2013 PLENARY MEETING
THE WASSENAAR ARRANGEMENT ON EXPORT CONTROLS FOR
CONVENTIONAL ARMS AND DUAL-USE GOODS AND TECHNOLOGIES
The nineteenth Plenary meeting of the Wassenaar Arrangement1, chaired by Ambassador Liselotte Plesner of Denmark, was held in Vienna on 3 to 4 December 2013.
1 The Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls for Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies was established on the basis of the Initial Elements adopted in July 1996 (see website:www.wassenaar.org). Meetings are normally held in Vienna, Austria, where the Arrangement is based. Currently the Participating States of the Wassenaar Arrangement are: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, the Republic of Korea, Romania, the Russian Federation, Slovenia, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
The Arrangement has continued its efforts to contribute to international and regional security and stability by promoting transparency and greater responsibility in the transfer of conventional arms and dual-use goods and technologies, thus preventing destabilizing accumulations. Participating States regularly conduct a Regional Views exercise to exchange information on risks associated with transfers of arms and dual-use goods focusing on specific geographic regions. They have also agreed to conduct further work on addressing new challenges, including emerging technologies of concern, to keep pace with advances in technology, research and innovation.
Participating States have worked to make the existing control lists more readily understood and user-friendly for licensing authorities and exporters, and to ensure the detection and denial of undesirable exports. This year progress was made on a comprehensive and systematic review of the Wassenaar Lists to ensure their continued relevance.
In 2013, new export controls were agreed in a number of areas including surveillance and law enforcement/intelligence gathering tools and Internet Protocol (IP) network surveillance systems or equipment, which, under certain conditions, may be detrimental to international and regional security and stability. Participating States also further clarified existing controls in respect of inertial measurement equipment or systems and relaxed some controls such as for instrumentation tape recorders and digital computers.
Participating States continued to exchange information and views aimed at strengthening national export control implementation in areas such as prevention of destabilizing accumulations of conventional arms, end-use(r) assurances, controls on transit and trans-shipment, brokering and re-export, as well as catch-all provisions. Information was also exchanged on industry engagement and internal compliance programmes. 2
The Wassenaar Arrangement has undertaken significant efforts to encourage voluntary adherence to its standards by non-Participating States. The Arrangement continues to conduct outreach in support of its aims and objectives, in particular through post-Plenary briefings, promoting WA best practice documents, bilateral dialogue with non-Participating States, including through outreach visits, and interaction with industry. The Plenary decided to continue to offer an enhanced technical briefing on changes to the Wassenaar Arrangement control lists to a number of non-Participating States in 2014. The WA also maintains contacts with other relevant regional and international organizations engaged in related activities. Informal contacts were maintained with the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) on control list issues.
Participating States this year welcomed the adoption of the Arms Trade Treaty by the United Nations General Assembly on 2 April 2013. The goals of the Arms Trade Treaty align with those of the Wassenaar Arrangement. The Participating States of the Wassenaar Arrangement stand ready to share their export control experience and expertise with other states, as suggested in the ATT. The Plenary asked the Wassenaar Arrangement Secretariat to monitor opportunities for the Arrangement to contribute to international cooperation with regard to the ATT.
Key Wassenaar Arrangement documents, including the Control Lists and Best Practice Guidelines, continue to be freely available on the WA website (www.wassenaar.org).
The Plenary reiterated that the Wassenaar Arrangement is open for membership to all states in compliance with the agreed criteria. In 2013 the Arrangement launched a discussion of strategic issues related to future participation.
The Plenary decided to conduct the next internal Assessment, a wide-ranging exercise to review and evaluate the overall functioning of the Arrangement, and to improve its effectiveness and efficiency, in 2016, five years after the most recent Assessment.
The Plenary thanked the Chairs of all Wassenaar Arrangement bodies for their valuable contributions to the work of the Arrangement. The Plenary also expressed its appreciation to the Wassenaar Arrangement Secretariat.
The next regular Wassenaar Arrangement Plenary meeting will take place in Vienna in December 2014. Estonia will assume the Chair of the Plenary from 1 January 2014, and has designated Ambassador Eve-Külli Kala to assume this role. In addition, from 1 January 2014, Romania will assume the Chair of the General Working Group, the Republic of Korea will continue to chair the Experts’ Group, and the United States will continue to provide the Chair for the Licensing and Enforcement Officers Meeting (LEOM).
Vienna, 4 December 2013