Statement by the MTCR Chairman on his recent outreach activities, 2004

On February 10th and 11th, the Chairman of the MTCR, Argentinean Ambassador Carlos Sersale di Cerisano, leading a delegation of 35 diplomats and experts from 15 regime member countries, conducted in-depth talks with a high-level delegation from the People’s Republic of China, headed by Mr Liu Jieyi, Director General for Arms Control and Disarmament at the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs. These talks were hosted in Paris by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, acting as the Point of Contact for the Regime. They followed the expression of China’s willingness to increase its dialogue with the MTCR, conveyed by the Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs, Li Zhaoxing, to the previous Chairman of the Regime, Polish Ambassador Mariusz Handzlik.

The discussions focused on the comparison between the Chinese legislation on the export of missile and missile-related items and the MTCR Annex. They helped participants gain a better knowledge of their respective missile-related export control systems, thus improving their understanding of the rationale behind existing differences. Other issues will be further addressed as this new dialogue between MTCR and China is carried further. Assuming the good continuation of the technical exchanges at expert levels, the Chairman has proposed a second round of talks in Beijing, in May 2004, to address the effective implementation and enforcement of export controls.

On February 12th, the MTCR Chairman conducted a team-visit to Tripoli, upon invitation of the Libyan authorities. On that occasion, the Chairman of the MTCR had the opportunity to meet with Foreign Minister Chalgam and to address the issue of Libya’s decision to give up all its programmes of weapons of mass destruction, including its ballistic missiles exceeding the MTCR Category I range/payload parameters.

The MTCR team was granted access to some sites of interest in a fully transparent and open way, and took note with satisfaction of Libya’s stated willingness to fully implement its non-proliferation commitments and to cooperate with the MTCR in setting up efficient export control procedures. The MTCR Chairman seized that opportunity to stress the positive impact a voluntary adherence of Libya to the MTCR Guidelines and Annex would have.

The MTCR Chairman sees in those two recent missions an illustration of the interest and effectiveness of the Regime’s outreach activities. He intends to maintain a sustained level of dialogue with all interested countries in order to foster the Regime’s non-proliferation objectives.