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United Nations Security Council Resolution 1540

[UNSCR 1540]

In UNSCR 1540 (2004), the Security Council decided that all States shall refrain from providing any form of support to non-State actors that attempt to develop, acquire, manufacture, possess, transport, transfer or use nuclear, chemical or biological weapons and their means of delivery, in particular for terrorist purposes.


The United Nations (UN) Security Council Resolution 1540 (Resolution 1540) aims to prevent the proliferation of biological, chemical and nuclear weapons and their means of delivery, particularly for non-state actors. UNSCR 1540 was unanimously passed in April 2004, and obligates States to adopt legislation that prohibit supporting non-State actors in any way that will aid them in developing, acquiring, manufacturing, possessing, transporting, transferring or using these weapons. Additionally, states must enact appropriate domestic controls over related materials to prevent their illicit trafficking. 

UNSCR 1540 was designed to enhance, not replace, States obligations to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, the Chemical Weapons Convention, or the Biological Weapons Convention. The Resolution has been extended 5 times since 2004, most recently it was extended from April 2021 to February 2022. UNSCR 1540 execution is overseen by the 1540 Committee, which has rotating representatives from around the world, and is supported by an international Group of Experts. The Committee also oversees the distribution of assistance to countries to support their implementation of UNSCR 1540. UNSCR 1540 is available in Arabic, English, French, Spanish, Russian and Chinese.