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Disarmament Diplomacy

Issue No. 60, September 2001

Documents & Sources

MTCR Plenary Meeting

Final Communiqué

Plenary Meeting of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), Ottawa, Canada, September 25-28, 2001; Final Communiqué, September 28.

"The Missile Technology Control Regime held its 16th Plenary Meeting in Ottawa from September 25 to 28, 2001, in order to review its activities and strengthen its efforts to prevent missile proliferation. ... The Republic of Korea was warmly welcomed to its first Plenary meeting. The MTCR was established in 1987 with the aim of controlling exports of missiles capable of delivering weapons of mass destruction. The 33 countries1 of the MTCR form an important international arrangement dealing with such missiles, as well as related equipment and technology.

Coordinating their efforts through the MTCR, its member states have contributed significantly to a reduction in the global missile proliferation threat. The Plenary however agreed that the risk of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery remained a major concern for global and regional security, and that more must therefore be done at the national, regional and global level. The Plenary also noted that the tragic events of September 11, 2001 in the United States only added force to the importance of the MTCR's work in that regard.

The Plenary re-emphasized the important role played by export controls, the need to strengthen them further, the need for their strict implementation and the need for adaptation in the face of technological development.

Partners continued their deliberations on a set of principles, general measures, cooperation and confidence building measures in the form of a draft International Code of Conduct against ballistic missile proliferation, taking into account the results of extensive contact on this subject undertaken with countries outside the MTCR since the Helsinki Plenary. The result of these deliberations was an augmented draft text, which will be distributed to all states at an early date.

Universalization of the draft Code should take place through a transparent and inclusive negotiating process open to all states on the basis of equality. In this regard, the Plenary noted with appreciation the offer of France to host the first negotiation session in 2002. France will consult with all states to determine their interest in participating in the process. This concludes the work of the MTCR per se on the draft Code.

The Canadian chairmanship was encouraged to pursue intensified outreach activities and dialogue with relevant states concerning export controls, transshipment and the fulfilment of the objectives of the MTCR. The Plenary welcomed the offer of Poland to host the next Plenary Meeting in September 23-27, 2002 and to serve as Chair of the MTCR for the subsequent year.

1. Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, the United Kingdom and the United States."

Source: Canadian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, http://www.dfait-maeci.ca.

Russian Foreign Ministry Statement

'On Missile Technology Control Regime Plenary Session,' Russian Foreign Ministry Statement, Document 1837-12-10-2001, October 12.

"... Member states reaffirmed their commitment to efforts under the framework of the MTCR, aimed at reducing the threat of global missile proliferation, and they agreed that the risk of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery still remains the main threat to global and regional security. The plenary session also noted that the recent tragic events in the USA had only borne out the importance of MTCR efforts in this direction. ...

During the meeting, participants held a debate on the Draft International Code of Conduct against Ballistic Missile Proliferation, and agreed that with this the MTCR was finishing its work on this document. A renewed text will be circulated among all the countries in the near future so that the world community as a whole may join in the debate on it. Understanding was reached that giving the Draft Code of Conduct a broad international character is only possible through an open and multilateral negotiation process with the participation of all concerned countries on a basis of equality. ...

The Russian delegation took the most active part in the work of the plenary session. Moscow has positively assessed its results. We are open for further constructive partnerships and cooperation with other states within the MTCR with a view to the accomplishment of the tasks facing this export control regime. The ultimate goal is to prepare a comprehensive international agreement creating reliable barriers in the way of combat missiles and missile technologies."

© 2001 The Acronym Institute.