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16. Transfer controls

Contents

Summary

The high level of support in 2005 for two recent initiatives—UN Security Council Resolution 1540 and the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI)—suggests a growing awareness of the need to pay the same attention to enforcement of export controls that has been paid to the development of modern and comprehensive legislation.

There is growing sensitivity to the need to include the widest possible participation in these efforts to strengthen export control, and to base future efforts on cooperation to implement agreed international standards. The need to accelerate the adoption of the highest international standards through national laws and regulations continues to stimulate demand for export control outreach and assistance. The export control regimes have all continued their active outreach efforts, and both the EU and Japan have been considering how best to help the USA finance and deliver assistance in the quantities needed and to the locations where there is demand.

Export controls are being applied in new functional areas as part of the wider effort to adapt arms control to a changing security environment. A new EU regulation on trade in goods that could be used for capital punishment, torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment extends export controls beyond the realm of military or strategic products in pursuit of human rights objectives. To help achieve counter-terrorism objectives, many of the member states of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) are examining how export controls might reduce the risk of acquisition and use of radiological weapons by non-state actors.

The need for broader participation in the development and implementation of international standards has been accompanied by a growing discussion of the need for discrimination, both negative and positive, between recipient countries. The long-standing support for closer scrutiny of exports to countries widely recognized to represent proliferation challenges may, at some point, tip into support for technology denial.

 

Dr Ian Anthony (UK) is SIPRI Research Coordinator and Leader of the SIPRI Non-proliferation and Export Controls Project.

Dr Sibylle Bauer (Germany) is a Researcher with the SIPRI Non-proliferation and Export Controls Project.

English