16 April, 2016

UN Security Council Resolution 1540 Online Implementation Monitoring Tool

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This interactive visualisation tool was prepared by King’s College London in cooperation with the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies with the aim of increasing understanding of the implementation of Resolution 1540. The tool allows for the dynamic display of 1540 ‘matrix’ reports for each UN Member State in map format. It aims to supplement the UN Security Council’s existing 1540 Matrix toolset through an enhanced, flexible, and more user-interactive interface, with the aim of assisting the comprehensive review of 1540 implementation that will take place in summer 2016.

The tool consists includes two main datasets: the first relates to national legal provisions – legislation and regulations relevant to prohibiting proliferation – and the second to national enforcement provisions – actions to combat proliferation. These can be toggled using the first filter on the right hand side.


The tool also includes three other filters: question, description, and NBC (short for nuclear, chemical or biological). These filters can be used to display implementation of specific measures or groups of measures. The NBC filter can be used when viewing responses to certain questions - those with [NBC in their title] – to examine whether a state has implemented nuclear, chemical, and biological provisions relevant to the particular measure. You should manually change this to ‘all’ when viewing other question types.


Project Alpha and CNS aim to further refine this tool over the course of 2016. In particular, we intend to develop analytics to supplement the current visualisations. This work will focus on specific thematic issues or regional issues. A further iteration of this project might also see the tool take into account risk factors, such as whether states produce WMD-relevant materials.




UNSC Resolution 1540, adopted in 2004 under UN Charter Chapter VII, recognises that nuclear, chemical and biological weapons and their means of delivery constitute a threat to the international security. Resolution 1540 requires all UN Member States to adopt legislation to prevent the proliferation of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons, and their means of delivery, and to establish domestic controls to prevent illicit trafficking of such materials or their components.

Under Resolution 1540, each of the 193 UN Member States is tasked to submit a report of their 1540 national implementation efforts and how they met their obligations. The Security Council’s 1540 Group of Experts then review these national reports along with complementary official government data and international governmental organisations information, and create a so-called ‘matrix’ for each state. The matrix represents the requirements as set out in Resolution 1540 and the specific measures undertaken by the States in fulfilment of their obligations. These matrices are utilised primarily by the 1540 Committee as a reference to facilitate its mandates of fully implementing the provisions of Resolution 1540 and its successive resolutions. The matrices are not utilised to measure States’ compliance to the non-proliferation mandate of Resolution 1540.

The individual matrix of Member States in PDF format are made public online through the 1540 Matrix website of the 1540 Committee.