Plenary Meeting of the Missile Technology Control Regime – Edinburgh, Scotland – 8 – 10 October 1996

The Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) held its 11th Plenary Meeting in Edinburgh between 8 – 10 October 1996 to review and strengthen its efforts to prevent missile proliferation. The Plenary was opened by Mr David Davis, Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. The meeting was chaired by Mr Roland Smith, Director for International Security in the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

The MTCR was established in 1987 with the aim of controlling exports to missiles capable of carrying nuclear weapons as well as the relevant technology. In 1992 controls were extended to include missiles capable of carrying chemical and biological weapons. The MTCR has 28 members: the newest, Brazil, was attending its first plenary.

MTCR partners reaffirmed their commitment to controlling exports in order to prevent the proliferation of delivery systems for weapons of mass destruction.

Partners also continued their discussions on missile related aspects of regional tensions. They recognised that missile proliferation presented a serious threat to regional security and stability and agreed to continue to subject missile related exports to close scrutiny. Partners further agreed that controls on the transfers of missiles and missile technology helped to reinforce the national security of all states.

MTCR Partners recognised that in order to prevent more effectively the proliferation of missiles capable of carrying nuclear, chemical and biological weapons it was necessary to strengthen the Regime through cooperation with countries outside the Regime. They agreed that, in this regard, it was very important to control the trans shipment of missile technology without disrupting legitimate trade. They further agreed that they should increase their efforts to promote openness and transparency through further dialogue with countries outside the Regime.

Partners discussed the future expansion of the Regime’s membership. Partners noted with satisfaction a readiness by non member countries to observe the MTCR Guidelines. They called on all other states producing or trading in missile relevant equipment and technology to do likewise.

Members: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States

Source: Press release published by the Chair, Edinburgh, 10 October 1996.