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Fact Sheet
Bureau of Nonproliferation
Washington, DC
September 25, 2001

Plenary Meeting of the Missile Technology Control Regime

Ottawa, Canada, September 25-28, 2001

The Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) held its 16th Plenary Meeting in Ottawa from September 25-28, 2001, in order to review its activities and strengthen its efforts to prevent missile proliferation. The meeting marked the start of the Canadian chairmanship and was officially opened by the Honorable Dr. Rey Pagtakhan, Secretary of State (Asia-Pacific) of Canada.

The Republic of Korea was warmly welcomed to its first Plenary Meeting.

The MTCR was established in 1987 with the aim of controlling exports of missiles capable of delivering weapons of mass destruction. The 33 countries1 of the MTCR form an important international arrangement dealing with such missiles, as well as related equipment and technology.

Coordinating their efforts through the MTCR, its member states have contributed significantly to a reduction in the global missile proliferation threat. The Plenary however agreed that the risk of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery remained a major concern for global and regional security, and that more must therefore be done at the national, regional, and global level. The Plenary also noted that the tragic events of September 11, 2001, in the United States only added force to the importance of the MTCR's work in that regard.

The Plenary re-emphasized the important role played by export controls, the need to strengthen them further, the need for their strict implementation, and the need for adaptation in the face of technological development.

Partners continued their deliberations on a set of principles, general measures, cooperation, and confidence-building measures in the form of a draft International Code of Conduct against ballistic missile proliferation, taking into account the results of extensive contact on this subject undertaken with countries outside the MTCR since the Helsinki Plenary. The result of these deliberations was an augmented draft text, which will be distributed to all states at an early date.

Universalization of the draft Code should take place through a transparent and inclusive negotiating process open to all states on the basis of equality. In this regard, the Plenary noted with appreciation the offer of France to host the first negotiation session in 2002. France will consult with all states to determine their interest in participating in the process.

This concludes the work of the MTCR per se on the draft Code.

1 Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

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