Public Statement - 7 December 2001

The seventh Plenary meeting of the Wassenaar Arrangement (WA) was held in Vienna, 6-7 December, 2001, under the chairmanship of Ambassador Aydin Sahinbas (Turkey).

In the light of recent international developments, Participating States underlined the importance of strengthening export controls and reaffirmed their commitment to maintain responsible national policies in the licensing of exports of arms and sensitive dual-use items. Recalling UNSC Resolution 1373 (2001), the Plenary agreed that Participating States will continue to prevent the acquisition of conventional arms and dual-use goods and technologies by terrorist groups and organisations as well as by individual terrorists, and that such efforts are an integral part of the global fight against terrorism. To make this commitment explicit, they decided to add an appropriate paragraph (paragraph 5 of Part I, "Purposes") to the Initial Elements. The Plenary agreed to take concrete steps to give effect to this decision.

Participating States took positive note of the work done during the year to make the General Information Exchange more efficient.

Participating States noted with concern illicit arms flows to zones of conflict and areas covered by UNSC embargoes, as well as licit transfers to zones of conflict from states not participating in the Wassenaar Arrangement. They stressed their commitment to support the UNSC’s efforts to prevent arms transfers to the UNITA forces in Angola and to terrorist groups operating from and in Afghanistan. Participating States also agreed to continue consideration of practical measures to support regional arms control initiatives, including the ECOWAS Moratorium.

The Plenary reaffirmed the importance of responsible export policies towards, and effective export controls over, small arms and light weapons (SALW) to prevent destabilising accumulations and diversion. In this connection, Participating States agreed they would continue to share relevant information and explore practical measures.

Participating States recognised the importance of controlling arms brokering and agreed to continue discussion with a view to elaborating and refining the criteria for effective legislation on arms brokering, and to continue discussion of enforcement measures.

The Plenary agreed to include two additional sub-categories of military items in mandatory reporting of transfers/licenses granted under Appendix 3 of the Initial Elements: armoured bridge-launching vehicles (under Category 2, sub-Category 2.3) and gun-carriers specifically designed for towing artillery (under Category 3, sub-Category 3.4).

The Plenary also agreed to a number of control list amendments which will be published in due course. Participating States affirmed the importance they attach to timely updating of the lists to keep pace with technology advances while maintaining security interests.

Participating States approved a revised Statement of Understanding on Intangible Transfers of Software and Technology, (which will appear on page 187 of the revised Control List).

The Plenary decided to consider ways to develop contacts with non-Wassenaar members, including major arms producers. Participating States again confirmed that the Wassenaar Arrangement is open, on a global and non-discriminatory basis, to prospective adherents that comply with established criteria for participation, and agreed to develop further contacts with other non-proliferation regimes to avoid duplication of work and to facilitate complementarity.

With a view to the work to be undertaken in 2002, the Plenary identified further options for consideration, aiming at increasing the efficiency of export controls.

Members of the Plenary thanked Ambassador Aydin Sahinbas (Turkey) for his major contributions as Plenary Chairman to the work of the Wassenaar Arrangement.

The next regular WA Plenary meeting is to be held in Vienna in December 2002. Ambassador Volodymyr Ohrysko (Ukraine) will assume the Plenary Chairmanship on 1 January 2002.

Vienna, 7 December 2001

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