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Implementing UN Security Council Resolution 1540: A Division of Labor Strategy

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United Nations Resolution 1540 would make proliferation more difficult and less attractive, facilitate the dismantlement of proliferation networks, and create momentum to strengthen other aspects of the nonproliferation regime--but major challenges preventing actual implementation need to be comprehensively addressed, says a new paper from the Carnegie Endowment.

Resolution 1540, introduced in 2004, is the most comprehensive response by the UN Security Council following the exposure of the transnational nuclear smuggling network set up by Pakistani scientist A. Q. Khan. The resolution is exceptional in that it compels every UN member state to criminalize the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) to non-state actors in its national legislation and establish effective domestic controls to prevent proliferation.

In Implementing UN Security Council Resolution 1540: A Division of Labor Strategy, Monika Heupel, a former visiting scholar in the Carnegie Endowment's Nonproliferation Program, argues that in light of the huge challenges faced, implementation depends upon applying a division of labor strategy. In this strategy, international organizations, individual states, and NGOs would all utilize their comparative advantages to address the various implementation challenges.