Category Archives: Proliferation

Preventing the Proliferation of WMDs: Measuring the Success of UN Security Council Resolution 1540

Editors: Daniel Salisbury, Ian J. Stewart, Andrea Viski

Click here to access the book_Preventing the Proliferation of WMDs: Measuring the Success of UN Security Council Resolution 1540


This edited volume provides a fresh analysis for researcher and practitioners regarding United Nations Security Council resolution 1540, the status of its implementation, and its future by providing an original evaluation of progress in implementation and challenges faced during the resolution’s first decade. In doing so, the book will consider the resolution’s utility as a non-proliferation tool with a view to identifying what further actions are required for the objectives and goals embodied by UNSCR 1540 to be achieved and sustained.  The book progresses by exploring the history of the resolution, implementation trends, implementation from a regional perspective, challenges, and future ways forward. The book appeals to a wide readership of scholars, policymakers, and other stakeholders of the 1540 process.

New Alpha Report: Examining intangible technology controls

itt(Source: ICFITT)

by Ian Stewart, with contributions from Dominic Williams and Nick Gillard

Project Alpha is today releasing a report on Intangible Technology Controls (ITT), examining the utility of ITT in managing the spread of proliferation-relevant technologies. Continue reading New Alpha Report: Examining intangible technology controls

Study of the Typologies of the Financing of Proliferation (STFoP)


The proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) is a major threat to international peace and security. Detecting the financing of proliferation (FoP) can assist in combating WMD, but it is difficult and requires a better understanding of FoP typologies. Typologies can assist governments in implementing sanctions on WMD programs and disrupting proliferation networks. They can also help the private sector to identify information on FoP that should be passed to governments, and to remain compliant with sanctions. Continue reading Study of the Typologies of the Financing of Proliferation (STFoP)

Enhancing ties: the India-UK Strategic Nuclear Dialogue

Participants to the first leg of the India-UK Strategic Nuclear Dialogue held in London UK.
Participants to the first leg of the India-UK Strategic Nuclear Dialogue held in London UK.

To explore ways to strengthen the partnership between the UK and India on strategic nuclear issues, Project Alpha of King’s College London, together with the Institute of Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA) in India organised a two-leg dialogue during the first quarter of 2016. The sessions were attended by scholars, practitioners and officials from the two countries, who explored a number of relevant topics in order to build common understanding and identify opportunities to further strengthen the relationship between the UK and India.

The first event, held at the Royal Society for the Arts in London on January 18th to 19th 2016, focused on common interests and areas for collaboration, strategic challenges and stabilities, non-proliferation and disarmament efforts, as well as India’s entry into the export control regimes.  The second event was held at the IDSA office in Delhi on March 1st to 2nd 2016, where the discussion focused on the Asian security landscape, export control governance, and discussion on the next steps to developing the India-UK alliance.

The detailed meeting summary of the event can be accessed below.


Alpha Trade Management Database: a new tool to help companies monitor exposure to dual-use goods

Project Alpha is pleased to introduce Alpha-TMD : a new tool to help monitor corporate exposure to restricted dual-use goods.

Global sanctions measures against countries like Iran and North Korea make it essential for firms to monitor their exposure to trade involving dual-use goods and technology: those items that can be used for legitimate industrial purposes, but could also contribute to building weapons of mass destruction (WMD). Ignoring international restrictions on the supply and brokering of dual-use goods can lead to hefty penalties, not to mention the reputational damage that comes from assisting WMD proliferation.

But monitoring trade and financial systems for dual-use technology of WMD concern is not easy. The technology control lists mandated by multilateral organisations like the Nuclear Suppliers Group are fragmented, highly-technical in nature and often unstructured. Moreover, they are not easily compatible with systems used in the anti-money laundering and due diligence context.

To help companies overcome these hurdles, Project Alpha has created Alpha-TMD (Trade Monitoring Database), a structured database of controlled dual-use technology. Alpha-TMD has collated all of the chemicals, materials and technologies controlled under the main dual-use technology export control regimes (the Nuclear Suppliers Group, the Missile Technology Control Regime, the Chemical Weapons Convention, and the Australia Group) – more than 600 dual-use items in total.

Each dual-use item in Alpha-TMD is listed with the following information:

–          Control regime status;

–          Item description or rationale for control;

–          Keywords to identify controlled technology, each developed by Project Alpha experts;

–          ‘Not’ keywords and Boolean search terms to reduce false positives;

–          Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) reference numbers for chemicals and metals;

–          A qualitative assessment of each item’s broader industrial utility beyond the WMD context (low, medium or high), to help companies decide whether to regulate or block trade in these items.

We believe that Alpha-TMD can help companies working in the trade, shipping and financial space maintain their compliance obligations with respect to trade in dual-use goods, and would be pleased to discuss its pricing and availability.

Please contact Ian Stewart ( for further information.

Sanctions Compliance for the Maritime Transportation Sector

The transportation sector provides vital services for the furtherance of economic prosperity, and as a result, international peace and security. There is a real risk that the sector could be misused by proliferators in order to transfer sensitive commodities. In order to counter this risk and ensure that the business community is prevented from contributing to activities that could threaten international peace and security, the UN often relies on the imposition of so-called “targeted sanctions” (or “smart sanctions”) on designated individuals, entities or States, which the Security Council has reason to believe are involved in the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, human rights abuses or terrorist activities that may threaten international security.

Continue reading Sanctions Compliance for the Maritime Transportation Sector

European Parliament Report on the Review of Regulation 428/2009

Although EU Regulation 428/2009 setting up a Community regime for the control of exports, transfer, brokering and transit of dual-use items system is in line with the main export control regimes and is seen as a model for others to follow, there are a number of ways in which the regulation could be enhanced and refined. Part One outlines the current state of play, purpose and implementation of the current regulation. In Part Two, against the backdrop of the European Commission’s reform proposal, the effectiveness of the EU’s dual-use export controls regime is explored further with regard to its potential contribution to international, national and human security, as well as their impact on EU economic and trade interests. The study concludes that the system’s effectiveness could be improved in a number of ways, but that this requires an effort to mobilise political will at different levels and across different institutions within the EU and its Member States, and to enhance human resources, cooperation and capacity-building. The European Parliament should also give consideration on a regular basis to issues relating to the scope and implementation of the regulation, in order to ensure that the objectives continue to be achieved.

Download attachments: e-study_dual_use_workshop

EU Summer University on Non-proliferation and Export Controls

King’s College London partnered with the European Commission to host the European Union’s Summer University on Non-proliferation and Export Controls from 18th to the 24th August in Alpbach, Austria.


Summer university participants

This was the first summer university funded by the EU’s outreach program on dual-use goods, which works to build capacity to implement non-proliferation controls in more than two dozen countries outside of Europe. The University included government participants from more than 20 countries, including China, India, UAE, Ukraine, and Vietnam.

Guest speakers also presented on the export control systems of India, Malaysia, Belgium and the USA.

The core topics for the university were related to export control and non-proliferation, including more the more challenging topics from these fields, such as intangible technology controls. The participants also heard from UN Undersecretary General and UN High Representitive for Disarmament Affairs,  Angela Kane, on the effort to destroy Syria’s chemical weapons; from the EU’s ambassador to the UN Thomas Mayr-Harting; and from Alexander Kment on the humanitarian initiative related to nuclear weapons.


A summer university seminar in action.

Several students passed the course with distinction and two students – Mr Wu of China and Ms Bagrii of Ukraine – were recognised for their particularly impressive performance in the end of course exam. Mr Fischler, the president of the Alpbach Forum, presented the certificates to the participants.

The event was the first EU outreach event related to dual-use goods that King’s College London has participated in. From 1 September 2015, King’s college London will partner with Expertise France to implement the EU outreach program on dual-use goods, through which more focused training and assistance will be provided to the partner countries in relation to the implementation of dual-use export controls.

More information on the EU outreach program on dual-use goods can be found at:

Project Alpha and the Iran Deal


Image credit: Islamic Republic News Agency

Project Alpha is pleased to make available a wide range of resources on Iran. This includes detailed analysis of the 14 July 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (and its implementation) and analysis of Iranian illicit procurement. It also includes information, guidance and training for companies on trade compliance issues.

Project Alpha’s Work Related to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action with Iran (the Iran Deal)

Project Alpha Proliferation Case Study Series:

Other work on Iran:

Project Alpha is a semi-autonomous project in the the Centre for Science and Security Studies at King’s College London. Additional resources on the Iranian nuclear challenge produced by CSSS can be found here.