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Disarmament Diplomacy

Issue No. 26, May 1998

US-EU Meeting: Statement on Non-Proliferation Policy

'EU-US Declaration on Common Orientation of Non-Proliferation Policy,' Statement issued in London, 18 May 1998

Full text

"The International Non-Proliferation Regime

The US and the member States of the EU share a strong common interest in non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their delivery systems. The US and the EU support universal adherence to international treaties covering weapons of mass destruction, including the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, the Chemical Weapons Convention, the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention and the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. They are cooperating to ensure full and effective implementation of these treaties. This includes the effective implementation of the recently-strengthened safeguards system of the International Atomic Energy Agency and verification procedures being implemented pursuant to the Chemical Weapons Convention and the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. They are also working toward agreement on an effective Protocol on verification for the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention.

They are active participants in international export control regimes and arrangements:

  • The Nuclear Suppliers Group.
  • The Zangger Committee of countries committed to cooperation in interpretation and implementation of the export clause (Article III.2) of the Non-Proliferation Treaty.
  • The Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR).
  • The Australia Group of suppliers of goods and dual-use equipment potentially relevant to chemical or biological weapons.

Among their other responsibilities, the regimes provide mechanisms for the exchange of information about programmes and activities of concern in the area of weapon proliferation which they address.

Export Control Policy

Whilst promoting international trade and opportunities, and consistent with other relevant international obligations, the EU and US take as a particularly important objective the denial of assistance to programmes of weapons of mass destruction and means of delivery. This includes dual-use goods and technology subject to export control. EU member States and the US have adopted policies and given guidance to licensing officials to prevent any export of controlled goods when they believe they might be used in programmes of weapons of mass destruction and their delivery systems. In this context, they should take into account, inter alia, evidence of an importer's prior association with such programmes.

The EU has adopted a comprehensive legally-binding Dual-Use Regime of export controls which contains stringent catch-all provisions covering equipment that might be used in or in connection with programmes of weapons of mass destruction.

Regions of Proliferation Concern

The EU and the US have discussed regions of proliferation concern, including the Middle East and South Asia.

In this context the US and the EU have recently noted their continuing serious concern about efforts by some countries in the Middle East and South Asia to acquire missile technology and their capability to produce weapons of mass destruction. The EU noted that such concerns should figure in its political contacts with these countries, notably Iran.

The EU and the US reaffirmed their support for the work of UNSCOM in ensuring Iraq's implementation of UN Security Council Resolutions on the elimination of its weapons of mass destruction.

EU-US Consultation and Information Exchange

The US and the EU hold regular consultations on non-proliferation and will strengthen their close ties in this field. The two sides also recognise that effective implementation of export controls will be greatly enhanced by the timely exchange of any relevant information about programmes and activities of concern. To strengthen existing cooperation in this area the two sides have agreed to:

  • Additional information sharing in their regular meetings.
  • Give further consideration, including the appropriate involvement of experts, to proposals to establish improved communications and data transmission relevant to non-proliferation export controls. Due consideration will be given to practical aspects of this concept.
  • Enhanced bilateral information exchanges.

Political Action with Suppliers

EU countries and the US have engaged key suppliers. Several European leaders and Foreign Ministers have raised their concern directly with their Russian counterparts about Russian technological assistance to Iran's ballistic missile program. These concerns have been reinforced in contacts between the EU troika and Russian counterparts. The EU and US welcome actions taken by Russia to strengthen its export control system.

The US is open to a trilateral meeting with the EU and Russia on non-proliferation issues, but believes that careful preparation will be needed for such a meeting to be useful.

Agenda for Further Cooperation

The EU and US intend to continue working closely together to advance their common non-proliferation objectives. Some items on the agenda or work in the coming year are:

  • Coordination of export control assistance programs to third countries. Exchanges of information about ongoing programmes have already occurred.
  • Cooperation to improve export control implementation.
  • Consultation to ensure that intangible technology transfers do not contribute to proliferation. Ideas in this area have been advanced by both sides.
  • Best practice in export control implementation, including discussion of means to strengthen verification of end-use and to prevent diversion through third countries. Controls of non-linked items (catch-all), software and technology."

© 1998 The Acronym Institute.

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