Arrangement On Export Controls for Conventional
Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technology
[As issued by the Wassenaar Arrangement]
December 10, 1997
- The Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Control for Conventional Arms and
Dual-Use Goods and Technologies (WA) was established in July 1996 by 33
Participating States.* Several meetings
have been held since then in Vienna, Austria, where the Arrangement is based.
- During the third Plenary Meeting, which was convened on December 9-10,
1997 under the chairmanship of Ambassador Sohlman (Sweden), the member countries
reviewed progress with regard to the implementation of the Arrangement's
tasks as defined in the Initial Elements.
They noted with satisfaction that the Arrangement became fully
operational in 1997 and began to play an important role in combating the
risks associated with the destabilizing accumulation of armaments and sensitive
dual-use items, which may undermine international and regional security.
- The Participating States considered global arms flows and heard information
that in 1995 and 1996 non-Wassenaar States imported annually around US $
15 billion worth of military equipment. They looked forward to exchanging
further information of this nature.
- The Participating States reaffirmed their commitment to contribute to
regional and international security and stability by promoting transparency
and greater responsibility in transfers of conventional arms and dual-use
goods and technologies, thus preventing destabilizing accumulations. They
acknowledged the usefulness of sharing information as is done in the non-proliferation
regimes. On the basis of views and information exchanged on international
arms transfers, they noted potentially destabilizing acquisitions of armaments
in certain regions.
- Participating States agreed to conduct a study on criteria for assessing
destabilizing weapons accumulations. The study will in particular consider
what scope there is for increasing the relevant categories for reporting
pursuant to paragraph II.5. of the Initial
Elements and its goals. The results of the study will be reported to
the next Plenary.
Participating States agreed to establish a voluntary process for notifications
that go beyond the current 7 categories of arms.
- The Arrangement agreed to amendments to its Lists to take into account
technological developments since the establishment of the Arrangement in
1996. It was further agreed to develop criteria for the selection of sensitive
dual-use goods and technologies. The List Review will start in 1998.
- The Participants reiterated the need to exercise maximum restraint when
considering licenses for the export of sensitive items to all destinations
where the risks are judged greatest.
- They welcomed the interest demonstrated by the international community
in WA activities and noted with satisfaction that the Arrangement is now
being widely recognized. In particular, the Participating States acknowledged
the support for the Arrangement expressed by the Summit of the Eight in
Denver (June 1997).
- They further noted with appreciation the efforts being undertaken by other
multilateral export control arrangements and international organizations
to contribute to international security and stability through promoting
greater responsibility in the transfer of arms and sensitive technologies.
In particular, they welcomed the initiatives of the Organization of American
States regarding the convention on firearms and regional arms transparency,
the EU Program for Preventing and Combating Illicit Trafficking in Conventional
Arms and other similar encouraging international efforts. In this respect
they welcomed and encouraged the initiative of the West African countries
in establishing a moratorium on import, export and manufacture of light
- Participants exchanged views on means to promote world-wide adherence
to responsible policies regarding transfers of conventional arms and dual-use
goods and technologies through outreach contacts with non-members. They
further appeal to all non-members to support the goals of the Arrangement
and agreed to provide more transparency with respect to the activities of
the Arrangement through establishing dialogue with these countries as well
as with relevant international organizations
- Recognizing the important role of the Arrangement in contributing to international
security and stability, the Participants agreed on the 1998 work Program
and budget that provide the necessary organizational basis to further strengthen
the functioning of the WA.
* The Participating
States of the Wassenaar Arrangement are:
Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Czech Republic,
Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Japan,
Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, the Republic
of Korea, Romania, Russian Federation, Slovak Republic, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland,
Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom and United States.
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