Terrorist Groups May Use Weapons of Mass Destruction: UN

Izumi Nakamitsu, UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, addresses the Security Council debate on non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. UN Photo/Manuel Elias
Izumi Nakamitsu, UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, addresses the Security Council debate on non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. UN Photo/Manuel Elias

The United Nations disarmament chief on Wednesday called for stronger international cooperation to prevent terrorists from accessing and using weapons of mass destruction (WMD).

Izumi Nakamitsu, the High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, warned that technological advances – such as unmanned aerial vehicles, 3-D printers and the Dark Web – make it easier for terrorist groups to effectively use such weapons.

Ms. Nakamitsu also underlined the importance of both international dialogue, between governments and industry, as well as greater coordination and information-sharing among security agencies within each country.

[ UN Joins Hands with Tech Giants to Counter Terrorism Online ]

When weapons are used, the senior UN official urged the international community to seek accountability. “The international community must uphold the norms that have been established in this area, and to prosecute those responsible for committing or supporting such acts,” she said.

In addition to dozens of representatives from UN Member States, the Security Council also heard Wednesday from Joseph Ballard, Senior Officer from the Office of Strategy and Policy at the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).

The OPCW – which is an independent, autonomous international organization with a membership of 192 member States – has a working relationship with the UN. Its main function is to implement the Chemical Weapons Convention, which entered into force in 1997.

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