Conclusions: The Future of UNSCR 1540
Resolution 1540 provides a unique tool in the effort to prevent nuclear proliferation. It is legally binding, universal in scope and complementary to other non-proliferation treaties, instruments and tools. The resolution’s first decade saw positive national implementation trends, and it has helped to solidify a norm against WMD proliferation. Despite this, it remains unclear how much safer, if at all, the world is as a result of the adoption of resolution 1540. Challenges remain, including many gaps in implementation around the world, the lack of a clear definition regarding the phase ‘full implementation’, and sustainability of the resolution past 2021. Achieving full implementation, however it is measured, will require a redoubling of efforts to build capacity and share experience. Further consideration will have to be given to how best to marshal and prioritise the application of resources.