The Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) held its 19th Plenary Meeting in Seoul from 6 to 8 October 2004 to review its activities and further strengthen its efforts to prevent missile proliferation. The Plenary was opened by Mr. CHOI Young-Jin, Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade of the Republic of Korea. The Plenary was chaired by Mr. OH Joon, Director General for international Organizations in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade of the Republic of Korea.
Partners warmly welcomed the Republic of Bulgaria as a new member to its first Plenary meeting.
The 19th Plenary was held against the backdrop of important developments in global non-proliferation, including Libya’s exemplary decision to forgo its WMD programs along with development of MTCR-class delivery systems and the revelation of the A.Q. Khan proliferation network. The Plenary welcomed the recently adopted UN Security Council Resolution 1540, which states that proliferation of WMD delivery systems constitutes a threat to international peace and security and decides that all States should take and enforce effective measures to establish national export controls to prevent the proliferation of WMD, their means of delivery, and related materials. As a contribution to this objective, the MTCR Plenary emphasized the utility of effective national export controls. It called upon all non-MTCR members to apply the MTCR control list and guidelines and underlined the willingness of MTCR members in a position to do so, to assist non-MTCR members in this respect.
Since the Regime’s establishment in 1987, the MTCR has made significant contributions to international efforts on non-proliferation on missiles. The necessity of controlling exports related to missiles capable of delivering weapons of mass destruction is all the more evident given security concerns in many parts of the world. The 34 Partners* of the MTCR form an important international arrangement that sets key benchmarks for the control of missiles as well as related technology. These represent a significant international export control standard.
Although the MTCR has contributed considerably to limiting global missile proliferation, Partners acknowledged that the risk of proliferation of WMD and their means of delivery remained a major threat for global and regional security which must be dealt with at the national, regional and global level. In particular, Partners expressed their serious concern over missile proliferation in Northeast Asia, the Middle East, and South Asia, and reaffirmed their determination to continue discouraging missile programmes and activities of proliferation concern.
The Plenary also recognized the necessity of enhancing export controls, strictly implementing them and keeping them up to date with the ever-advancing technological development.
In response to increasingly sophisticated procurement attempts, the Plenary recognized the need to consider the issues of intangible transfer of technology; transit, transshipment and brokering controls; and the need to curtail the activities of intermediaries and front companies.
The Korean chairmanship was encouraged to pursue intensified outreach activities and dialogue with relevant states concerning export controls, transshipment and the fulfillment of the objectives of the MTCR.
The Plenary welcomed the offer of Spain to host the next Plenary Meeting in the fall of 2005 and to serve as Chair of the MTCR for the subsequent year.
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, the Republic of Korea. Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, and the United States.