1540 and the 2016 Comprehensive Review

A brief history of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1540 in light of the 2016 Comprehensive Review

By Hanne Veel
13 June 2016

On 28 April 2004, the UN Security Council (UNSC) unanimously adopted Resolution 1540,[i] the purpose of which is to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) to non-state actors, in particular for terrorist purposes. The resolution obliges all UN member states to adopt and enforce appropriate legislation to this end, and to put in place domestic controls to prevent such proliferation. The resolution further establishes a committee to oversee its implementation. In accordance with a subsequent resolution from 2011 (UNSC Res 1977), the 1540 resolution will undergo a comprehensive review in 2016, with a view to improving implementation of the resolution. This article briefly outlines the history and implementation of the resolution to date, with the aim of providing a backdrop to the on-going review process.

Rapport fra multilateralismens gravkammer

Hva skal man gjøre med et internasjonalt forhandlingsforum som ikke forhandler?

By Magnus Løvold

Dypt inne i det multilaterale diplomatiets mørke irrganger, fjernt fra offentlighetens oppmerksomhet, sitter representanter fra 65 land og snakker om internasjonal nedrustning av atomvåpen og andre masseødeleggelsesvåpen – nær tjue år på overtid.

100 years since Verdun

A century ago, chemical weapons were used to terrible effects in the fields of France.


By Kjølv Egeland
27 May 2016

100 years ago, large parts of the globe were engulfed in one of the most devastating conflicts the world has ever seen. The Battle of Verdun, dragging on over most of the year 1916, was one of the First World War’s most devastating engagements. More than 300 000 French and German soldiers—possible a lot more—lost their lives in the hills of north-eastern France between February 21st and December 20th. As many other battles of the ‘Great War’, Verdun saw extensive use of chemical weapons—or ‘poison gas’—by both sides.

Polarized diplomacy

There is a sense among many that the international community is more polarized than ever over the issue of nuclear disarmament. It is not. And even if it were, there would be no need to panic. 
UN General Assembly

By Kjølv Egeland
14 April 2016

Since the institutionalization of ‘modern’ diplomacy in the renaissance, the vocation of the diplomat has been to build (metaphorical) bridges, craft deals, and maintain ‘good relations’ with foreign powers. The core function of diplomacy—multilateral and bilateral—is to generate agreement. In everyday usage, the adjective ‘diplomatic’ describes the art of ‘dealing with people in a sensitive and tactful way’ or ‘acting in a way that does not cause offence’.

Just another president

Can the NSS save Obama’s nuclear legacy?

By Torbjørn Graff Hugo & Kjølv Egeland
31 March 2016

As world leaders descend on Washington DC for the fourth and final Nuclear Security Summit this week (March 31­–April 1), the contours of President Obama’s nuclear weapons legacy are becoming clearer. For those who heard him speak in Prague in 2009, it is a story of great expectations and subsequent disappointment. For everyone else, it’s the story of just another US President.

A ‘legal gap’? Nuclear weapons under international law

In December 2014, the Austrian government called on states and other stakeholders to ‘fill the legal gap for the prohibition and elimination of nuclear weapons.’ The ‘Humanitarian Pledge’ to fill the legal gap has now been endorsed by more than 120 UN member states.

By Gro Nystuen and Kjølv Egeland
21 March 2016

Is there really a ‘legal gap’ in the nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament regime? And, if so, is it a gap in substantive law or is it ‘just’ a compliance gap? This is the question Dr Gro Nystuen and Kjølv Egeland tackle in their feature in the most recent number of Arms Control Today. Read the full article at Arms Control Association’s website here.

Should we fear North Korea?

On 15 March 2016 the WMD project of the International Law and Policy Institute (ILPI) organized a panel debate on North Korea and its nuclear weapon programme.

Kulturhuset, Oslo — 15.03.2016

Question from the floor during the panel debate. Photo: Hanne Veel (ILPI).

The debate was moderated by journalist Stig Arild Pettersen. The panel consisted of Halvor Kippe (FFI), Sverre Lodgaard (NUPI), and Gro Nystuen (ILPI).

Regional roundtable meeting in Pretoria

On 17-18 February the WMD project of the International Law and Policy Institute (ILPI) held its 11th regional roundtable meeting on nuclear weapons outside Pretoria, South Africa.

By Torbjørn Graff Hugo

The meeting was organized in collaboration with the South African-based Institute for Security Studies (ISS) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). The purpose of the roundtable was to bring together key government stakeholders from the African continent to discuss both substantive and process-related aspects of an international nuclear disarmament, with a particular focus on a planned Open-Ended Working Group (OEWG) in Geneva. A key issue to be explored was the role of Africa and African states in this field.