Public Statement from the Plenary Meeting of the Missile Technology Control Regime, Auckland, 11 October 2019

  1. The Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) held its 32nd Plenary Meeting in Auckland from 7th to 11th October 2019. The Hon Andrew Little, New Zealand Minister for Justice, welcomed participants at the opening of the meeting. The Plenary was chaired by Ambassador Dell Higgie from the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, who will remain the Chair of the MTCR until the next Plenary Meeting scheduled for 2020.


  1. In the more than three decades of its existence, the MTCR has proved its value as an effective multilateral non-proliferation mechanism in relation to missile technology. The main purpose of the Plenary Meeting was to review and evaluate the MTCR’s activities over the period since the Dublin Plenary in 2017 and to advance the efforts of Partners to prevent the proliferation of unmanned delivery systems capable of delivering Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) (nuclear, chemical and biological weapons).


  1. Partners recalled that the proliferation of WMD and their means of delivery remain a threat to international peace and security. They reiterated their commitment to limiting the risks of proliferation by controlling international transfers which can contribute to delivery systems for WMD. They held a thorough exchange of information on missile proliferation developments.


  1. Partners welcomed the fact that the MTCR Guidelines and the Annex (control list) constitute an international best practice benchmark for controlling exports of missile-related items and technologies, noted that these standards are adhered to by an increasing number of non-Partners and are included in some UN Security Council resolutions.


  1. Partners will continue to work with other states, in accordance with their national legislation and consistently with international law, to prevent the transfer of goods and technology which could contribute to WMD missile programmes.


  1. In the interests of regional and international security, Partners appealed to all states to support the non-proliferation aims of the Regime by observing its Guidelines and establishing appropriate national legislation and law enforcement mechanisms. From this perspective, Partners emphasised that observance of the MTCR Guidelines by as many states as possible will contribute substantially to limiting the ongoing risks of the proliferation of delivery systems for WMD and to fostering international security. Partners invited states to declare, on a voluntary basis, adherence to the MTCR Guidelines and Annex and to formally notify the MTCR Point of Contact in writing of their establishment of controls consistent with the Annex and Guidelines and their political commitment to control all of the items on the Annex according to the MTCR Guidelines, including any subsequent changes to the Annex or Guidelines. Current MTCR adherents include Estonia, Kazakhstan and Latvia.


  1. Partners underlined that the MTCR Guidelines are not designed to impede technological advancement and development, including space programmes, as long as such activities could not contribute to the proliferation of delivery systems for WMD.


  1. Partners conducted extensive discussions on, and expressed concern about, global missile proliferation activities, in particular ongoing missile programmes in Asia and the Middle East, which might fuel missile proliferation activities elsewhere. Partners also encouraged relevant bodies and institutions to pay attention to the role of export controls in preventing the proliferation of missiles capable of carrying WMD.


  1. With regard to the DPRK, Partners recalled relevant UN Security Council Resolutions, including inter alia 2371, 2357 and 2397, and took note of the international community’s continued obligations under the Resolutions, and confirmed their support for the ongoing diplomatic processes and efforts to achieve lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula. Bearing in mind the ballistic missile launches over the last six months and continual missile technology development by the DPRK, Partners reiterated the need for full compliance by the DPRK with these Resolutions and their commitment to exercising the necessary vigilance when controlling transfers that could contribute to the DPRK’s ballistic missile programme. With regard to Iran, Partners recalled UN Security Council Resolution 2231 and took note of the international community’s continued obligations under the Resolution, including its ballistic missile provisions in Annex B. Concerns were expressed in relation to the implementation of Resolution 2231.


  1. Partners agreed to continue exchanging views on these and other global missile programme developments.


  1. In the years ahead, the Regime will continue its outreach to non-partners in an effort to limit the spread of missile systems capable of delivering WMD, as well as their related technology and equipment. Partners expressed particular appreciation for the outreach activities conducted by the 2017/2018 Co-Chairs, Ireland’s Ambassador Breifne O’Reilly and Iceland’s Minister-Counsellor Bjarni Vestmann. New Zealand, as MTCR Chair, was encouraged to conduct further outreach activities and contacts and to maintain the momentum of dialogue with previously visited countries. Partners also encouraged the continuation of individual, collective and regional efforts to assist non-Partner states and other interested parties in implementing missile-related export controls, including as required under UNSCR 1540, and to inform the Chair about these activities.


  1. Partners reaffirmed the importance of the MTCR’s technical work. They underlined that the rapid technological development and changes in proliferant procurement practices related to sensitive items and technologies continue to require greater awareness and to be effectively addressed.


  1. Partners expressed their appreciation for the work of the MTCR’s Licensing and Enforcement Experts Meeting (LEEM), Technical Experts Meeting (TEM) and the Information Exchange Meeting (IEM). They recognised that the Equipment, Software, and Technology Annex remains a cornerstone of the work done by the MTCR to prevent missile proliferation. In the IEM and LEEM, Partners continued discussions on issues including ballistic missile developments and tests; proliferation trends and procurement activities; and evolving strategies in support of programmes for WMD delivery means; as well as serious risks and challenges posed by intangible technology transfers; catch-all controls for non-listed items; transit and trans-shipment issues; approaches to outreach to industry; and national experiences to strengthen export control enforcement. Information-sharing between Partners was highly appreciated, and will further strengthen national export control regimes and enforcement systems.


  1. In the IEM-LEEM-TEM Joint Meeting Partners, discussed the evolution of procurement strategies and exchanged views on how to most effectively address these challenges through effective implementation of export controls.


  1. Partners exchanged views on issues relating to future membership and individual applications for membership were thoroughly discussed. The issue of membership will continue to be on the agenda.


  1. Partners reviewed a number of issues relating to the internal operation of the MTCR, including the continuity and effectiveness of its system for chairmanship. They warmly welcomed Austria’s chairing of the Regime in 2020 – 2021, expressed support for the Russian Federation’s intention to chair the Regime in 2021 – 2022, and approved Switzerland’s offer to chair the Regime in 2022 – 2023.


  1. Partners noted the address on behalf of the Chair of the Hague Code of Conduct Against Ballistic Missile Proliferation (HCoC), Norway’s Ambassador Kjersti E. Andersen.


  1. Partners thanked France for successfully organising two Reinforced Point of Contact meetings in Paris over the past year and for acting as the Regime’s Point of Contact. Partners also thanked Canada for maintaining the MTCR website (


  1. The MTCR has 35 members: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, India, Ireland, Italy, 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.