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    UNIS/DC/004
    7 January 2013

    Civil Society Forum in Support of Security Council Resolution 1540 (2004) on the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction: Opportunities for Engagement

    VIENNA, 7 January (UN Information Service) - The first-ever Civil Society Forum in support of Security Council resolution 1540 (2004) will take place in Vienna from 8-10 January 2013. It has been convened to provide civil society representatives with the opportunity to discuss their increased contributions to national and international efforts to fully implement the key requirements of resolution 1540 (2004) which concerns the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction to non-state actors.

    The High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, Angela Kane, will open the forum via video message. The United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA) has long been actively working with civil society on disarmament and non-proliferation issues. UNODA has also initiated close partnerships with non-governmental and academic organizations on 1540-related issues, in recognition of the great value of civil society efforts in supporting the implementation of resolution 1540 (2004).

    The Civil Society Forum in Vienna will involve the participation of more than sixty non-governmental organizations (NGOs), academia, think tanks and industries and includes representatives from Asia, Africa, Eastern and Western Europe, the Middle East and the Americas. The Forum is hosted by the Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs of Austria and is convened in cooperation with the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs.

    The media are invited to join the Civil Society Forum, on the opening day, Tuesday, 8 January 2013, from 9 a.m. in Room M2 of the M-building.

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    Background:

    Unanimously adopted by the Security Council on 28 April 2004, resolution 1540 (2004) obliges all States to 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. All States are to establish domestic controls to prevent the proliferation of these weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery, including by establishing appropriate controls over related materials.  Composed of the fifteen members of the Council, the Committee established pursuant to the resolution is a subsidiary body of the Security Council to carry out its mandate with the assistance of a group of experts. By its resolution 1977 (2011), the 1540 Committee is called upon, inter alia, to draw on relevant expertise from civil society in its work.

    Further information on the 1540 Committee's work is available at: http://www.un.org/en/sc/1540/index.shtml

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    For further information please contact:

    Franz Kolar
    Chief, Vienna Office
    United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs
    Telephone: (+43-1) 26060-4097
    Email: Franz.Kolar[at]unvienna.org

    http://www.un.org/disarmament/