The Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) held its 20th Plenary Meeting in Madrid from 12 to 16 September 2005, in order to review its activities and further strengthen its efforts to prevent missile proliferation. The meeting marked the start of the Spanish chairmanship and was officially opened by Spain’s Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and for Latin America, Mr Bernardino León Gross. Ambassador Manuel Viturro de la Torre was confirmed as new Chairman.
The MTCR was established in 1987 with the aim of controlling exports of missiles capable of delivering weapons of mass destruction, as well as related equipment and technology. The 34-member MTCR constitutes an important international arrangement, which sets significant non-proliferation standards and contributes to global peace and security.
The Madrid Plenary of the MTCR took place in a context of increased multilateral attention to non-proliferation engagements. Recalling the language in UN Security Council Resolution 1540, among other instruments, partners emphasized that the proliferation of WMD delivery systems constitutes a threat to international peace and security and stressed the need to reduce the risks associated with terrorism in this regard. Partners also welcomed India’s announcement that it intends to adhere unilaterally to the MTCR Guidelines, and encouraged all other countries to do so.
During the sessions of the Plenary, Partners shared evaluations and reports on trends in missile proliferation and they reiterated their concern over activities and tests in different regions, including the Middle East, South and East Asia.
Partners recognized that further action against missile proliferation remains a priority at the national and international level. Export controls remain an essential tool to address effectively these challenges. The Plenary renewed its commitment to strict implementation and enforcement of export controls, including adaptation and strengthening of existing rules to respond to technological development and the evolving security environment. In this regard, the Plenary agreed to a number of amendments to the MTCR Annex.
Also, in response to increasingly complex procurement situations, the Plenary continued to examine matters such as intangible transfer of technology, transit and trans-shipment, brokering and the activities of intermediaries and front companies.
The Spanish Chair was encouraged to conduct consultations with appropriate international bodies and outreach with relevant non-member States in order to promote MTCR objectives, and to address issues such as the strengthening of export controls, voluntary adherence to the Guidelines and cooperation with the Regime.
Partners welcomed Denmark’s offer to host the next MTCR Plenary meeting in the second half of 2006, and to take on the chairmanship of the Regime for the subsequent term of office.
Further information on the MTCR can be found at www.mtcr.info.
Members: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium. Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, the Republic of Korea, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, the United Kingdom and the United States.