~ YOUR IDEAS on how to prevent the proliferation of the world's most dangerous weapons ~

The numbers of terrorists and extremist groups are growing. Many are interested in developing or obtaining Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) – nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons. That makes it even more important that we control equipment, materials, technologies, and knowledge that can be used to make and deliver WMDs. The international community needs imaginative strategies to stymie the proliferation of WMDs, and you can help by sharing your best ideas with the U.N. Security Council. Note that this is in support of the U.N. Security Council’s 1540 Committee, a subsidiary organ of the Security Council. Essay contest details are below. Start thinking and writing now. Submissions will be accepted starting in May and the competition will be open until August 5, 2016.

The first- and second-place winners will get a trip to Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA, later this year to present his/her ideas at an awards ceremony to representatives of the U.N. Security Council and will receive awards of $2,000 and $1,000, respectively, from the Washington Foreign Law Society. Additional honorees may participate via audio/video and will receive $500 awards. The Stimson Center will publish the top essays. The universities and professors of these top students will also be recognized at the awards ceremony and in the publication. Click below for more information.

The Essay Requirement: An Action Plan for 1540 Implementation

Your government (pick a particular country) is developing a five-year action plan for the implementation of U.N. Security Council Resolution 1540. Your government may be in a position to help other states implement this resolution or may need to request help in implementing this resolution. You are advising your government on what it needs to do, why, and by when in order to implement this resolution and decrease WMD risks. In no more than 2,500 words, develop a five-year action plan that includes priorities and timelines. Make sure to include ways to measure success.

Supporting information is available for many countries on the 1540 Committee’s website, with both official state reports and the experts’ reports available. You can also find via these links: National Reports of countries’ past implementation; the Committee’s matrices of how each country has met the many requirements of 1540; and some countries’ reports of their future National Implementation Plans.

Your action plan should assess your country’s current levels of implementation and gaps, assess threats, and identify means to meet them. You may want to assign responsibility for implementation. In addition to deciding what your government needs to do for itself, the role of assistance may be considered.

- If your government is in a position to provide implementation assistance to others, your proposed action plan should also focus on how best to furnish such aid. What needs to get done and how can your country help? This will require, among other things, establishing priorities for the countries and/or regions to be included in any assistance program. In addition, you may judge that some of the obligations of the resolution should be given priority.  

- If your government is in the position of needing assistance, your action plan should identify means to meet them. It will also need to formulate assistance requests. What are the critical areas that need to be addressed and where is outside assistance needed?

In both scenarios, you should take into account the efforts of other governments and international organizations engaged in supporting Resolution 1540, such as the International Atomic Energy Agency in the nuclear, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons in the chemical area, the World Health Organization and the Implementation Support Unit of the Biological Weapons Convention in the biological area, and the World Customs Organization. Strive to enhance outcomes and avoid duplication.

Finally, as noted in the call for the 2016 Comprehensive Review of implementation, you should be aware of the "rapidly changing scientific, technological, and commercial environment in which the implementation of resolution 1540 is taking place.”

You may choose to cover all or part of a five-year plan and simply note where more needs to be done to complete the plan.

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