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Strategic Trade Controls & Non-Proliferation

Strategic trade controls or in other words export controls are an important part of preventing illicit proliferation of WMD parts and components. UN Security Council Resolution 1540 (2004), which was adopted to prevent the illicit trafficking and use of WMD and their means of delivery, and related items, focuses on the need to develop and maintain appropriate and effective border, export, transit and transshipment controls. Despite a concerted effort on the part of the non-proliferation community to combat this trade, it remains a formidable challenge for customs and licensing officials to overcome.

To contribute to these efforts, Project Alpha has been engaged in supporting the implementation of 1540 as well as other export control capacity building efforts worldwide from both a practitioner and academic perspective. Notably, Project Alpha is an implementing partner in the EU Partner-to-Partner program on dual use export controls, and a member of the Network of Universities on Strategic Trade Controls. It also conducts outreach in the UK, in European countries, and in other countries worldwide in collaboration with the relevant national export control organizations and departments.

From an academic perspective, Project Alpha has contributed a book chapter assessing how resolution 1540 can best contribute to the non-proliferation regime in the years ahead. In addition, it is currently examining the historical evolution of controls, particularly the Nuclear Suppliers Group, in order to provide insight into contemporary non-proliferation issues. Finally, it is producing a paper examining the role of foreign direct investment screening in aiding the underlying goals of export controls in the EU and North American regions. These issues and more are future analytical outputs to watch out for from the Project Alpha team.