Comment by the Information and Press Department on the Joint Declaration in Support of the Implementation of United Nations (UN) Security Council Resolutions 1540, 2231, 2216, 1701, 2118, 2375 and 2397, a document by 25 states parties to the Proliferation

Monday, 25 June 2018 15:04

We took note of the Joint Declaration in Support of the Implementation of United Nations (UN) Security Council Resolutions 1540, 2231, 2216, 1701, 2118, 2375 and 2397 published on June 12 on the foreign ministry websites of 25 countries, namely, Australia, Belgium, Canada, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxemburg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the UK.

Our response to this document is explicitly negative. We are surprised that a group of countries has assumed the role of a mouthpiece of the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) and the interpreter of the UN Security Council resolutions and that it seeks to impose its vision of various international situations.

Indicatively, no one suggested a possibility of coordinating such a document at the PSI High-Level Political Meeting in Paris in May. This was done behind the scenes. It is no secret that PSI parties have different positions on a number of international political and security issues. Under these circumstances, it is unacceptable that individual countries comment on them on behalf of the PSI or under its aegis.

Regrettably, this highly misguided practice is becoming increasingly common. For example, a joint statement in support of UN Security Council Resolutions 2375 and 2397 was published on behalf of the PSI in January 2018. This undermines confidence in the PSI, as a narrow group of countries imposes its highly debatable political assessments.

UN Security Council resolutions need neither an interpretation (this is the prerogative of the UN Security Council and its Committees within their frame of reference), nor any outside support. UN Security Council resolutions must be strictly complied with by all UN members.

We think it inadmissible to mention Security Council Resolution 1540 in the same breath as sanctions resolutions; it is also inappropriate to quote selectively certain provisions of the resolution. Besides, the resolution does not provide for a number of actions mentioned by the declaration, namely, particular vigilance concerning possible transfers destined for non-State actors and readiness to intercept and carry out necessary inspections of cargoes that are suspected to contain WMD, delivery systems, or related materials intended for non-State actors. Resolution 1540 is of preventive nature and contains no tools for cutting proliferation violations short. There are other international formats for that.

We totally disagree with their assessments of the situation around Syria. It is outrageous that the declarants have assumed the role of a judge and groundlessly accuse the Syrian Government of violating its obligations under UN Security Council resolutions and the Chemical Weapons Convention. At the same time, the signatories keep silent about their own role in destabilising that country, supplying weapons to non-State actors and delivering strikes at Syria in violation of all international norms.

The passage on Iran is irrelevant as well. The declarants call for the implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) by carrying out inspections of all cargoes heading to and from Iran. But they intentionally failed to mention the US withdrawal from this crucial agreement, a withdrawal leading to the subversion of the international non-proliferation efforts.

We also have an extremely negative attitude to the attempts to extend the PSI mandate related solely to the interception of WMD, their delivery vehicles and relevant materials to conventional arms and their delivery vehicles that are not WMD carriers. We stress that the resolutions on Yemen and Lebanon are in no way related to the PSI.

Finally, it is unclear whom this declaration is addressed to. Russia and many other states perform their international obligations without being urged from the outside. We do not have to be told what to do and how to do it. We are certain that many others think so too.

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