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14. Multilateral export controls



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There are
5 multilateral weapon and technology export control regimes:
the Australia Group (AG), the Zangger Committee, the Missile
Technology Control Regime (MTCR), the Nuclear Suppliers Group
(NSG) and the Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls for Conventional
Arms and Dual-Use Technologies. There are now 41 states that
participate in one or more of the regimes while 27 states
participate in all of them. The European Commission also participates
in the Australia Group and the Zangger Committee and is represented
in the NSG as an observer.

In 2001 the
MTCR completed work on a draft International Code of Conduct
against Ballistic Missile Proliferation, which will be discussed
with a view to adopting the code in 2002.

export control will play a role in counter-terrorist measures.
The annual plenary meeting of the MTCR was one of the first opportunities
at which officials could discuss the implications of the 11 September
attacks on the USA. In early October the AG participating states
discussed the role of export controls in reducing the threat
of terrorist attacks with chemical and biological weapons (CBW).
The AG underlined that its objectives include preventing the
acquisition of CBW by non-state actors. In December 2001 participating
states agreed to modify the initial elements of the Wassenaar
Arrangement to make clear their commitment to prevent the acquisition
of conventional arms and dual-use goods and technologies by terrorist
groups and organizations as well as by individual terrorists.

While a significant
number of states have developed common rules and habits of cooperation
in the framework of the multilateral export control regimes,
there has been a growing sense that the momentum established
within the regimes in the first half of the 1990s was not maintained.
Prior to the 11 September attacks the experience of the
regimes was that there remain significant disagreements between
participating states over important issues. Disagreements often
stem from the fact that licensing decisions are based on national
interpretations of regime rules. These are in turn steered by
the interests of participating states rather than a common norm
or a common perception of the risks posed by particular transfers.
Recent Russian sales of nuclear fuel and nuclear reactors to
India are considered to be a violation of the Nuclear Suppliers
Group guidelines. The NSG continued to discuss how to respond
to decisions by Russia related to nuclear supply.

After 11 September
certain decisions that were difficult to take in the framework
of the regimes may have become possible. Particular attention
is being paid to the following questions: the development of
procedures for sharing information related to licensing and enforcement;
the development of a more harmonized approach to risk assessment
and the identification of programmes of concern; the development
of common approaches to end-user controls in countries where
programmes of concern are located; and how to apply controls
to new types of commercial practices in a changing market.


Ian Anthony
(United Kingdom) is the Leader of the SIPRI
Internet Database on European Export Controls Project. In
1992–98 he was Leader of the SIPRI Arms Transfers Project.
His most recent publication for SIPRI is A Future Arms Control
Agenda: Proceedings of Nobel Symposium 118, 1999
for which he is co-editor (with Adam Daniel Rotfeld). He is also
editor of the SIPRI volumes Russia and the Arms Trade
(1998), Arms Export Regulations (1991) and SIPRI Research
Report no. 7, The Future of Defence Industries in Central
and Eastern Europe
(1994), and author of The Naval Arms
(SIPRI, 1990) and The Arms Trade and Medium Powers:
Case Studies of India and Pakistan
1947–90 (1991). He
has written or co-authored chapters for the SIPRI Yearbook
since 1988.