The Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) held its 25th Plenary Meeting in Buenos Aires from 11 to 15 April 2011 to review and evaluate its activities and to further intensify its efforts to prevent missile programmes and their proliferation. The Plenary was inaugurated by H. E. Ambassador Alberto D´Alotto, Secretary of Foreign Relations of Argentina, and chaired by H.E. Ambassador Roberto Garcia Moritán until the next Plenary session.
MTCR partners discussed proliferation of weapons of mass destruction as well as their means of delivery that constitute a threat to international peace and security and reaffirmed the importance of addressing these challenges and the role the MTCR serves in this regard. MTCR guidelines and controls list constitute an international export control standard which is increasingly adhered to by non-members of the MTCR. Therefore, Partners agreed to redouble their efforts to encourage and assist, upon request, non-partners countries that are supportive of the objectives and purposes of the MTCR Regime, to contribute to the efforts of missile non proliferation.
Partners conducted extensive discussions on missile proliferation-related activities worldwide, to include developments in missile programs and their proliferation; procurement activities and techniques in support of such programs; rapid technological change; the role of intangible technology, brokering, and transshipment in facilitating proliferation; and key technology trends in proliferation missile programs. These discussions showed that additional export control efforts by MTCR countries could have an even greater impact. They also underlined the importance of addressing transit and transshipment issues and, in this context, the proliferation risk posed by countries with weak export controls.
Partners exchanged information on concerns about the ongoing missile programs in Middle East, Northeast Asia and South Asia, including Iran and North Korea, which could contribute to regional instability and supply missile proliferation activities elsewhere.
Partners noted the direct relevance of UN Security Council Resolutions, inter alia, 1874 and 1929, to MTCR export controls and expressed their determination to implement these resolutions and to exercise vigilance and prevent the transfer of any items, materials, goods and technology that could contribute to WMD missile programmes of proliferation concern, in accordance with their national legislation and consistent with international law.
Partners agreed to continue exchanging views on missile program developments.
Partners reaffirmed the critical importance of the MTCR’s ongoing technical work. They noted the rapid evolution of relevant technologies and the related need to take forward looking action to address these developments. They expressed their appreciation for the work of the Licensing and Enforcement Expert Meeting (LEEM), the Information Exchange Meeting (IEM) and the Technical Expert Meeting (TEM) in particular the decision adopted on amendments to the Equipment, Software and Technology Annex.
Over the past year, the outgoing MTCR Chair (Brazil) conducted outreach with Belarus, China, India, Kazakhstan, and Thailand. The incoming MTCR Chair (Argentina) intends to conduct further outreach, including with additional countries, in order to increase transparency about the Regime and promote its objectives. Partners expressed their willingness to continue extensive outreach by individual MTCR Partners to a wide range of countries. Non Partners activities in support of the objectives and purposes of the MTCR would also be welcome.
Partners agreed to continue their individual and collective efforts to assist interested countries in implementing the missile-related export controls mandated under UN Security Council Resolution 1540, and to work with the 1540 Committee.
Partners also reviewed a number of key aspects of the internal functioning of the Regime, including issues related to future membership. Partners exchanged views on their overall approaches, interalia, membership evaluation. Individual applications for membership also were thoroughly discussed, with no consensus being reached on the admission of new members at this time. The membership issue will continue to be discussed.
The MTCR has 34 members: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Ireland, Japan, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, the Republic of Korea, the Russian Federation, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, the United Kingdom and the United States of America.