The 1994 OSCE Principles Governing Non-Proliferation outlined the commitment of participating States to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD). These weapons include nuclear, chemical and biological weapons, as well as technology used for their delivery.
A special meeting on non-proliferation in June 2005 called for a greater OSCE role in assisting states in implementing United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1540 on the non-proliferation of WMD. Accordingly, the Forum for Security Co-operation (FSC) adopted a decision on supporting the implementation of the resolution.
The participating States agreed to further UN efforts by promoting lessons learned, sharing experiences and facilitating the identification of assistance needs for national implementation. This was subsequently endorsed by the OSCE Ministerial Council in December 2005. In November 2006, the OSCE again addressed the issue of combating proliferation of weapons of mass destruction at a workshop on the implementation of UNSCR 1540.
In addition, an Athens Ministerial Council Decision called on the FSC to facilitate the fulfilment by participating States of the provisions of UNSCR 1540, UNSCR 1673 and UNSCR 1810. Furthermore, in the Athens Ministerial Declaration on Non-proliferation, participating States pledged to facilitate UNSCR 1540 implementation, by providing effective assistance to those States that require it. OSCE Participating States also reaffirmed their adherence to the international treaties and conventions aiming at preventing and prohibiting the proliferation of WMD and reiterated their readiness to further enhance and strengthen existing international legal instruments.
Most recently, the non-proliferation of WMD was also underlined during the 2010 Astana Summit in the Astana Commemorative Declaration.
In 2010, a four-year project to support the implementation of UNSCR 1540 was created by the Conflict Prevention Centre (CPC) to strengthen OSCE expertise and to transform existing political tasking into concrete assistance activities and support for global processes. The project intends to assist interested participating States in producing national action plans and in building up the legislative basis required for UNSCR 1540 implementation. In the framework of this project, a UNSCR 1540 adviser, jointly with other thematic units of the OSCE and field operations, forms a significant asset to participating States in their efforts to enhance UNSCR 1540 implementation.
An OSCE Workshop identifying the proper role of the OSCE in the facilitation of UNSCR 1540 was held end of January 2011. A broad range of possibilities in the context of which the OSCE can be instrumental and which need to be put into practice in close co-operation with interested OSCE participating States and the UN’s 1540 Committee were considered. In particular, the participants spoke about further awareness-raising activities, the provision of tailored training, assistance with developing national action plans and improving legislation, promotion of the handbook of best practices guides, as well as continued dialogue and co-operation with other international organizations.