Co-Chair Rachel Gooding-Lord of Finland
Missile Technology Control Regime
Conference on Syrian Conflict
- Forming International Guidelines for Member and Non-Member States for the Counter Proliferation of Missile Technologies.
The Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) strongly believes in the importance of regulating and restricting the proliferation of missiles, complete rocket systems, unmanned air vehicles, and related technology for systems capable of carrying a 500 kilogram payload at least 300 kilometers, as well as systems intended for the delivery of weapons of mass destruction (WMD). We want to stress that our mission can only be achieved through international cooperation and participation from all states. The need to regulate the illicit trade of missile technologies was the reason the MTCR was founded and current conditions suggest we have far more work to do in order to prevent the spread of technologies that have the potential to severely aggravate the conflicts in Syria. The MTCR has taken several concrete steps to curb any spread of missile technologies without overstepping our role in the international community. In order to maintain export controls our Regime rests on compliance to common export policy guidelines applied to an integral list of controlled items listed in the MTCR Equipment, Software and Technology Annex. The MTCR does not take export licensing decisions as a group. Our approached involves individual partners being responsible for implementing the guidelines based on sovereign national discretion and in accordance with national legislation and practice. Our export guidelines place greatest restraint on what is known as Category I items. This includes complete rocket systems, including ballistic missiles, space launch vehicles and sounding rockets, and unmanned air vehicle systems, including cruise missiles systems, target and reconnaissance drones, with capabilities exceeding a 300km/500kg range/payload threshold and lastly production facilities for these system as well as major sub-systems including rocket stages, re-entry vehicles, rocket engines, guidance systems and warhead mechanisms. Restrictive guidelines have been implemented due to the urgent need to reduce the spread of these incredibly dangerous technologies.
MTCR partner countries are committed to encouraging all trading partners to observe MTCR guidelines on transfers of missile technologies, recognizing that doing so is in the best interests of collective security. Any country can make the responsible decision to adhere to our guidelines without being obligated to become a member state, and we would like to encourage participation from all states in whatever capacity possible. The MTCR has recognized the importance of international compliance on this issue since its founding, which is why we universalized the drafting of The Hague Code of Conduct. We are proud to have 130 subscribing states but hope to expand the scope of our influence to achieve true international cooperation. Through continuous outreach efforts to non-member states to keep them informed of the group activities the MTCR hopes to increase transparency in legal trade of missile technologies.
- The Relationship Between Disarmament and International Security
The MTCR recognizes the connection between disarmament and increased security. Though the MTCR is funded through voluntary donations of member states we feel that our influence can still have a major impact. At the 30th Plenary meeting of the Missile Technology Control Regime in the Korean city of Busan former MTCR Director General Sang-wook Ham said, “Within the framework of the MTCR mandate, Partners confirmed their commitment to implement fully UN Security Council resolutions 1695, 1718, 1874, 2087, 2094, 2270, 2321, 2356, 2371 and 2375, having in mind the ballistic missile-related provisions of the resolutions, in particular resolution 2371. Bearing in mind the grave international situation due to DPRK missile development, partners reiterated their firm commitment to exercise extreme vigilance when controlling transfers that could contribute to the DPRK’s ballistic missile programme, in response to the drastic escalation of ballistic missile launches and significant missile technology development by the DPRK since February 2016.” The MTCR, our 35 partner states and 130 subscribing states have made a strong commitment to the disarmament of missile technologies, this gives high hopes heading into this conference on the Syrian conflicts.
We expect that Syria, (countries around not already in) all become MTCR partners in the coming weeks to demonstrate their commitment to increasing global security, disarmament and respect for human lives. The ongoing conflicts that have claimed countless innocent lives warrants the commitment of each and every governing authority involved to protect their physical safety. The success of MTCR efforts to reduce the spread of missile technologies is not to be ignored. Recently, our “partners expressed particular appreciation for the outreach activities conducted by the outgoing MTCR Chairman Director General Ham Sang-wook of the Republic of Korea.” We would like to note that this organization can only be effective with the ongoing tireless efforts of our partner states. It is only with full international cooperation that the MTCR can achieve what our founding member countries set out to do, protect innocent people and collective security through the regulation and restriction of missile technologies that pose very serious threats to the safety of all people. We look to the Syrian regime in this time of crisis to end the violence and make a serious commitment to disarming weapons delivery systems that have taken the lives of so many Syrians over the last few years.