Security Council to tackle draft resolution on spread of WMDs, President says

Security Council to tackle draft resolution on spread of WMDs, President says

Amb. Pleuger briefs the press
The Security Council is poised this month to discuss a draft resolution dealing with the spread of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) to non-State actors, the Ambassador of Germany, which holds the presidency of the 15-member body for April, said today.

Speaking at a press briefing on the Council's monthly work programme, Ambassador Gunter Pleuger predicted that the most politically sensitive discussion would concern the draft resolution on WMDs, around which a "positive groundswell" was forming to let the Security Council solve the problem through a resolution, which would be binding international law.

Ambassador Pleuger noted that the fact that the five permanent Council members - China, France, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and the United States - had been working on the measure for the past five or six months showed that it was a very important question, and that it entailed several difficult and complex problems.

He added that he believed Washington was "absolutely right" in saying there was a gap in international law pertaining to non-State actors. And because the traditional ways of adopting new international law - either by waiting for customary international law to develop or by negotiating a treaty or convention - took a long time, everyone felt that there was an "imminent threat" to be addressed and therefore could not wait for the customary way.

The German Ambassador said he believed it was "the first major step" towards having the Security Council legislate for the rest of the UN membership. "It is important that not only the members of the Council but all [176] other members of the General Assembly have a chance to look at this resolution, because in the end it is not enough to adopt a Security Council resolution with legitimacy and acceptance. It is also important that the resolution is being implemented," he stressed.

Meanwhile, the role of business in conflict prevention, peacekeeping and post-conflict peace building will be discussed at an open meeting on 15 April, Ambassador Pleuger said. The idea for the session originated from the German-led Security Council mission to Afghanistan last year, which saw the vital importance of the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR) of former combatants in the peace-building phase.

He stressed that while the DDR process required jobs to which the disarmed fighters could turn to, private business could not be forced to invest in post-conflict areas. "You have to create an environment conducive to luring private business into that area and contribute to stabilizing the economic and social situation and providing the jobs that will make it possible to demobilize and reintegrate combatants," the Council President said.

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Video of the press briefing [43mins]