-Aligned Movement to be delivered by the representative of Iran.
5. Resolution 1540 is admittedly a historic contribution by the Security Council in the field of non-proliferation of WMD. We commend Spain, as Chair of the Council’s 1540 Committee, for its effective stewardship of the Resolution 1540 Comprehensive Review process. My delegation is of the view that, in so doing and while acknowledging the threats posed by terrorist groups, the thrust of this resolution – in preventing WMD proliferation by States and non-State actors – should be maintained.
6. We should acknowledge the equally significant contributions by several international and regional arrangements or initiatives in addressing WMD proliferation, especially by non-State actors. Collectively and through various national, regional and international approaches, we have certainly made great strides and achieved significant progress in responding to this multifaceted, complex issue. We should move forward by further strengthening global efforts in light of the emerging threats and challenges in this regard, in particular in the field of science and technology, ICT and international commerce. As such, we call on the 1540 Committee to regularly review the scientific, technological and international commerce advancements on related controls under UNSCR 1540. This would ensure synergy in merging implementation of States’ obligations, taking into account the exponential risk of misuse of these advancements.
7. I do not wish to repeat here the elements concerning the purpose, context and challenges that the Presidency has elaborated in our Concept Note for this debate. Neither should I recapitulate the points that my delegation and other delegations have made at the Council’s Open Consultations concerning Resolution 1540 last June. Instead and in line with the action-oriented nature of today’s debate, I wish to offer my observations and proposals.
8. My delegation believes that States, in accordance with their international obligations, should strengthen their respective law enforcement and national legislation, in particular by enacting an effective export and trans-shipment controls that should include proliferation financing. Due to the fact that many states have different national priorities and capacities, not all States have been able to enact such laws, resulting in the lack of universal control concerning WMD proliferation to non-State actors. In addition, some States remain constrained by a severe lack of technical expertise and resources in ensuring effective fulfilment of their obligations. Therefore, the United Nations, in accordance with Chapter 8 of its Charter, and other relevant regional and international initiatives should avoid duplication and instead work in synergy in rendering the required assistance in all aspects to States. I believe that such an expedient approach would optimise the limited resources of States as well as the institutions concerned.
9. The international community has long designated non-State actors, in particular terrorist groups, as our number one enemy. However, it is unfortunate that a central, universal coordination mechanism that is inclusive of parliamentarians, industry, academics and the civil society in addressing the challenges they pose is currently non-existent. This has resulted in numerous regional and international institutions and initiatives, with similar or competing interests, pursuing the same objectives but with different approaches or agenda. Such a perplexing situation should be redressed immediately.
10. Pending the formation of a central, universal coordination mechanism, States will have to continue addressing the increasingly complex challenges posed by non-State actors through various measures, peculiar to their national or regional interests and imperatives. In this regard, my delegation supports the proposal for the United Nations to develop a structured track of dialogue at all levels, including parliamentarians, industry, academics and the civil society, aimed at raising greater awareness, with a view to generating the necessary impetus for a solid global movement against WMD proliferation to non-State actors.
11. The global security landscape has changed dramatically. It is evolving rapidly beyond comprehension, presenting us with a multitude of new challenges. Today, no nation can claim immunity from WMD proliferation or attacks by terrorist groups. Recent incidents concerning the use of chemicals as weapons against civilian populations by certain parties in Syria as well as the acquisition of chemical stockpiles by terrorists in Libya which was eventually addressed through the adoption of UN Security Council Resolution 2298(2016), highlight the real danger and threat posed by non-State actors to peace and security. These developments demand us to respond to the questions of, not if, but when and where such incidents will recur – with irreversible consequences; and what should we do and how we should do it.
12. It is indeed unfortunate that geopolitical considerations at play in certain regions are compounding preventive or remedial efforts by the United Nations and the international community at large in addressing the challenges posed by WMD proliferation and their use by non-State actors. There have been instances where States were allegedly complicit in this regard, in blatant disregard to the sacrosanct Purposes and Principles of the United Nations. States are duty bound to avoid complicity in the commission of such heinous acts.
13. The Preamble of our Charter states, “We the peoples of the United Nations determined to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war… (and) to establish conditions under which justice and respect for the obligations arising from treaties and other sources of international law can be maintained; and for these ends … to unite our strength to maintain international peace and security”.
14. I am convinced that we remain resolutely cognisant of our cardinal collective obligations – as truly United Nations; and thereby are prepared to jointly summon the courage to ultimately bring forth enduring peace and security.
15. It is worth recalling that, twenty years ago, the International Court of Justice in its Advisory Opinion on the Legality of the Threat or Use of Nuclear Weapons, rendered on 8 July 1996, had unanimously concluded "that there exists an obligation to pursue in good faith and bring to a conclusion negotiations leading to nuclear disarmament in all its aspects under strict and effective international control”.
16. We have to admit that the existence of WMD, in particular nuclear weapons, is a threat to our peace and security, and the survival of mankind. Ultimately, my delegation looks forward to a WMD-free world.