Message on the Occasion of the 35th Anniversary of the MTCR
This year marks the 35th Anniversary of the establishment of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR). During its 35-year history, the MTCR has extended its membership from 7 to 35 states and has proven to be an effective multilateral non proliferation mechanism in relation to missile technology. The export controls of related items, information-sharing, and patterns of cooperation that have been developed over the past 35 years have significantly reduced the availability to proliferators of the equipment, technology and knowledge needed to develop, produce and acquire unmanned delivery systems capable of delivering Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD), without hindering legitimate trade and cooperation. The MTCR is a positive example of mutually beneficial multilateral cooperation for the achievement of a common non-proliferation goal.
The proliferation of WMD (nuclear, chemical and biological weapons) and their means of delivery remain a threat to international peace and security. In their meetings, Regime members discuss issues including ballistic missile developments and tests; regional issues and missile programmes of concern; proliferation trends, procurement activities and evolving strategies in support of programmes for WMD delivery means; serious risks and challenges posed by intangible technology transfers (ITT); catch-all controls for non-listed items; transit and transshipment issues; approaches to outreach to industry; and national experiences to strengthen export control enforcement. They regularly update the control list of goods and technologies (Equipment, Software and Technology Annex) in order to close possible gaps that have appeared due to scientific and technological progress.
The MTCR Guidelines and the Annex constitute an international best practice benchmark for controlling exports of missile-related items and technologies. These standards are adhered to and used as a reference by an increasing number of non-member countries and are included in some UN Security Council resolutions. The MTCR Guidelines are not designed to impede technological advancement, international cooperation and development, including space programmes, as long as such activities could not contribute to the proliferation of delivery systems of WMD.
In the years ahead, the MTCR will continue its outreach to non-member countries in an effort to limit the spread of missile systems capable of delivering WMD, as well as their related technology and equipment. Observance of the MTCR Guidelines by as many states as possible will contribute substantially to limiting the ongoing risks of proliferation of delivery systems for WMD and to fostering international security. Regime members invite states to declare, on a voluntary basis, adherence to the MTCR Guidelines and Annex. Current MTCR adherents include Estonia, Kazakhstan and Latvia.
(Adopted at the Montreaux Plenary of the Missile Technology Control Regime)