I extend a special welcome to the delegations from Belgium, Cyprus, Hong Kong, Japan, Macedonia, Malta, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, and the European Union who are attending the Oxford Conference for the first time this year. I also welcome all of you who, although your nations or organizations were represented here last year, are yourselves here for the first time. And I also with great pleasure greet my colleagues who attended last year's conference. I am very happy you have returned to Oxford.
Because I, like you, am a guest of the United Kingdom in this lovely, historic, and thought-centered town of Oxford and the esteemed University of the same name, I want to thank my colleagues from Her Majesty's Government for once again permitting this conference to occur here, for their help with some of the necessary arrangements, and for their always warm welcome to their country.
At this point, I was very enthusiastically looking forward to introducing the U.S. Under Secretary of Commerce for Export Administration, and my boss, William Reinsch so that he could make some introductory comments. Bill is very well known throughout the global export control community both for his leadership in redirecting and refocusing U.S. dual use export control regulation and enforcement to align those activities with the dramatic changes in the world geopolitical situation at the beginning of the last decade, and for recognizing that the global export enforcement chain is only as strong as its weakest link, and his consequent establishment and unwavering support of the Department of Commerce program to assist the nations of the Former Soviet Union, the Baltic Republics, and the nations of Central Europe -- delegates from many of which are here today as participants in the Oxford Conference -- to establish national export control systems of their own and to begin and continue the process of raising those systems to international standards.
On Thursday afternoon of last week, Bill received a call from Vice President Gore, who requested his presence at an important conference in Miami tomorrow addressing the problems of cybersecurity. Although he was very disappointed he would be unable to participate in the opening of this second Oxford Conference, none of you will be surprised to learn that he knew his duty, and his duty was to respond to the Vice President's request. I'm sure most if not all of you have had comparable experiences in your own governments.
So we will miss Bill's presence, and his remarks this morning. But he asked me to convey to the Conference his very strong support for the Oxford Conference and his hope that this year's conference will be as productive as last year's. And those of you who have met Bill will appreciate this. With a wry grin on his face, he said to respond, if anyone expressed skepticism as a result of his cancellation that his support is as genuine and strong as I have just indicated, that if it were not real and steadfast, he would never have permitted virtually the entire senior leadership of his Bureau -- Assistant Secretary Amanda DeBusk, General Counsel Karen Day, and me, plus a number of other BXA staff -- to abandon their duties in Washington to participate in the Conference. So, with his blessing, we will carry on without him.
I would now like to "kick off" our Conference by briefly noting what I hope we will accomplish in the next three days. I believe we have three primary objectives. First, we will review the voluntary action agenda developed at last year's Conference -- an action agenda the Conference delegations agreed, in effect, to propose to themselves and the governments they represented -- for consideration and action. This agenda was titled The Elements for Referral to Governments of Conference Participants for Possible Further Action. Later today we will hear from seven rapporteurs -- one for each of the seven Elements -- who will provide a summary, distilled from the Elements progress reports that many of you submitted in response to my request, about the progress that governments of the nations represented at this table achieved in their efforts to address the Elements during the past year, the problems they encountered in their efforts, and how they overcame (or failed to overcome) those problems.
This past June, a group of delegates who attended last year's Oxford Conference met in Stockholm to share thoughts on how to derive maximum value from this and future Oxford Conferences. That group suggested refining the concept of the Elements, determining that they should be viewed as an on-going action agenda that will, unless altered, survive from one Oxford Conference to the next, but which are subject to amendment when and to the extent the participants at any Oxford Conference believe alterations are needed -- whether that means adding new elements or revising or deleting those approved by previous Oxford Conferences.
The group also established a process we will try out at this Oxford Conference for delegates to propose any amendments they believe are needed to keep the Elements current, relevant, and valid as a consensus priority list, and for the Conference to consider and act on any amendments that are proposed.
I will provide more details about this amendment process when, later today, we move into the portion of the Oxford Conference where we hear the reports of the rapporteurs.
The second Oxford Conference objective this year is to consider a limited number of key challenges that threaten our ability to manage and operate export control systems that effectively prevent proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and missiles to deliver them. We will hear from an array of experts -- from among the ranks of national export control system officials and multilateral regime delegations and from academics, non-governmental organization personal, and representatives of private companies -- concerning ways in which it may be possible to meet those challenges.
Last year at the first Oxford Conference, many of us acknowledged to each other the unfortunate fact that due to the pace and requirements of our jobs, we have too little time to reflect on the fundamental, big-picture questions and challenges on which ride the success or failure of export controls. Moreover, even if we found the time, we rarely have the opportunity to gather a group of export control experts like the group here in this room to hear how things look from their different vantages and how they are confronting those questions and challenges -- and then to measure our own activities against what we have heard. The agenda planning group that met in Stockholm concluded that providing an opportunity for this kind of reflection and interchange concerning major export control issues is one of the premier services the Oxford Conference can provide. That group selected three topics to explore in some depth during this conference -- rather than, as we did last year arguably to too great an extent, touch very briefly on a multitude of topics. Although there is no requirement that they be so derived, this year those topics were derived, at the suggestion of the agenda-setting group, from the seven Elements for Referral... They are (1) Obtaining and sharing open source information of benefit to national export control systems; (2) Intangible transfer of technology and software: to what extent can technology and software transfers be controlled; and (3) "Catch-All" or "End Use" Regulation.
Our third objective is to establish and renew personal relationships with colleagues spanning the global export control system. This opportunity to meet each other in the relaxed but engaged setting of Oxford some have said is the greatest benefit that can be derived from this Conference, as many delegates affirmed in their comments on last year's Conference.
I would like to draw your attention to the last session tomorrow afternoon on the "Future of the Oxford Conference," for that is when we will reflect on whether what we have established here is accomplishing the objectives I just described -- and if, in fact, those are the right objectives. We have developed the rudiments of what might be called an "Oxford process," the outlines of which emerged somewhat spontaneously last year and were refined at the agenda-setting meeting in June. We need your guidance concerning whether the best balance of the most valuable components has been achieved, or how these should be altered in order to derive the greatest benefit from assembling a group of export control officials and thinkers such as this one.
I would like at this time to express my appreciation to the members of the Stockholm planning committee for their significant contributions to this Conference: Paul Beijer of Sweden, who graciously hosted us in his offices, Bendt Lindhart Andersen of Denmark, George Botenbal of the Netherlands, Tadeusz Chomicki of Poland, Libuse Cudova of the Czech Republic, and Neil Harper of the United Kingdom. And I offer special thanks to Paul, George, and Neil with whom we have consulted frequently since then in order to identify the best non-governmental speakers for the program.
I also want to express gratitude to the seven rapporteurs who have taken the reports on participating nations' progress in addressing the Elements for Referral... and prepared their own summary reports which we will hear shortly. I will introduce them when we arrive at that point in the agenda.
Before we get underway with the business of this Conference, it is important that everyone in this room understand the Conference's "ground rules." For the next three days, we will interact not as official delegates from our governments formally espousing our governments' official positions, and saying nothing that our explicit instructions do not permit. Rather, we will interact as individual experts, bringing the experience we have gained in our official capacities to bear on issues of common interest and concern. We concluded that this approach at last year's conference produced greater value for most if not all participants, and should be employed again this year. As one facet of our ground rules, let me remind all who are participating or observing the conference that all remarks and presentations are presumed to be made on a not-for-attribution basis -- to be more precise, neither the individual nor the government or organization he or she represents is to be identified outside this room -- unless explicit permission is granted by a speaker for his or her remarks to be attributed.
I consider this a rare and special opportunity to meet with colleagues and experts, to step back from the constant demands of day-to-day decision making and management and ponder challenges and possible solutions, and, with this vehicle of the Oxford Conference, strengthen the world's nonproliferation system. If we do accomplish these things as I believe we can, I think we will have spent a week very, very profitably.
As most of you know, and as is the case in a majority of nations that have a national system of export controls, the United States divides this responsibility among several agencies. You may have heard me say, in fact, that although we all do our best, our system is divided into enough pieces that accomplishing our objectives often is harder than it ought to be, and we recommend that other nations think twice -- or three times -- before they emulate our structure.
To the extent our system is a success -- and I believe it has realized considerable success in a number of dimensions -- it depends on the expertise, skill, commitment, and intra-governmental diplomacy of those who lead the various agencies that share the responsibilities. Key among the U.S. agencies is the U. S. Department of State -- our counterpart to Ministries of Foreign or External Affairs. State holds ultimate responsibility for regulation of arms exports, and is a key actor in the interagency process of regulation of dual use exports that the Department of Commerce leads.
John Barker is the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Nonproliferation Controls. I admire what he has done to ensure that U.S. export controls are sound, to facilitate effective alliances on a bilateral and multilateral basis around the world, and to work productively with and through the multilateral regimes.
And I am very pleased that John is able to join us for the beginning of this Oxford Conference. I want to ask him for any remarks he would like to make, and I think it is especially fitting to note to all of you as he moves toward the podium that we are all here because of financial support made available by the State Department unit over which John presides. John ...
With these preliminaries completed, we now will move into the business of the 2000 Oxford International Conference on Export Controls.
In April of 2002 the Bureau of Export Administration (BXA) changed its name to the Bureau of Industry and Security(BIS). For historical purposes we have not changed the references to BXA in the legacy documents found in the Archived Press and Public Information.