12 Jan 2023


Critical Infrastructure Vulnerability and Protection

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The Security Council unanimously agreed to strengthen their partnership, cooperation and information sharing to address the dangers posed by terrorist attacks on the critical infrastructure. The resolution called upon all nations to make coordinated efforts that include international cooperation in order to create awareness and expand the knowledge posed by terrorist activities thus enabling countries to be better prepared for any form of attack. Similarly, all members were called upon to establish criminal responsibility for any attacks on the critical infrastructure and to share information while enhancing cooperation to prevent, mitigate and respond to an incident. The member states and other organizations can, therefore, share good practices and measures that can address any form of attack on the infrastructure. The resolution called on member states to implement a strategy that ensured responsibility of protecting the critical infrastructure from attacks. 

The Security Council has fifteen members who are both permanent and non-permanent. There are five member countries that are permanent and include United States, Russian Federation, United Kingdom, France, and China. There are ten non-permanent members who are elected by the General Assembly for a two-year term. Each state has an end of term date as follows; Bolivia (2018), Cote d'Ivoire (2019), Equatorial Guinea (2019), Ethiopia (2018), Kazakhstan (2018), Kuwait (2019), Netherlands (2018), Peru (2019), Poland (2019), Sweden (2018) (un.og, 2018). 

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A joint Comprehensive plan of action was established in 2015 to deal with Iran's Nuclear Program. It requires that all parties to the agreement commit to its full implementation. The fifteen members endorsed the accord for the nuclear program and there are clear signs that Iran is complying with parts of the agreement. There are no indications that the country is receiving supplies of nuclear-related items contrary to the resolution. The handling of the nuclear program has led to a substantial decline in the volumes supplied to Iran and other weapons which could end up in the wrong hands and used by terrorist to attack their target. The Security Council has managed to check the use of ballistic missiles that are capable of delivering nuclear warheads. However, there are concerns about the use of ballistic missiles, violation of travel bans and shipment of arms. The plan of action is a step towards peace and stability in the region but more needs to be done to ensure compliance. The states should be united towards a common goal rather than speaking from different points of view. They should also not politicize the issue is they are to achieve the desired results. 

According to the Scientific and technological cooperation between the U.S. and Netherlands, the physical and cyber-based critical infrastructure and other key resources are essential for the operations and security of the two countries' economies, governments, and societies. The protection of the infrastructure is therefore of paramount importance to both parties. Both states established a framework that facilitates and develops bilateral cooperation in cybersecurity, objective ranking and judgment for protecting the critical infrastructure. Some of the potential ways for achieving the objectives include the exchange of technology, information, and personnel. They can have coordinated and joint research and development projects. The p[arties can collaboration to develop technologies that counter present and anticipated terrorist activities. The two countries can promote the integration of the technologies to save on the development costs. Other measures include identifying priorities and gaps and developing appropriate standards. The private and public sector can be involved in research and development. The two countries can coordinate their activities to have shared responsibilities and contribute according to the resources at their disposal. Exchange of information and resources can also help address the issue. 

According to Smita (2016), shipping containers pose a substantial risk to the host country as they can be used by terrorist to transfer harmful chemicals or weapons for terrorism. The containers can also be used to deliver an attack to a critical infrastructure like the port where explosive can be loaded in them and detonated remotely when they are at the targeted destination. Shipping containers can easily be used for the transit of nuclear devices which can have devastating effects if they are detonated in the port of a host country or destination or even in transit to another port. 

Securing the ports of a country, therefore, calls for the strengthening of the container security initiative and collaboration of the different parties to ensure that any threats are detected before they are delivered by the adversary. Shipping containers pose a critical infrastructure risk due to their ability to ferry highly explosive materials and potential to deploy an attack on a highly populated area with substantial damage to the infrastructure and loss of lives. Explosive materials finding their way to the U.S. can be used to target the power, water, transport and communication systems. Such attack can have a substantial impact on the government, economy, and infrastructure. 

One example of a natural disaster is the Hurricane Harvey a tropical cyclone that struck Houston Metropolitan area Texas and Louisiana in August 2017. The cyclone affected a substantial part of the infrastructure of the country. It led to a power outage, destruction of roads and bridges, flooding of fuel deport damage to buildings. Together with Hurricane Katrina, the estimated damage was $125 billion and is considered by the National Hurricane Center as the second-costliest in the U.S. history. 


Accord on Iran’s Nuclear Programme Remains on Track, Political Affairs Chief Tells Security Council | Meetings Coverage and Press Releases. (2017). Un.org. Retrieved 20 February 2018, from https://www.un.org/press/en/2017/sc12894.doc.htm 

Netherlands Scientific and Technological Cooperation: Homeland/Civil Security Matter: Treaties and Other International Acts Series 16-401 . (2012).  Department of State . Retrieved 20 February 2018, from https://www.bing.com/cr?IG=5F5454A6CF994840B02606CAD33C3BC8&CID=05D97958BE2A6782198F72C5BF8566C9&rd=1&h=c5Z0UYMdD136onv1IVbn5AFIxgdtnvZsN6Jiku3umeI&v=1&r=https%3a%2f%2fwww.state.gov%2fdocuments%2forganization%2f256743.pdf&p=DevEx,5066.1 

Security Council Calls on Member States to Address Threats against Critical Infrastructure, Unanimously Adopting Resolution 2341 (2017) | Meetings Coverage and Press Releases . (2017).  Un.org . Retrieved 20 February 2018, from https://www.un.org/press/en/2017/sc12714.doc.htm 

Smita, (2016). What is Container Security Initiative (CSI) and how does it Work?   Marine Insight . Retrieved 20 February 2018, from https://www.marineinsight.com/marine-safety/what-is-container-security-initiative-csi-and-how-does-it-work/ 

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