Cablegate: London P3 Consultations On Unscr 1540 Committee


DE RUEHLO #3041/01 3391653
R 041653Z DEC 08

C O N F I D E N T I A L LONDON 003041


E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/04/2018

Classified By: Political Counselor Rick Mills for reasons 1.4 b and d

1. (C) Summary: During a P3 working discussion hosted in London November 10 by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), both the British and French participants stressed that their countries remain committed to UNSCR 1540 Committee goals, but agreed that the Committee needs to be more focused and more flexible, with an emphasis on capacity building. The P3 representatives agreed during their London meeting that the U.S. will have the lead among the P3 for resolving assistance requests; the UK will have the lead for moving forward the P3,s goals for the Program of Work (POW); and, France will have the lead on funding mechanisms. Further to these discussions, Poloff followed up December 4 with the FCO and confirmed this division of labor among the P3. In a separate meeting, the Head of the Counterproliferation Department at the FCO stated that the UK will "remain engaged" on 1540 issues but suffers from "severe staffing resource constraints." End Summary.

Staunch UK Support( Despite Scant Resources -------------------------------------------

2. (C) Paul Arkwright, the Head of the FCO,s Counterproliferation Department told ISN Director Philip Foley and ISN 1540 Coordinator Thomas Wuchte during a November 10 meeting in London that the UK will "remain engaged" on 1540 issues but suffers from "severe staffing resource constraints." Asked about possible UK funding for 1540 Committee outreach, Arkwright responded that HMG would examine funding requests. He noted that "we'll fund things not explicitly linked to 1540, but that further counterproliferation goals." The Committee's "real battle" is implementing the UNSC's 1540 Resolution; as difficult as it was to renew the Resolution, implementation presents an even greater challenge and "we need cooperation now" to ensure implementation, Arkwright underscored.

P3 Priorities for the 1540 Committee( -------------------------------------

3. (SBU) Following the meeting with Arkwright, the ISN representatives met with UK and French counterparts at the FCO. During the meeting, both the British and French participants stressed that their countries remain committed to UNSCR 1540 Committee goals, but agreed that the Committee needs to be more focused and more flexible, with an emphasis on capacity building. The ISN representatives noted that they support a work program (POW) for the Committee along the lines of the UK draft that encourages complete assessments and analysis of each State's report(s) and that ensures the establishment of appropriate assistance and coordinating mechanisms. Specifically, the U.S. 1540 Coordinator stressed that the POW should encourage the Committee to:
1) develop useful information such as identification of gaps in laws and controls;
2) outline regional and state-specific assistance priorities for stemming proliferation activity; and
3) assist in coordination of assistance requests so that donors can work together and with recipients to help the latter implement their 1540 obligations. The UK representative stated that, insofar as the UK draft does not address all of these objectives, HMG is prepared to facilitate any new language in the draft POW to reflect the following priorities agreed upon during the P3 meeting: Priority 1: Developing useful information to identify gaps in laws. The mission should be to seek ways to empower the Committee to be more than a &collection box of information.8 A key requirement for the Committee should be to undertake assessments of the reports submitted, identify gaps in States, capacities as well as any pattern of deficiencies among states and across regions, and begin to prioritize steps that States should take to meet their commitments. While these would not be binding recommendations they could help shape States, approaches to implementing the resolution's requirements and focus the Experts. This kind of analysis would be of use to the United States and other donors in assessing where funding is needed and in planning assistance programs. Priority 2: Outlining regional and state-specific assistance priorities for stemming proliferation activity. Given the Committee's work, it is uniquely situated to make assessments regarding regions or states most in need of assistance programs because their legal and regulatory controls are particularly lacking or there is greater proliferation activity in their region or territory. Committee assessments are not binding, but could provide useful input for donors to consider in making assistance decisions. Priority 3: Assisting in the coordination of assistance requests so that donor states can work together to help states implement their 1540 obligations. While donors continue to make their own decisions regarding whether and how to provide assistance to states to implement their obligations under 1540, there is much the Committee can do to help donors coordinate on possible projects and help focus donors on priority gaps. The Committee could convene and chair meetings in which donor countries discuss their on-going assistance, highlight perceived gaps in aid, and share information or assessments regarding assistance.

P3 Agreement on Objectives

4. (C) The U.S., UK and France agreed upon the following objectives for the Committee at the November 10 P3 meeting. In a follow up discussion December 4 with Poloff, Stuart Brewer, in the FCO's Counterproliferation Department, reconfirmed the following as reflecting the consensus of the meeting regarding the 1540 Committee's work: -- Support for having a U.S.-UK-France agreed position on the Program of Work (POW). -- Work groups and task forces do not need a chair to meet. In fact, the absence of a chairman makes it easier for work groups and task forces to function, as outlined in a POW nonpaper submitted by the U.S based on UNSCR 1810 which extended the Committee's mandate for three years. -- There should be a discussion by year's end on making better use of funding mechanisms for UNSCR 1810. France will take steps to move this discussion forward. -- P3 members will submit common positions to reflect their unity on the Committee, just as the P3 demonstrated unity on renewal. Unity is essential since the POW will provide the basis for action for the next three years. - Interested countries should be kept in the loop regarding 1540 Committee activities, with more participation by non-UNSC members. France emphasized, and the U.S. and UK agreed, that the group of friends does not include just western countries. -- Experts should not tackle "broad policy" questions but should focus on areas related to their expertise; delegation representatives resolve broad policy questions.

5. (C) During the P3 meeting, the U.S. noted that the U.S. has already sent clear instructions on resolving the problems related to responding to assistance requests and posting the six decisions by the Committee on how to facilitate technical assistance. Consequently, the U.S. delegation will take the lead on this issue, with the UK taking up POW issues and France taking up the issue of funding mechanisms. (Note: The FCO's Brewer in his December 4 discussion with Poloff confirmed this division of responsibilities among the P3. End Note.) In regard to the need for streamlining the Committee's work, the P3 participants discussed the example of Iraq submitting a request in April that was never submitted to the Committee. The participants also discussed that NATO may create a 1540 Trust Fund; the NATO Seminar has a panel devoted entirely to UNSCR 1540. In regard to experts, France underscored that France has a good candidate. The participants discussed that China would like to see a balance between P5 and non-P5 members. The U.S. urged both the UK and France to keep POW discussion going despite not having resolved the issue of hiring of new experts.

6. (U) This cable was cleared by U.S. 1540 Coordinator, Thomas Wuchte, ISN, 202-736-4275. Visit London's Classified Website: XXXXXXXXXXXX

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