Scrutiny of Arms Exports and Arms Control (2013) - Committee on Arms Exports Control Contents


8  Arms Control Agreements

Arms Trade Treaty (ATT)

192.  The UN-based negotiations on a legally binding Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) began in 1997 following the call for a code of conduct on international arms transfers by a group of Nobel Peace Laureates. In 2003 a campaign was launched by NGOs to win support for the idea of an ATT; the UK gave its support to the campaign. In 2004 the then Labour Government explicitly backed the ATT. In 2006 the Government sponsored the UN General Assembly Resolution calling for the establishment of a group of governmental experts to examine the feasibility, scope and parameters of an ATT. In December 2009 the UN General Assembly passed Resolution 64/48, which mandated formal negotiation of an ATT by 2012.[271]

193.  Preparatory Committee (PrepCom) meetings took place in New York in July 2010, March 2011 and July 2011. These were seen as a positive start to the negotiations.[272] The key output from the July 2011 PrepCom was an informal Chair's Draft paper, which included many of the essential elements of an ATT. The next Preparatory Committee meeting took place in New York in February 2012 at which the draft text of the Treaty was confirmed.

194.  The full UN Diplomatic Conference (DipCon) took place between 2 and 27 July 2012 in New York.[273] The ATT DipCon was intended to be the conclusion of the UN ATT negotiation. After a month of detailed negotiations, a draft treaty text was presented on the penultimate day of the DipCon; despite its problems, many states felt that, with some adjustments, this text could provide the basis for agreement and negotiations continued long into the night. UKWG stated that: "Unfortunately a successful conclusion was prevented when, on the final morning the United States asked for 'more time' to consider the text, thereby blocking a consensus outcome."[274]

195.  In the aftermath of the Conference, the US-based Arms Control Association pointed the finger specifically at the US Government. The Arms Control Association argued that the insurmountable obstacle was to be found in US domestic politics: President Obama did not want to further alienate the powerful pro-gun ownership lobby, which had been consistently hostile to the proposal for an ATT, during election year. Amnesty International spread the blame more widely, implicating Russia, China, Algeria, Egypt, Iran, North Korea and Syria as well. Some have claimed that the British Government did not throw as much weight behind the treaty over the last few days of the Conference as it might have done—for example, not signing a statement by 74 countries on the penultimate day. It disputes such claims, saying that it played a leading role throughout.[275] The UK was in the group of 90 countries which issued a statement on 27 July 2012 saying that they "are determined to secure an Arms Trade Treaty as soon as possible."[276] Alistair Burt said in an open letter to Oxfam, Amnesty International, Article 36, Saferworld, Transparency International and Action on Armed Violence on 3 August 2012 that: "Like the overwhelming majority of states, we supported the Conference President's draft Treaty text and we were ready to agree to it last week." He continued by stating that the "Treaty will need broad — ideally universal — participation. Our judgement is that the text provides enough to work with. Whilst it reflects the compromises necessary to bridge the wide variety of national positions, it is robust and if still adopted, would bring about a very significant improvement on the current situation [...]"[277]

196.  The Committees' Conclusions and Recommendations on the Arms Trade Treaty in its 2012 report (HC 419) and the Government's Response (Cm8441) were as follows:

The Committees' Recommendation:

The Committees conclude that the Government has put at risk the UK's previous leading role in the drafting and negotiation of the Arms Trade Treaty by failing to maintain continuity of FCO staff at a senior level with this responsibility. The Committees also conclude that the Government's commitment to achieving an Arms Trade Treaty with the broadest possible scope, including ammunition, is welcome. The Committees further conclude that the Government's statement that it is supportive of an Arms Trade Treaty addressing the issue of corruption is welcome, though in stark contrast to the Government's refusal to accept the Committee's recommendation that the EU Common Position on arms exports should also include the issue of corruption. The Committees recommend that the Government deploys the staffing resources required at a sufficiently senior level, necessary to achieve a comprehensive and effective Arms Trade Treaty.[278]

The Government's Response:

The Government does not accept the Committees' conclusion that it put at risk the UK's leading role in the drafting and negotiation of the Arms Trade Treaty. This point was addressed at length by the Foreign Secretary and Sarah MacIntosh, Director of Defence and International Security, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, during the Committees' Oral Evidence session on 7 February 2012 (see Ev 16 of HC 419 Volume II). It is not clear why the Committees have chosen not to give appropriate weight to this evidence in the face of less substantive evidence from other sources. The UK Delegation in New York, led by Jo Adamson, Ambassador to the Conference on Disarmament, consisted of officials from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Ministry of Defence, Department for International Development and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. Alistair Burt, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the FCO and Alan Duncan, Minister of State at DFID both travelled to New York to take part in the negotiations and other Ministers, including the Deputy Prime Minister and the Foreign Secretary, lobbied key states by phone and in person. Despite exerting every effort to negotiate a strong agreement, utilising Ministers and officials in London, New York and across our network of Embassies and High Commissions, we were unsuccessful in obtaining agreement to a robust and balanced Treaty text. Although the vast majority of states were able to accept the Treaty text, a small number of countries asked for more time to consider this further, which given the requirement for full consensus meant that agreement was not possible. As the Foreign Secretary has made clear, the Government was very disappointed that the negotiations did not reach a conclusion. The main features of the draft Treaty were:

  • A first ever set of global commitments on national arms export controls. A global baseline for regulating arms exports.
  • The first ever international legally binding agreement on the transfer of Small Arms and Light Weapons.
  • Controls on exports of ammunition and military parts and components
  • A requirement for countries to regulate brokering
  • A commitment that arms transfers will be assessed on the basis of criteria including human rights, and refused if they pose unacceptable risks
  • Mainstreaming sustainable development and anti-corruption into arms export controls.

Despite this delay in securing a Treaty, much progress was made. The Government is determined not to lose the momentum generated and will continue to work with industry and civil society to drive forward the international effort towards achieving a Treaty. The UN General Assembly in the autumn, to which the Chair of the Conference, Ambassador Moritan, is sending his report, will be the next opportunity to address the issue amongst the whole UN membership. The Government's priority is to bank the progress made to date and push on to agree a Treaty.[279]

197.  On 20 August 2012 I wrote to the Foreign Secretary putting to him 15 questions relating to the Arms Trade Treaty. The Foreign Secretary replied to the my letter on 30 August as follows:

Thank you for your letter of 20 August on the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) negotiations. We hope to agree as soon as possible an ATT that is close to the text sent by the Diplomatic Conference to the UNGA on 1 August 2012.

We have consistently said that we would not sign up to a weak or ineffective Treaty, and the draft Treaty produced by the Conference was neither of these things. It would have secured significant improvements to the current situation. However, we have always maintained that the Treaty needs broad, ideally universal, participation to be truly effective. We will continue to work with the States that have requested more time to this end.

Please find below the Government's response to the enclosed questions [these were 15 questions in my letter to the Foreign Secretary of 20 August], repeated here for ease of reference.

1.  Why, when Article 16 (1) of the draft Treaty states that only 65 countries ratification, acceptance, approval or accession to the Treaty are necessary to enable it to enter into force, and no fewer than 90 countries, including the UK, endorsed the statement made on 27 July 2012 "We had expected to adopt such a draft Treaty today", was the draft Treaty not adopted on July 27?

The Rules of Procedure applicable at the Diplomatic Conference for the Arms Trade Treaty specified that decision making was to be by consensus. Ambassador Roberto Garcia Moritan, the President of the Conference, recognised that consensus had not been reached because a small number of states needed more time to consider the text. This meant that the Treaty could not be adopted at the Conference. The provision on entry into force in the draft Treaty only comes into play once the text is adopted.

2-4.  What were the specific Articles in the draft Treaty to which China, Russia and the US objected and caused them not to endorse the joint statement made by the 90 countries on 27 July 2012?

China, Russia and the US did not highlight any specific Articles. They felt that there was insufficient time for them to consider the final text, and the need for any possible amendments, in sufficient detail.

5.  In your Oral evidence to the CAEC on 7 February 2012, you confirmed that the UK Government's policy on arms export licences was still: "We will not issue licences where we judge there is a clear risk the proposed export might provoke or prolong regional or internal conflicts, or which might be used to facilitate internal repression." Why is there no comparable wording in the draft Treaty? Do you accept that the current draft ATT constitutes a substantially more lax policy on arms exports than in your own statement above to the Committees and in the UK Government's Consolidated Criteria set out in Annex 3 of the Committees on Arms Export Control's latest report published on 13 July 2012?

If adopted in the form sent to the UNGA, the draft Treaty would contain provisions dealing with conflict and internal repression, although maybe not using those specific terms; the draft Treaty would require signatories to assess whether a proposed export would contribute to or undermine peace and security. Also, they should assess if a proposed export could be used to commit or facilitate a serious violation of international human rights law or international humanitarian law. Where an overriding risk exists the export will not be authorised.

On the second point, the UK operates one of the highest standard systems in the world and, unfortunately, an ATT agreed by 193 UN Member States is unlikely to reach that standard. As we have always maintained, the ATT is a floor not a ceiling. Even so, the current draft, if adopted, would see significant improvements to the current situation; not least by introducing the first ever set of global commitments on national arms export controls.

6.  Do you accept that the current draft Arms Trade Treaty constitutes a substantially more lax policy on arms exports than that adopted by EU Member States in the EU Common Position set out in Annex 4 of the Committees on Arms Export Controls' latest Report published on 13 July 2012?

The ATT is not designed to be a comparator with the highest standards of a small number of states, but to provide a context for arms exports for the majority of states that currently have few or no such standards.

The ATT negotiations were undertaken by the entire UN Membership, and had to take account of all their different viewpoints, priorities and national arms control systems. I do not think it is therefore appropriate to compare it directly with the EU Common Position, an agreement that was conducted between 27 European States. The draft should be considered on its own merits. It would, if adopted, bring significant improvements to the current situation, including:

  • A first ever set of global commitments on national arms export controls;
  • The first ever international legally binding agreement on the transfer of small arms and light weapons;
  • A mandatory requirement for arms exports—including ammunition and military parts and components—to be assessed on the basis of criteria including human rights, and a mandatory refusal if they pose unacceptable risks;
  • Mainstreaming sustainable development and anti-corruption into arms export controls;
  • A requirement for states to regulate brokering;
  • Mandatory reporting on authorisations or actual transfers of conventional arms.

The ATT was always going to be a floor not a ceiling, and states should be allowed, and encouraged, to operate higher standards where appropriate.

7.  In your Oral evidence to the Committees on 7 February 2012, you said: "We are very firmly committed to securing a robust, effective and legally binding Arms Trade Treaty." Why are there no provisions or mechanisms in the draft specifically making it legally binding in international law?"

It is not necessary for the draft Treaty to have specific provisions or mechanisms to make it legally binding. It is clear from the language used in the operational sections of the Treaty what the obligations for States Parties are, e.g. the use of words like "agree" "shall" and "States Parties" signal the intention by the negotiating States that the Treaty is to be legally binding upon entry into force. Therefore, upon ratification a State Party will be legally bound by the Treaty provisions under international law and required to implement it in its domestic system.

8.  In your oral evidence to the Committees on 7 February 2012, you said: "We are aiming for a treaty that covers all conventional weapons, including small arms, light weapons, and ammunition." Why, when Article 2A (1) states that "This Treaty shall apply to all conventional arms…" and goes on specifically to include small arms and light weapons, is ammunition not included in Article 2A (1)? Does the provision applying to export of ammunition in Article 6 (4) of the draft Treaty constitute a substantially more lax policy on ammunition exports than would be the case if ammunition was included in categories of conventional arms listed in Article 2A (1)?

We have always argued for an ATT that covers ammunition. However, the inclusion of ammunition in an ATT was a controversial issue for a number of states. The provisions in the draft Treaty, if adopted in the form sent to the UNGA, would ensure that the prohibitions in Article 3 and the assessment procedures in Article 4 (1-5) should apply equally to exports of ammunition. This would ensure that they are subject to the same human rights assessments as items in the ATT's scope.

9.  In your Written Ministerial Statement of 13 October 2011 you said: "The Government will continue to work to improve public information on defence and security exports, including enhanced transparency of routine export licensing decisions…" Do you accept that the provisions in Article 10 of the draft Treaty on Reporting and Record-Keeping are substantially inferior to the standard of public information on defence and security exports and on transparency adopted by the UK Government?

The UK operates one of the most transparent export control systems in the world so I do not think it is appropriate to compare a draft Treaty negotiated between 193 UN Member States directly with our national system. The draft ATT, if adopted in the form sent to the UNGA, would create significant improvements to the current situation by requiring states to keep records and report on authorisations or actual transfers of conventional arms under the scope of the Treaty. There is also a requirement to report on what activities have been undertaken to implement the Treaty's obligations.

Agreeing an ATT is very much the start of a longer process; Meetings of States Parties will provide the opportunity to share best practice to improve the implementation and application of the ATT by state signatories. The UK will continue to operate, in this area and in others, by the standards of its own domestic legislation.

10.  Replying to the Arms Trade Treaty debate in the House of Commons on 12 July, the Foreign Office Minister Alistair Burt, referring to the then ongoing Arms Trade Treaty negotiations in New York, said: "a particular problem that has dogged the first two weeks has come from a small group of states that continue to try to thwart the will of the vast majority of the international community, using a smokescreen of procedural points to stop substantive engagement on the issues that really matter." Which were the countries who constituted the "small group of states" to whom Alistair Burt referred?

As you would expect, there was a range of views expressed at the Conference and it is important that we continue to engage with all states where they have legitimate concerns.

We feel it is important to continue to engage with all UN Member States on ATT, in order to achieve the broadest, ideally universal, participation of states in an eventual Treaty. Therefore, I do not feel it is appropriate to name specific states.

11.  Replying to the Arms Trade Treaty debate in the House of Commons on 12 July 2012, the Foreign Office Minister Alistair Burt said: "All groups whether characterised by age, gender, ethnicity, religion or other, should be afforded protection by an ATT." Under Article 4 (6b) of the draft Treaty, each State Party is required to take feasible measures to avoid arms "being used to commit or facilitate gender-based violence or violence against children". Why is violence based on ethnicity or religion omitted?

It has always been the UK's view that all groups should be afforded protection by an ATT and the draft achieves that through the inclusion of strong provisions on human rights and international humanitarian law.

However, gender based violence and violence against children are important issues that many states wanted to see specifically highlighted by the Treaty. This does not mean that those who suffer violence based on ethnicity or religion are afforded less protection by an ATT. The most important thing was to ensure that all groups were afforded the same protection through strong human rights and international humanitarian law criteria, and that has been achieved in the current draft.

12.  Does the Government consider that Government/Government agency to Government/Government agency military goods exports or transfers on:

a.  A fully commercial basis;

b.  A concessionary price basis;

c.  A gift basis;

Fall within or outside the ambit of the draft Arms Trade Treaty?

We consider that all the above exports would fall inside the ambit of an ATT. The draft Treaty sent to UNGA does not apply to the international movement of conventional arms by a State Party for its armed forces or law enforcement authorities outside its national territories, only provided the conventional arms remain under the State Party's ownership.

13.  Was the UK Government prepared to adopt the Arms Trade Treaty on 27 July 2012 as drafted? If not, please could you explain why not?

Like the overwhelming majority of other states, we supported the Conference President's draft Treaty text and we were ready to agree to it last month. We were disappointed that some States pressed for more time. However, we recognise that to be fully effective, the Treaty will need very broad—ideally universal—participation. Our judgement is that the text provides a solid base to work with. The UN General Assembly in the Autumn will be the next opportunity to discuss the Treaty amongst the whole UN membership.

14.  Is there a risk that, as a result of the 90 countries who were expecting to adopt the draft ATT on 27 July 2012, not doing so, there will be no Arms Trade Treaty entering into force in the foreseeable future?

As a small group of states had requested more time to consider the draft, the President recognised that consensus had not been secured and the draft text could not be adopted. However, the text provides a solid base from which to work and we remain committed to securing a robust and effective ATT, with broad support, including by the current and future major arms exporters, as soon as possible.

15.  Is it the case that if the draft Arms Trade Treaty is put to the vote at the UN General Assembly and is passed by a two thirds majority, the Treaty would enter into force following the deposit of the 65th instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession?

The ATT, if adopted in the form sent to UNGA, would enter into force 90 days after the deposit of the 65th instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession.[280]

198.  In an Oral evidence session on the Arms Trade Treaty on 10 September 2012 the Committees questioned Alistair Burt, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, FCO. When asked about whether, in conceding the need for consensus to agree the Treaty, there was a risk that no Arms Trade Treaty might be agreed at all, the Minister replied: "That has always been a risk. It was a risk before people entered into the conversation, it remains a risk today and it will be a risk in six months' time."[281] He said that:

if we reach a point at which it is clear that we will not achieve the aims and objectives that the Government have set out to the House on a number of occasions, it may be necessary to change our approach, take another tack and go with other nations to seek an agreement under the UN procedure, which is by majority rather than by consensus.[282]

When asked whether he agreed with criticism by Oxfam that the draft Treaty was too weak due to lack of clarity, that it did not cover all conventional weapons, was ambiguous about ammunition and unconvincing on the issue of human rights, the Minister said that he did not agree with the criticism, but said that the Government could do better. He said that: "We would all like to see the most perfect arms trade treaty. We are not going to get that, but, where we might like to do better, we will continue to press for that."[283]

199.  On 7 November 2012, the First Committee of the UN General Assembly voted in favour of a draft resolution calling for the 'Final United Nations Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty' to be convened in New York from 18 to 28 March 2013 to 'finalize the elaboration of the Arms Trade Treaty' and on a draft text. In separate votes on the decision to hold the conference during those dates, and to negotiate on the basis of the July 2012 draft text, Iran alone voted against. The new conference would negotiate on the basis of the draft treaty text submitted by the President of the July 2012 UN Diplomatic Conference. The resolution as a whole was adopted by 157 votes to nil with 18 abstentions.[284] The resolution stipulated that the conference was to be held under the same 'consensus' rules of procedure that governed the first DipCon, allowing any one country to block adoption of a treaty, as had happened in July.[285] On 24 December 2012 the UN General Assembly adopted an updated text on the Arms Trade Treaty by 133 in favour, none against and 17 abstentions.[286] It was also decided to convene the Final United Nations Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty in New York from 18 to 28 March 2013, to be governed by the rules of procedure adopted on 3 July 2012.[287]

200.  On 29 November 2012 the Foreign Office Minister Alistair Burt wrote to me updating the Committees on the progress of the Arms Trade Treaty. In the letter the Minister said that the Government was "looking hard" at the draft Treaty to identify where the Government wanted to see it improved. He said that the Diplomatic Conference in March 2013 presented an opportunity to "push for improvements." He cautioned that in re-opening sections of the text in order to argue for them to be strengthened the Government would need to guard against the "risk of delicate balances struck in July being unravelled and the negotiations becoming unmanageable." He said that there was a strong case to prioritise changes that the Government should pursue. The Minister said that the UK Government would work intensively to build the necessary consensus around a clear set of priorities in advance of the Conference in March.[288]

201.  The UK Working Group (UKWG) stated in its Written submission to this inquiry that many states had expressed frustration to UKWG members that the UK focus was too much directed at concluding a treaty that supported universality over strength and the interests of major exporters including the US and other members, rather than at promoting the strongest ATT that would be supported by a large majority of states. The UKWG was concerned that the UK Government approach contradicted previous policy to seek a robust treaty aimed at addressing the serious humanitarian concerns of states related to that element in the arms trade which was irresponsible.[289] The Export Group on Aerospace and Defence (EGAD) expressed, in its Written evidence, disappointment in the outcome of the July 2012 negotiations and that no final text had been agreed. It stated that if the Arms Trade Treaty initiative was to be successfully achieved and result in a beneficial Treaty it would need to represent a "mutually acceptable balance between a multiplicity of widely differing and in some instances competing understandings of what is proposed and needed."[290] Transparency International stated in its Written evidence that the UK Government should ensure that ATT should address the issues of corruption, bribery and the lack of transparency that allowed "these practices to continue unnoticed." It stated that there had been growing support for anti-corruption to be included in the ATT with an unprecedented number of UN member states "speaking out for its inclusion at the ATT negotiations in July 2012." Transparency International called for the UK Government to work with other states that had been calling for anti-corruption to be included in the Treaty to strengthen the draft text and to make sure that anti-corruption risk assessment applied to ammunition and parts and components.[291] Andrew Feinstein, founding Director of Corruption Watch UK, said in his Written evidence that he was concerned that "little mention" was made of anti--corruption criteria, measures and their enforcement in the draft text of the Treaty circulated at the conclusion of the July Conference. He believed that such a provision was essential to a meaningful Treaty and encouraged the UK Government to push for it. He also felt that there was limited possibility of the UK's arms export behaviour changing fundamentally in the event of an ATT being agreed. He concluded that "a strong enforceable ATT would have to be impartial and applied consistently across the world" and urged Parliament to encourage the UK Government to take the lead in ensuring its own arms export legislation and practices were consistent and strictly implemented.[292]

202.  Martin Butcher, UKWG, told the Committees during the Oral evidence session on 3 December 2012:

I do not think that there is certainty that we will get a treaty in March. The conference in March will run on the same consensus rule that the treaty ran on in July, so any one state can block adoption of a treaty at the end of the conference. Iran is a sceptic state concerning the ATT—there are others: Syria, Algeria and Egypt spring to mind—but it could equally be that, if negotiations have gone badly, a state friendly to the ATT would want to block to stop a weak treaty being adopted. However, thanks to the First Committee resolution, we now have the fall-back that, either in the late spring or early summer of next year, during the continuing 67th session of the UN General Assembly, a draft treaty can be taken to an Extraordinary Session of the GA and voted through on a two-thirds majority; or, if that cannot be worked out, then a treaty will be taken through the First Committee and then the General Assembly process in the autumn, where again a two-thirds majority will suffice. That will cut out all of the sceptic states. We know that we can get a treaty on a two-thirds majority, and a strongish treaty at that.[293]

He continued by saying that it was important that a robust Arms Trade Treaty was agreed to rather than a universal one. He said that the "track record of strengthening treaties once they have been adopted is not good".[294]

203.  On 5 December 2012 I wrote to the Foreign Secretary asking to be provided with the Government's priority areas for improving the draft Arms Trade Treaty.[295] The Foreign Secretary replied on 15 December 2012. The Foreign Secretary's reply was classified as restricted and therefore cannot be published.

204.  In the Oral evidence session with the Secretaries of State on 19 December 2012 the Committees asked the Foreign Secretary about the problems of achieving a consensus agreement for the Arms Trade Treaty. The Foreign Secretary told us that "consensus is not an absolute requirement. It is preferable [...] However, if it proves impossible, our view is that we cannot delay an arms trade treaty indefinitely." He continued: "If it cannot be achieved by consensus then we will have to do our best to get as many signatures and supporters in a different way. The consensus principle is preferable since we are trying to get global standards for regulating the arms trade."[296] When asked how effective the Treaty would be, the Foreign Secretary told us:

There are things by which the text that was before us in July could be improved, such as removing some of the loopholes that might be argued to exist in the current drafting, greater clarity on public reporting, improving the language on prohibited transfers and getting clear the procedures for amending the treaty in the future so that it can be kept relevant. There is this question about ammunition and ensuring that the European Union can become a party to the treaty. There are things that are desirable in improving the text, but, at the same time, we have to remember that we were getting very close to an agreement on the basis of consensus on the basis of the July text.[297]

205.  In a follow-up to the Oral evidence session on 19 December 2012 I put the following question to the Foreign Secretary on 9 January 2013:

When we questioned Alistair Burt on the Arms Trade Treaty negotiations in September when asked if it was a risk to concede to the need for consensus in agreeing a Treaty the Minister replied: "That has always been a risk...It remains a risk today and will be a risk in six months time." Is it still felt to be a risk that a requirement for consensus could result in no Arms Trade Treaty, and if so, how significant is that risk?

The Foreign Secretary replied in a letter on 6 February 2013 stating:

In December, the United Nations General Assembly agreed to hold a final Arms Trade Treaty negotiating conference in March under the same consensus rule of procedure as applied to the July Conference last year. If consensus is not achieved at the Conference, it will be open to States to adopt the text of the Treaty by a majority vote in special session of the UN General Assembly. But agreement on a robust ATT with the broadest possible adherence continues to be the Government's priority, in order to ensure that the Treaty has the greatest possible impact in saving lives and livelihoods. We will therefore spare no effort to try to achieve consensus in March.[298]

206.  On 24 December 2012 the United Nations General Assembly, during its sixty-seventh session, agreed a Resolution (67/234) which confirmed as a fall-back position that the Arms Trade Treaty would be agreed by a two-thirds majority at a UN General Assembly meeting to be held as soon as possible after 28 March 2013 if agreement by consensus could not be achieved at the ATT negotiating conference in March 2013.[299]

207.  The final UN Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty was held in New York between 18 and 28 March. Following intense negotiations Iran, Syria and Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) prevented a consensus agreement for adoption of the Treaty, complaining that the Treaty was flawed and that it failed to ban weapons sales to rebel groups.[300] Following the failure to reach consensus at the UN Conference the draft text for the Treaty was put to the UN General Assembly and was passed by an overwhelming majority (154 votes in favour. Three Member States—DPRK, Iran and Syria—voted against the decision, while 23 countries abstained.[301]).[302] The Treaty opened for signatures and ratification on 3 June 2013 at the UN General Assembly and will enter into force shortly after it has been ratified by 50 states.[303] The final agreed text of the Arms Trade Treaty is at Annex 9 of this Report. The substantive changes between the draft text Treaty in July 2012 and the text of the adopted Treaty are:

  • the agreed Treaty includes an Article relating to Ammunitions/Munitions (Article 3) requiring each State Party to establish and maintain a national control system to regulate the export of ammunition/munitions fired, launched or delivered by the conventional arms covered under Article 2(1);
  • the agreed Treaty includes an Article relating to Parts and Components (Article 4) requiring each State Party to establish and maintain a national control system to regulate the export of parts and components where export is in a form that provides the capability to assemble the conventional arms covered under Article 2(1);
  • the agreed Treaty includes an additional requirement for respecting and ensuring respect for international humanitarian law in accordance with the Geneva Convention of 1949 and respecting human rights in accordance with the Charter of the United nations and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights;
  • the agreed Treaty includes an Article relating to Diversion (Article 11) which was not included in the draft text; and
  • the agreed Treaty includes for the provision of a Secretariat to assist the State parties.[304]

208.  Commenting on the Arms Trade Treaty agreement the Foreign Secretary said: "This is [...] a major achievement for the United Nations. The world at last has a robust and legally-binding Arms Trade Treaty." He continued: "The world wanted this Treaty and would not be thwarted by the few who sought to prevent the introduction of robust, effective and legally-binding controls on the international trade in weapons." He said:

This Treaty will save lives and make the world a safer place. It will require governments to block transfers of weapons that pose unacceptable risks and to take strong steps to prevent weapons being diverted into illegal markets. Authorisations will be reported and arms brokering regulated. At the same time, the legitimate trade in arms, vital for national defence and security, will be upheld.[305]

The Prime Minister, David Cameron, said:

This is a landmark agreement that will save lives and ease the immense human suffering caused by armed conflict around the world.

It will reduce the number of illegal arms and make it harder for these to reach the hands of criminals and terrorists who are set on using them to destroy the lives of others.

We should be proud of the role Britain has played to secure this ambitious agreement, working with international partners to secure this momentous step that will make our world safer for all.[306]

209.   In commenting on the agreement of the ATT Saferworld said on its website that "States must now put their words into action, with strong implementation of their commitments." It stated that one of the strongest elements of the treaty is that it prohibits states from transferring arms when they know they would be used to commit genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. The prohibitions apply to all conventional arms covered by the Treaty, in addition to ammunition and munitions, and parts and components.[307] Amnesty International stated that whilst not everything that was wanted by campaigners was included in the text of the Treaty, it could be amended in the future and that it "has many strong rules it provides a firm foundation on which to build an international system to curb the flow of arms to those who would commit atrocities, both in war and in peace time."[308]

210.  The UK was amongst the first of the countries to sign the Arms Trade Treaty when it became open for signature on 3 June 2013. In his speech upon signing the Arms Trade Treaty on behalf of the UK, the Foreign office Minister, Alistair Burt said:

For the United Kingdom, the ATT has been a real joint effort with government, industry and civil society all working together for the delivery of a Treaty that is strong, responsible and implementable.

The Arms Trade Treaty matters because, as soon as it is brought into force:

  • It will save lives.
  • It will promote sustainable development by enabling resources to reach schools, healthcare services, and critical infrastructure rather than being wasted on conflict.
  • It will reduce human suffering by preventing arms being used in serious violations of human rights and international humanitarian law.
  • And it will help to combat terrorism and crime by steadily reducing the unfettered proliferation of weapons which threaten the security of not only the countries where terrorists base themselves, but also their neighbours and the rest of the world.

At the same time, the Treaty will protect the legitimate arms trade, allowing states to access and acquire weaponry to lawfully defend themselves, but it will also ensure that this process is not circumvented, abused or exploited by the unscrupulous who care little for the pain and suffering they inflict.

The Treaty is now the international blueprint for the regulation of conventional arms and it is a fresh starting point for international cooperation. We will encourage States to rigorously implement the Treaty, to be transparent in their implementation and to go further than the minimum standards of regulation required by the Treaty.

We urge all States to make this a priority. The world has already waited too long and we should not and will not lose the momentum gained. Our goal is early Entry into Force and universal application.[309]

211.  I propose that the Committees conclude that the adoption by the UN of the first ever international arms trade treaty applying to conventional arms as a whole in the Arms Trade Treaty of 2013 is most welcome and congratulates Ministers and their officials, under both the previous Labour Government and the present Coalition Government, on their contribution to this unprecedented international achievement. I propose that the Committees also welcome the fact that the UK was amongst the first of the countries to sign the Arms Trade Treaty when it became open for signature on 3 June 2013. I propose that the Committees recommend in its Response that the Government states by what date the UK will also ratify the Treaty.

212.  I propose that the Committees further recommend that the Government states in its Response:

a)  what changes it will be making to its arms export controls:

i.  primary legislation;

ii.  secondary legislation;

iii.  Government administrative procedures and guidance; and

iv.  Government policy

to ensure the UK Government is fully compliant with all provisions in the Arms Trade Treaty stating, in each case, the date the change will come into effect; and

b)  what steps it will be taking to ensure that the ratification of the Arms Trade Treaty by the minimum of 50 countries necessary to bring it into force is achieved in the shortest possible time.

Cluster Munitions

213.  Cluster munitions are canisters that contain a number of smaller explosive bomblets or sub-munitions. When fired by artillery, or dropped by aircraft, the canister spreads the bomblets over a wide area. They are commonly used against soft targets such as troops, trucks and lightly armoured vehicles, or as area denial weapons to prevent the enemy from operating freely.[310]

214.  The Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM) prohibits all use, stockpiling, production and transfer of cluster munitions. Separate articles in the Convention concern assistance to victims, clearance of contaminated areas and destruction of stockpiles. The Convention was adopted in Dublin by 107 states on 30 May 2008 and signed on 3 December the same year. The Convention became binding in international law when it entered into force on 1 August 2010.[311]

215.  On 25 March 2010 Royal Assent was given to the Cluster Munitions (Prohibitions) Act. The main purpose of the Act is to create criminal offences in order to enforce the prohibitions set out in Article 1 of the Convention on Cluster Munitions that was signed by the Foreign Secretary in Oslo on 3 December 2008. Article 1 of the Convention prohibits States Parties from using, developing, producing, otherwise acquiring, stockpiling, retaining or transferring cluster munitions; and from assisting, encouraging or inducing anyone else to engage in these prohibited activities.[312]

216.   The Cluster Munitions (Prohibitions) Act 2010 also includes prohibitions relating to the financing of cluster munitions production. In a Written Ministerial Statement on 7 December 2009, the then Minister for Europe, Chris Bryant, stated that the Bill would ensure that the direct financing of cluster munitions would be prohibited and that the "provision of funds directly contributing to the manufacture of these weapons would therefore become illegal." However the Convention does not prohibit the indirect financing of cluster munitions and this was not included within the scope of the Bill and it is not, therefore, illegal to finance, or invest in, companies that manufacture a range of goods, including cluster munitions and their components. The Minister said that in an effort to "see a complete end to cluster munitions" there was a need for consultation to ensure the development of "the most appropriate and effective measures to end indirect financing". He said that the then Government would "work with the financial sector, non-governmental organisations and other interested parties, to promote a voluntary code of conduct to prevent indirect financing and if necessary would use their right to initiate legislation."[313]

217.  In his reply to an Adjournment debate in the House of Commons on 9 November 2011, initiated by Martin Caton, the Minister for Europe, David Lidington, said that "the UK and the Government remain fully committed to the objective of ridding the world entirely of cluster munitions" and that "the Government are fully committed to seeking a global ban on cluster munitions. That is a Government priority, and we continue to promote the universalisation of the CCM [Convention on Cluster Munitions] during all relevant bilateral meetings, as well as in multilateral forums." He continued: "The UK remains fully committed to the convention on cluster munitions and to a world free of cluster munitions. That is the standard we shall adhere to, that all states should aspire to and that we will continue to promote."[314]

218.  At the conclusion of the 4th Review Conference of the Convention on Cluster Munitions, held in Geneva from 14-25 November 2011, it was reported that the attempt by the United States and other cluster bomb manufacturers, including Russia, China, Israel, India and Pakistan, to secure agreement to Protocol 6, which would have weakened the existing Convention, had failed.[315] The UK was part of a coalition of countries that defeated the US Protocol.[316]

219.  The Committees' Conclusion and Recommendations on cluster munitions in its 2012 Report (HC 419) and the Government's Response (Cm8441) were as follows:

The Committees' Recommendations and Conclusion:

The Committees recommend that the Government in its Response to this Report sets out what steps it will take in relation to UK-based financial institutions who may be financing, directly or indirectly, or investing in manufacturers of cluster munitions. The Committees conclude that the Government's decision to resist attempts to weaken the Convention on Cluster Munitions with draft Protocol 6 was welcome. The Committees further recommend that the Government continues to strive strenuously for, as the Minister for Europe David Lidington has stated, "a world free of cluster munitions."[317]

The Government's Response:

The Cluster Munitions (Prohibitions) Act 2010 comprehensively implements in UK law the prohibitions on the use, transfer, production and stockpiling of cluster munitions which are set out in the Convention on Cluster Munitions. Financing and investment are not mentioned in the Convention. Consequently, the concepts are not mentioned in the UK's Cluster Munitions (Prohibitions) Act, which was faithfully modelled upon the definitions and requirements of the Convention and thus enabled us to ratify the Treaty. During the passing of the Act it was, however, made clear that the direct financing of cluster munitions production was captured by the Act's prohibitions on assisting a prohibited act, and is therefore illegal. Indirect financing—such as the purchase of shares in or the provision of loans to large multinational conglomerates that amongst often many other activities may be involved in the manufacture of cluster munitions—is not captured by the prohibitions of the Act. We consider this form of indirect financing an issue for individual institutions to consider under their own investment charters and social corporate responsibility agendas. The Government believes that active diplomatic efforts by the UK and other states to globalise the Convention and support clearance work in affected countries are the areas in which the UK Government can add most value to our shared goal of globalising the ban on cluster munitions and tackling their humanitarian impact. We will continue to use all appropriate bilateral and multilateral opportunities to promote the universalisation of the Convention and its ambition of a world free of cluster munitions.[318]

220.  Following publication of the Government's United Kingdom Strategic Export Controls Annual Report 2012 the Committees wrote to the Government asking two questions about cluster munitions. The questions and answers were as follows:

The Committees' question:

Which countries have ratified the Convention on Cluster Munitions additional to the 66 countries listed in the Foreign Secretary's letter of 7 January 2012 to the Chairman of the Committees?[319]

The Government's answer:

Togo, Switzerland, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Mauritania, Honduras, Hungary, Peru, Sweden.

The Committees' question:

What in the Government's view, is the reason for the large disparity between the 111 states becoming signatories to the Convention and only 66 states ratifying it, and what precise steps is the Government taking to increase the number of ratifying states?

The Government's answer:

The pace of ratification has been slow. There are a number of reasons for this including a failure to prioritise ratification after signature, bureaucratic capacity constraints and delays in introducing enabling legislation. Nevertheless, fourteen countries ratified or acceded to the Convention on Cluster Munitions between the 2nd and 3rd meetings of State Parties (September 2011 to September 2012). In total 77 countries are now States Parties to the CCM. This leaves 34 signatories yet to ratify. The gap will continue to narrow over the next 12 months. The UK continues to encourage states to prioritise ratification and has provided practical support, for example by organising a workshop on the CCM for Commonwealth countries, sharing experience of the UK's stockpile destruction programme, and sharing UK legislation with interested countries. The Government will continue to work closely with the NGO community and the Chairs of the Universalisation Working Group in Geneva to co-ordinate and prioritise universalisation efforts over the coming 12 months in order to maximise the impact of this work.[320]

221.  UKWG informed the Committees in its written submission that no progress had been seen in establishing consultation, putting in place a voluntary code of conduct or introducing further legislation in relation to the indirect financing of, or investing in, companies manufacturing cluster munitions or their components. Nevertheless, an increasing number of UK-based financial institutions were strengthening their policies on investments in companies involved in the production of cluster munitions, including the Royal Bank of Scotland, Lloyds, Aviva, Co-operative Financial Services and HSBC. Nevertheless, at least nine UK financial institutions are understood to continue to invest in companies producing cluster munitions. UKWG remained concerned that the present Government appeared to have rejected the previous Government's commitment to end indirect investments in cluster-munitions producers.

222.  UKWG said that it is of importance that the UK Government engaged with financial institutions and NGOs through a multi-stakeholder process to provide guidance. Financial institutions had indicated that they would benefit from such guidance and leadership from the UK Government on this issue to harmonise policies and practice.[321]

223.  In the Oral evidence session on 3 December 2012 Oliver Sprague told us that UKWG had had a number of meetings with "a whole range of UK financial institutions and banks and, while recognising the difficulties in this area, they are all sympathetic to the idea that they wish to phase out indirect financing for these weapons." He said that they wanted to see a voluntary code of conduct. All the NGOs working in this area thought that this was a good idea and he pointed out the previous Government's Ministerial Statement, which was supported by all the parties at the time, and the banks said "it was a good idea".[322]

224.  We asked the Foreign Secretary, during the Oral evidence session 19 December 2012 whether the Government had any plans to introduce or broker a voluntary code of conduct on indirect financing of cluster munitions. The Foreign Secretary replied:

A number of banks have issued clear statements about this already, I am pleased to say. RBS, Lloyds and HSBC have issued statements saying that they would not knowingly invest in cluster munitions producers. [...] We think that a voluntary approach by the banks on this issue is preferable to intervention by the Government. We welcome what those banks have done, and we will now monitor what approach other financial institutions take. I would encourage them also to spell out their position clearly. I would hope that that would deal with the issues. We would prefer a voluntary approach led by the banks themselves, but I would not rule anything out if we do not get that.[323]

When challenged that the FCO should be taking a more active interest in ensuring good practice by UK financial institutions and that those institutions that had not yet publicly adopted a code of conduct are proactively encouraged to do so, the Foreign Secretary responded by saying:

We are taking an active interest, as you can gather, and monitoring closely which ones do this and which ones do not. I am happy to say now that if there is not sufficient progress on this, with financial institutions across the board making their approach clear, we will have to ratchet up the reminders, the pressure and the greater active interest from the Government. I am not ruling anything out, but I would like them to do this themselves. That is the simplest, easiest way for it to be done. I do not rule anything out. If, when I come back to the Committee in a year's time, we have not seen a lot more financial institutions do it, we will look at further options.[324]

225.  I propose that the Committees recommend that in its Response the Government states:

a)  how many countries have now signed the Convention on Cluster Munitions and which countries it is currently urging to become signatories;

b)  how many countries have now ratified the Convention and which of the countries that are now only signatories it is currently urging to ratify the Convention;

c)  what steps it is taking to encourage the United States, Russia, China and Israel to become signatories and/or to ratify the Convention;

d)  whether the Government is satisfied or not with the progress by the financial institutions in producing voluntary codes of conduct against the indirect financing of the production of cluster munitions and their components; and

e)  whether the Government continues to consider a Government Code of Conduct or Government legislation against the indirect financing of the production of cluster munitions and their components as policy options.

Small arms and light weapons

226.  According to the United Nations (UN) "the proliferation of small arms and light weapons (SALW) in various parts of the globe continues to pose a systemic and pervasive threat to the long-term social and economic development of many nations, particularly in small developing states. SALW are indiscriminate and their effects are devastating, regardless of age, gender, religion, or ethnicity." Over the years, the United Nations has significantly enhanced the global efforts to combat the proliferation of SALW. In 2001, the adoption of the United Nations Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All its Aspects (PoA), the subsequent adoption of the International Tracing Instrument, and the Firearms Protocol of the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, have established an overall framework within which Member States and regional organizations have, both individually and collectively, enacted numerous legislative and administrative measures to combat the proliferation of these weapons. Of these, only the Firearms Protocol, which entered into force in 2005, is legally binding.[325]

227.  The Second Conference to Review Progress Made in the Implementation of the Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects was held in New York between 27 August and 7 September 2012. At the end of the Conference the United Nations issued an official "Outcome document" that specified the decisions made at the Conference.[326] United Nations member states confirmed their commitment to fight illegal arms trading and to protect children in armed conflict. The international community undertook to step up its commitment to fight illegal firearms and protect women and children in armed conflict. A more ambitious result was hoped for by many Governments, yet for all United Nations member states to agree on a common goal and on concrete measures to reach this goal was seen as an important contribution to conflict prevention and disarmament.[327]

228.  The European Union's Strategy to combat illicit accumulation and trafficking of SALW and their ammunition was adopted on 15-16 December 2005. The objectives of the Strategy are to:

a)  foster effective multilateralism so as to forge mechanisms, whether international, regional or within the EU and its Member States, for countering the supply and destabilising spread of SALW and their ammunition. The Union must strengthen its export control policies and activities in coordination with its partners;

b)  meet requests by States seeking to reduce their surplus stocks of SALW and their ammunition, either under a stockpile reduction policy or by participating in Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration operations;

c)  promote the restructuring of some industrial sites producing low-cost SALW in Eastern and South-East Europe;

d)  allow the implementation of measures to address the underlying factors favouring the illegal demand for SALW. The Union must tackle the fundamental causes of instability, inter alia by pursuing and stepping up its efforts with regard to political conflicts, development aid, poverty reduction and the promotion of human rights;

e)  support the strengthening of the effective rule of law in countries which remain unstable, so as to limit the propensity of local people to provide for their own defence and hence to keep hold of quantities of SALW, whose presence enables crises to degenerate in a cycle of aggression and reprisals which it is impossible to control in a weak State.[328]

229.  Following publication of the Government's United Kingdom Strategic Export Controls Annual Report 2012 the Committees wrote to the Government asking four questions about small arms and light weapons. The questions and answers were as follows:

The Committees' question:

What is the relationship of the UN Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons to the UN Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in all its Aspects?

The Government's answer:

The UN Convention on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons Which May be Deemed to be Excessively Injurious or to have Indiscriminate Effects (CCW for short) is one of the principal instruments of international humanitarian law aimed at regulating the means and methods of warfare. The UN Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All its Aspects (UNPoA) is a politically binding programme of action. The two instruments are complementary, but there is no direct relationship between the two.

The Committees' question:

What is the International Tracing Implement?

The Government's answer:

The United Nations has identified that the tracing of illicit small arms and light weapons (SALW) is a key mechanism for national, regional and/or international efforts to prevent, combat and eradicate illicit small arms and light weapons.

The International Tracing Instrument is the process which sets out the guidelines to ensure that States are able to track systematically illicit small arms and light weapons found or seized on the territory of a State by allowing States to identify and trace SALW in a timely and reliable manner, from the point of manufacture or the point of importation, through the lines of supply to the point at which they (SALW) became illicit, through marking and record keeping.

The purpose of this instrument is also to promote and facilitate international cooperation and assistance in marking and tracing and to enhance the effectiveness of, and complement, existing bilateral, regional and international agreements to prevent, combat and eradicate the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons in all its aspects.

The choice of methods for marking small arms and light weapons and the choice of methods for record-keeping are both national prerogatives. States will ensure that, whatever method is used, all marks required under this instrument are conspicuous without technical aids or tools, easily recognizable, readable, durable and, as far as technically possible, recoverable. States will further ensure that accurate and comprehensive records are established for all marked small arms and light weapons within their territory and maintained as follows: (a) Manufacturing records (by manufacturing companies) for at least 30 years; and (b) All other records, including records of import and export, for at least 20 years.

The International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) assists States in the effective implementation of this instrument.

Interpol may, at the request of the concerned State, assist with: (a) Facilitation of tracing operations conducted within the framework of this instrument; (b) Investigations to identify and trace illicit small arms and light weapons; (c) Wherever possible, building national capacity to initiate and respond to tracing requests.

The Committees' question:

What was the outcome of the UN Programme of Action Review Conference, and in what respects did the outcome fulfil the UK Government's objectives and in what respects did it fail to do so?

The Government's answer:

The UNPoA is a politically-binding agreement of all UN members, adopted in 2001 by consensus, to combat illegal small arms and light weapons (SALW), which fuel conflict and crime, and undermine development. The UNPoA encourages and coordinates assistance to implement, enforcement by police and customs, weapons tracing, stockpile security and destruction, and effective export controls.

The Review Conference, held every 6 years, was an opportunity to assess the impact of work to date and draw lessons to strengthen the UNPoA. The conference achieved consensus on a text reaffirming existing commitments to the UNPoA. Since the last such meeting in 2006 failed to reach agreement, this was widely welcomed as the first positive outcome from a part of the UN disarmament machinery in two years.

Along with EU partners and many other member states, the United Kingdom worked hard on long list of possible improvements that could strengthen the PoA and achieved a number of positive steps forward in the following areas: a) the recognition that small arms and light weapons can be used to undermine human rights laws; b) improvements to the implementation of the International Tracing Instrument to promote international cooperation in marking and tracing illicit SALW; and c) the creation of a voluntary sponsorship fund.

The Committees' question:

What was the text of the Government's latest annual report to the UN Programme of Action?

The Government's answer:

The UK Government report was submitted in March 2012 ahead of the Preparatory Conference on the UN Programme of Action and can be viewed online at:

http://www.poa-iss.org/CASACountryProfile/PoANationalReports/2012@205@United%20Kingdom-2012-E.pdf[329]

230.  I propose that the Committees recommend that the Government states in its Response:

a)  what steps it is taking to achieve full implementation of the UN Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All its Aspects;

b)  what steps it is taking to achieve full implementation of the EU's Small Arms and Light Weapons Strategy; and

c)  how far the UN Programme and the EU Strategy will, or will not, be superseded by the small arms and light weapons elements of the Arms Trade Treaty when it comes into force.

Landmines

231.  The 1997 Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on their Destruction is the international agreement that bans antipersonnel landmines. It is usually referred to as the Ottawa Convention or the Mine Ban Treaty. The Convention was concluded by the Diplomatic Conference on an International Total Ban on Anti-Personnel Land Mines at Oslo on 18 September 1997.[330]

232.  Pursuant to its Article 15, the Convention was opened for signature at Ottawa, Canada, by all States from 3 December 1997 until 4 December 1997, and at the United Nations Headquarters in New York from 5 December 1997 until its entry into force on 1 March 1999. The Convention is subject to ratification, acceptance or approval of the Signatories, as well as to accession by any State which has not signed it. This means that the State shall formally declare its consent to be bound by the Convention in accordance with its constitutional arrangements for adherence to an international agreement. These constitutional arrangements generally require domestic action by the national parliament. Once the domestic requirements have been completed, the State concerned deposits the instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession with the Secretary-General of the United Nations, in his capacity as the Convention's depositary, thus indicating adherence to the Convention (Article 16). 161 States have formally agreed to be bound by the Convention.[331]

233.  The Convention bans the use, stockpiling, production and transfer of anti-personnel mines. In addition, states that accede to the Convention accept that they will destroy both stockpiled and emplaced anti-personnel mines and assist the victims of mines.[332] According to the Arms Control Association there is some hope that because of the Convention new international norms have formed that discourage any country, signatory or not, from using mines. Many non-signatories are in de facto compliance with the Ottawa Convention by refusing to use landmines and committing to voluntary destruction of stockpiles. Still, millions of mines are estimated to be planted in the ground in 59 countries. Global Anti-Personnel Landmine stockpiles are thought to total more than 100 million mines.[333]

234.  I propose that the Committees recommend in its Response that the Government states:

a)  which countries have yet to accede to the Ottawa Landmines Convention; and

b)  what steps it is taking to try to secure the accession of the remaining countries to the Convention.

The Wassenaar Arrangement

235.  The Wassenaar Arrangement was established in order 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 destabilising accumulations. Participating States seek, through their national policies, to ensure that transfers of these items do not contribute to the development or enhancement of military capabilities which undermine these goals, and are not diverted to support such capabilities. The decision to transfer or deny transfer of any item is the sole responsibility of each Participating State. All measures with respect to the Arrangement are taken in accordance with national legislation and policies and are implemented on the basis of national discretion.

236.  Representatives of Participating States meet regularly in Vienna where the Wassenaar Arrangement's Secretariat is located. The Participating States of the Wassenaar Arrangement are: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Romania, Russian Federation, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom and United States.[334]

237.  The eighteenth Plenary meeting of the Wassenaar Arrangement, chaired by Ambassador Konrad Max Scharinger of the Federal Republic of Germany, was held in Vienna on 11 to 12 December 2012. The Public Statement of the Plenary Session states that:

  • the Arrangement has continued its efforts to contribute to international and regional security and stability by promoting transparency and greater responsibility in the transfer of conventional arms and dual-use goods and technologies, thus preventing destabilizing accumulations;
  • participating States have agreed to make further use of the Regional Views exercise, implementing a rotating focus on geographic regions.;
  • participating States agreed to conduct further work on addressing new challenges, including emerging technologies of concern;
  • participating States have continued to work actively to make the existing control lists more readily understood and user-friendly for licensing authorities and exporters, and to ensure the detection and denial of undesirable exports;
  • export controls were strengthened in a number of areas including spacecraft and passive counter-surveillance equipment of mobile telecommunications. In addition certain relaxations were introduced for gas turbine engines and machine tools, and the cryptography note was revised;
  • participating States have also decided to conduct a comprehensive and systematic review of the Wassenaar Lists to ensure their continued relevance; and
  • significant efforts had been undertaken to promote the Arrangement and to encourage voluntary adherence to the Arrangement's standards by non-Participating States.

The next Wassenaar Arrangement Plenary meeting will take place in Vienna in December 2013.[335]

238.  Following publication of the Government's United Kingdom Strategic Export Controls Annual Report 2012 the Committees wrote to the Government asking two question about the Wassenaar Arrangement. The questions and answers were as follows:

The Committees' question:

What steps is the Government taking to facilitate China's participation in the Wassenaar Arrangement as the only Permanent Member of the UN Security Council who, from the Foreign Secretary's letter of 7 January 2012, is not currently a participating state?

The Government's answer:

At the time of writing, China had not made an application for membership of the Wassenaar Arrangement. The Arrangement is open, on a global and non-discriminatory basis, to prospective adherents that comply with the agreed criteria. Applications are decided by consensus. The criteria can be found on the website of the Arrangement at:

http://www.wassenaar.org/guidelines/docs/Guidelines%20and%20procedures%20including%20the%20Initial%20Elements.pdf. As a Participating State, the UK plays an active role in the Arrangement's outreach to prospective participants.

The Committees' question:

What objectives does the Government wish to achieve at the next Wassenaar Arrangement Plenary Meeting in December 2012?

The Government's answer:

The Plenary Committee is the decision-making body of the Wassenaar Arrangement, which meets annually. The United Kingdom will use the opportunity of the plenary in December 2012 to work with other Participating States to ensure the Arrangement continues to fulfil its aims:

a)  ensuring that transfers of conventional arms and transfers in dual-use goods and technologies are carried out responsibly and in furtherance of international and regional peace and security;

b)  enabling the exchange of information that will enhance transparency;

c)  enhancing cooperation between Participating States.[336]

239.  Following receipt of the Government's Response (Cm8441) to the Committees' 2012 Report (HC 419) I wrote to the Foreign Secretary with the following question (under the heading of the National Counter-Proliferation Strategy for 2012-15) relating to the Wassenaar Arrangement:

The Committees' question:

Which countries, who are "major technology exporters", are not yet members of:

The Australia Group,

The Missile Technology Control Regime,

The Nuclear Suppliers Group,

The Wassenaar Arrangement,

and what specific steps is the Government taking in the case of each of those countries to try to achieve its membership of the relevant Group, Regime and Arrangement?

The Government's answer relating to the Wassenaar Arrangement:

c)  There are 41 Participating States in the Wassenaar Arrangement. The major technology exporters who are outside of the Arrangement include: China, Israel, India and Pakistan. At the present time none of the states mentioned have made an application to join the Wassenaar Arrangement. As pointed out in the Annex to the Foreign Secretary's letter of 12 November, the Arrangement is open, on a global and non-discriminatory basis, to prospective adherents that comply with the agreed criteria. Applications are decided by consensus. As a Participating State, the UK plays an active role in the Arrangement's outreach to prospective participants, for example taking part in a visit to Serbia earlier this year.[337]

240.   I propose that the Committees recommend that the Government in its Response states:

a)  how far its objectives for the Wassenaar Arrangement were fulfilled at the Plenary meeting in December 2012;

b)  what steps it is taking to encourage China to make an application for membership of the Wassenaar Arrangement; and

c)  which other significant arms exporting countries, in addition to China, should desirably become members of the Wassenaar Arrangement;

d)  what the Government wishes to see achieved at the Wassenaar Arrangement Plenary meeting in December 2013; and

e)  what outcome the Government wishes to see from the review of the Wassenaar Arrangement export control lists and what input it will be making to this review.

The UN Register of Conventional Arms (UNROCA)

241.  The United Nations Register of Conventional Arms (UNROCA) was established in 1991 and is managed by the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs. The website of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) states that UNROCA was established to 'enhance con?dence, promote stability, help States to exercise restraint, ease tensions and strengthen regional and international peace and security" and to prevent the excessive and destabilizing accumulation of arms in order to promote stability and strengthen regional or international peace and security. SIPRI state that the Register is the key international mechanism of official transparency on arms transfers. All UN member states are requested to provide to UNROCA information on exporting and importing countries, number of units transferred, and intermediate state or state of origin for all imports and exports of seven categories of conventional arms, namely: battle tanks, armoured combat vehicles, large-calibre artillery systems, combat aircraft, attack helicopters, warships, and missiles and missile launchers. States are also invited to submit information on their holdings and procurement from domestic production of major conventional weapons, as well as imports and exports of small arms and light weapons.[338]

242.  At the beginning of each year, the UN Secretariat issues a note verbale based on the relevant General Assembly resolution, which calls upon Member States to provide data and information on international transfers of conventional arms covered by the Register, while inviting them also to report on additional background information. The note verbale contains an attachment, consisting of the standardized reporting forms on exports and imports, along with an explanatory notes, the simplified "nil" reporting form, and the definition of the seven categories of equipment covered by the Register. General Assembly Resolutions 46/36 L and 47/52 L calls upon Member States to provide data annually on the number of items in seven defined categories of conventional arms imported into or exported from their territory. The Resolutions also invite Member States to provide available background information regarding their military holdings, procurement through national production and relevant policies. Furthermore, Member States are encouraged to inform the Secretary-General of their national arms import and export policies, legislation and administrative procedures both on authorization of arms transfers and prevention of illicit transfers.P338FP338FP338FP338FP338F[339]

243.  Following publication of the Government's United Kingdom Strategic Export Controls Annual Report 2012 the Committees wrote to the Government asking two questions about the UN Register of Conventional Arms. The questions and answers were as follows:

The Committees' question:

Does the UK Government's annual report to the UN Register of Conventional Arms include military equipment exports and transfers out of the UK by the Government and by Government bodies as well as by commercial exporters? Will the equipment gifted or granted by the Government in 2011, as detailed in Table 2.4, and the Government to Government exports of military equipment, as detailed in Section 4, be included in the UK Government's annual report to the UN Register of Conventional Arms?

The Government's answer:

The Government would include government exports/transfers from the UK in its return if they were being sold or gifted to another State. If the equipment was remaining under UK control then it would not be included. If any equipment detailed in Sections 2.4 or 4.1 of the Annual Review of Strategic Export Controls meets the criteria for the relevant sections of the UN Register then it will be reflected in the UK's report to the Register.

The Committees' question:

Has there been any increase in the number of UN member states making reports to the UN Register of Conventional Arms during 2011 and 2012? If so, which countries?

The Government's answer:

The UN provides a breakdown of reports to the UN Register of Conventional Arms on its website: http://www.un.org/disarmament/convarms/Register/

87 States provided reports in 2011. At the time of writing, 36 have reported for 2012. The UK continues to advocate a widening and broadening of the categories. We will continue to do so each time the Group of Governmental Experts (GGE) sits to evaluate the Register.[340]

244.  I propose that the Committees conclude that the Government is right to include in its annual report for the UN Register of Conventional Arms Government military equipment it gifts, as well as sells, to other States, and recommends that it encourages other Governments to do likewise. I propose that the Committees recommend that the Government states in its Response what progress it is making in widening the categories of military equipment that are to be reported to the UN Register of Conventional Arms.

The Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty (FMCT)

245.  The control of fissile material—highly enriched uranium and plutonium—is a key element in countering nuclear proliferation. In 1946 the United Nations Atomic Energy Agency produced a report to the UN Security Council recommending the prohibiting of national manufacturing and possession of fissile materials. In 1957, the UN General Assembly adopted a Resolution to ban their production for weapons and in 1993 the UN General Assembly passed a Consensus Resolution which:

i.  Welcomed the significant progress in reducing nuclear-weapon arsenals as evidenced by the substantive bilateral agreements between the Russian Federation and the USA and their respective unilateral undertakings regarding the disposition of fissile material;

ii.  Welcomed also the initiative of the USA concerning a multilateral, internationally and effectively verifiable treaty on the prohibition of the production of fissile material for the nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices;

iii.  Welcomed further the decision taken by the CD [Conference on Disarmament] on 10 August 1993 to give its Ad Hoc Committee on a Nuclear Test Ban a mandate to negotiate a universal and internationally and effectively verifiable comprehensive nuclear test ban treaty, and fully endorsing the contents of that decision;

iv.  Convinced that a non-discriminatory, multilateral and internationally and effectively verifiable treaty banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices would be a significant contribution to nuclear non-proliferation in all its aspects,

  • Recommended the negotiation in the most appropriate international forum of a non-discriminatory multilateral and internationally and effectively verifiable treaty banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices;
  • Requested the IAEA [International Atomic Energy Authority] to provide assistance for examination of verification arrangements for such a treaty as required;
  • Called upon all states to demonstrate their commitment to the objectives of a non-discriminatory, multilateral and internationally and effectively verifiable treaty banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices;
  • Decided to include in the provisional agenda of its forty-ninth session an item entitled "Prohibition of the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices."[341]

246.  There are currently nine countries with nuclear weapons, China, France, Russia, United Kingdom, United States of America—the five Permanent Members of the UN Security Council (the )—together with India, Israel, North Korea and Pakistan.[342] The Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty (FMCT) is a proposed international treaty to prohibit the further production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other explosive devices.

247.  In 1995 the Conference on Disarmament adopted the Shannon Mandate (named after Canadian Ambassador Gerald Shannon) to negotiate a non-discriminatory, multilateral and internationally effective verifiable treaty banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices.[343] The use of the word "cut-off" (i.e. preventing future production) has raised the question as to how the Treaty would also cover existing stocks of fissile material. The primary debate that surfaced during the Shannon discussions centred on the inclusion of rules that would cover both existing stockpiles and the future production of fissile material.[344] Pakistan has been the only country blocking the start of negotiations for more than three years because of a 2008 agreement by the world's key nuclear technology suppliers to lift long-standing restrictions on nuclear trade with India. Pakistan has maintained that a fissile material ban must cover existing stocks of fissile material instead of only halting future production.[345]

248.  The Committees' Recommendation on policy towards the Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty in their 2012 Report (HC 419) and the Government's Response (Cm8441) were as follows:

The Committees' Recommendation:

The Committees recommend that the Government in its Response to this Report sets out what policies it is pursuing to break the deadlock at the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva over the drafting of a Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty and whether it supports the transfer of responsibility for the drafting of this Treaty to the United Nations in New York.[346]

The Government's Response:

The Government remains committed to achieving a Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty (FMCT). The United Kingdom announced in 1995 that it had ceased all production of fissile material for explosive purposes. An FMCT would constrain production of fissile material for weapons purposes by putting in place a legally binding and verifiable ban on the future production of such material for use in nuclear weapons or other explosive devices.

The Government will continue to engage in discussions with key countries in order to make progress on this issue. Most recently, the UK participated in the Conference in Washington (27-29 June). In a statement following the Conference, the "reiterated their support for the immediate start of negotiations on a treaty encompassing such a ban in the Conference on Disarmament, building on CD/1864, and exchanged perspectives on ways to break the current impasse in the Conference on Disarmament, including by continuing their efforts with other relevant partners to promote such negotiations within the Conference on Disarmament."

The Government remains convinced that the Conference on Disarmament is the best forum for negotiating an FMCT, and does not support the transfer of responsibility for drafting such a Treaty to the United Nations in New York. The Conference on Disarmament contains key countries that we want to see involved in a Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty and operates under the principle of consensus, which provides the reassurance that these States will need in order to participate in a FMCT. It is highly unlikely that all of these States would participate in negotiations within a forum operating under majority vote, such as the UN General Assembly. So, whilst a change of venue for FMCT negotiations may circumvent the Conference on Disarmament deadlock in the short term, it is unlikely to result in a Treaty which all the major players would sign and ratify.[347]

249.  Following receipt of the Government's Response to the Committees Recommendations I wrote to the Foreign Secretary with the following question:

Given that a Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty looks no more likely to be successfully negotiated at the deadlocked Conference on Disarmament in Geneva in the foreseeable future than it has since negotiations started because of the consensus principle, why does the Government consider it is preferable to have no Fissile Missile Cut-off Treaty at all rather than one drafted and approved by the majority of UN members in New York?

The Foreign Secretary replied:

The UK supports a Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty (FMCT) which would put in place a world-wide, legally-binding and verifiable ban on the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons and other nuclear explosive devices. We want to negotiate a FMCT that includes all of the countries able to produce fissile material for weapons purposes and we share the international community's frustration with the continuing stalemate in the Conference on Disarmament.

We do not see negotiations outside the CD, in the UN General Assembly for example, as the optimum way forward for FMCT. Whilst such an approach may help us to get around the CD deadlock in the short term, it is unlikely to ultimately result in a Treaty regime to which all of the relevant players are signed up. Their adherence is essential if an FMCT is to have the full arms-control benefits which we all want to see.

At the UN General Assembly First Committee, the UK voted for the Canadian resolution establishing a UN Governmental Group of Experts (GGE) and will participate in its discussions to clarify the issues relevant to an FMCT in order to inform future negotiations within the CD. The resolution, however, was clear that the mandate of the GGE is not to negotiate a treaty. If the current blockage is cleared during the life of the GGE and FMCT Treaty negotiations began within the CD, the work of the GGE would stop.[348]

250.  In the Westminster Hall debate on 13 December 2012 I said:

In their answers to the Committees, the Government said that their policy is to keep responsibility for drafting that crucially needed treaty in Geneva, notwithstanding that there has been deadlock for years. Will the Government at least set a deadline for the start of the drafting of that treaty in Geneva? It is a matter of judgment what the deadline should be. I would offer one of, say, the end of calendar year 2013. Will they at least consider setting a deadline? If no drafting takes place, the obvious next step must be to take the responsibility for the drafting back to the United Nations. Alongside that question, will the Government tell the Committees what action they are taking within the , all of whom basically support a fissile material cut-off treaty, to maximise pressure to secure progress on that treaty?[349]

251.  Michael Fallon, the Minister for State for Business and Enterprise, who responded to the debate on behalf of the Government wrote a follow-up letter to me answering the question relating to the FMCT above. The Minister wrote:

Agreeing legally binding restrictions on the production of fissile material for use in nuclear weapons would be a significant milestone in global disarmament efforts. This is why the Government has remained steadfast in its commitment to finding a way forward on starting negotiations on a robust and effective FMCT. We have made clear to Pakistan that their blockage at the Conference on Disarmament should end.

We all feel frustration at the lengthy impasse at the Conference on Disarmament (CD) in Geneva. But it is only through the CD that we will ever be able to achieve an FMCT that is robust and that, importantly, commits all of the relevant States to cease production of fissile material for use in nuclear weapons. An FMCT without Pakistan would not achieve this aim and setting a deadline for the commencement of negotiations would not of itself convince Pakistan to engage in negotiations.

We and the other countries are actively investigating routes to starting negotiations at the CD. The UK fully supports the Group of Government Experts mandated at this year's UN General Assembly First Committee to discuss and clarify issues relevant to an FMCT in order to inform future negotiations at the CD.[350]

252.  I propose that the Committees recommend that the Government sets out in its Response:

a)  what specific routes to starting negotiations on the Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty (FMCT) at the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva the British Government and the other countries are actively investigating; and

b)  whether it will give further consideration to setting a deadline for the start of negotiations on the FMCT at the Conference on Disarmament and to transferring the responsibility for starting the negotiations to the UN, or to another international forum, if that deadline is not met.

The Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR)

253.  The Missile Technology Control Regime is an informal and voluntary association of countries which share the goals of non-proliferation of unmanned delivery systems capable of delivering weapons of mass destruction, and which seek to coordinate national export licensing efforts aimed at preventing their proliferation. The MTCR was originally established in 1987 by Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States. The number of MTCR partners has now increased to a total of thirty-four countries, all of which have equal standing within the Regime.

254.  The MTCR was initiated partly in response to the increasing proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), i.e., nuclear, chemical and biological weapons. The risk of proliferation of WMD was recognized as a threat to international peace and security, including by the UN Security Council in its Summit Meeting Declaration of January 31, 1992. While concern had traditionally focussed on state proliferators, after the events of 11 September 2001, it became evident that more also has to be done to decrease the risk of WMD delivery systems falling into the hands of terrorist groups and individuals. One way to counter this threat is to maintain vigilance over the transfer of missile equipment, materials, and related technologies usable for systems capable of delivering WMD.

255.  The MTCR rests on adherence to common export policy guidelines (the MTCR Guidelines) applied to an integral common list of controlled items (the MTCR Equipment, Software and Technology Annex). All MTCR decisions are taken by consensus, and MTCR partners regularly exchange information about relevant national export licensing issues. National export licensing measures on these technologies make the task of countries seeking to achieve capability to acquire and produce unmanned means of WMD delivery much more difficult. As a result, many countries, including all MTCR partners, have chosen voluntarily to introduce export licensing measures on missiles and other unmanned air vehicle delivery systems or related equipment, materials and technology.P350FP350FP350FP350FP350F[351]

256.  Following publication of the Government's United Kingdom Strategic Export Controls Annual Report 2012 the Committees wrote to the Government asking two questions about the Missile Technology Control Regime. The questions and answers were as follows:

The Committees' question:

What steps is the Government taking to facilitate China becoming a Missile Technology Control Regime partner, being the only Permanent Member of the UN Security Council who is not a partner currently, according to the Foreign Secretary's letter to the Committees of 7 January 2012?

The Government's answer:

The Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) met for its annual Plenary on 24 October in Berlin. The discussions between MTCR Partners are confidential to the MTCR.

The Committees' question:

What were the Government's objectives for the 2012 Missile Technology Control Regime Plenary, and which were achieved and which were not?

The Government's answer:

The UK's key objectives for the 2012 Plenary are:

  • To deliver updates on proliferation threats
  • To support assessment of emerging technologies and ensure controls are up to date
  • To share best practices in licensing enforcement
  • To discuss with partners whether MTCR controls are correctly balanced to ensure against proliferation whilst not restricting legitimate trade
  • To support new membership to the MTCR and encourage an outreach programme to assist with this

The UK was satisfied with the MTCR meeting. There was a thorough exchange of information, sharing of best practices and technical discussions. Further information on the MTCR is available at: http://www.mtcr.info/english/index.html[352]

257.  Following receipt of the Government's Response (Cm8441) to the Committees' 2012 Report (HC 419) I wrote to the Foreign Secretary with the following question (under the heading of the National Counter-Proliferation Strategy for 2012-15) relating to the Missile Technology Control Regime:

The Committees' question:

Which countries, who are "major technology exporters", are not yet members of:

The Australia Group,

The Missile Technology Control Regime,

The Nuclear Suppliers Group,

The Wassenaar Arrangement,

and what specific steps is the Government taking in the case of each of those countries to try to achieve its membership of the relevant Group, Regime and Arrangement?

The Government's answer relating to the Missile Technology Control Regime:

There are 34 Partners to the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR). The main technology exporters who remain outside of the regime include: China, Israel, India and Pakistan. The UK considers membership applications against the MTCR membership criteria. The UK supports outreach engagement with supplier states to ensure awareness of the MTCR guidelines and technical annex, and to engage in membership discussions as appropriate.[353]

258.  The Government has stated that the main missile technology exporters who remain outside the Missile Technology Control Regime include China, Israel, India and Pakistan. I propose that the Committees recommend that the Government states in its Response with which of those countries it has had, or will be having, discussions about membership of the MTCR.

The G8 Global Partnership Against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction

259.  The Member States of the Global Partnership include the seven major industrial countries (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States) together with Russia. The Global Partnership now also includes as donor participants non-G8 States, including Australia, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, South Korea, Sweden, and Switzerland., The G8 duty presidencies have begun to invite a number of emerging countries to G8 sessions. This usually includes the G5, which is made up of Brazil, the People's Republic of China, India, Mexico, and South Africa. On 27 June 2002, during the 2002 Summit, the G8 (the seven major industrial countries plus Russia) issued a statement outlining a new initiative, entitled the "Global Partnership Against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction." It committed the G8, except for Russia, to raising up to $20 billion over the next 10 years to fund nonproliferation projects, principally in Russia but also in other countries. The so-called "10 plus 10 over 10" initiative, agreed to at the G8 summit on 26-27 June 2002 in Kananaskis, Canada, called for the United States to contribute $10 billion, and the other G8 countries apart from Russia to contribute a combined $10 billion to help Russia and other countries to destroy their stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) over 10 years. The G8 leaders adopted a set of "six principles" that outlined broad goals for the initiative and "nine guidelines" for new projects. Under these guidelines, the Global Partnership was given the ability to initiate bilateral and multilateral projects and enhance existing ones, such as those under the long-standing U.S. Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction Program. The G8 decided to establish a senior-level mechanism to coordinate Global Partnership activities, including monitoring progress and identifying priorities. Russian President Putin agreed to provide contributing States the same privileges it accords the United States, namely access to sites, tax exemptions, and liability protection.[354]

260.  In May 2011, at the G8 summit in Deauville, France renewed the Global Partnership Against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction. The mandate that aimed to prevent terrorists and non-WMD states from obtaining weapons of mass destruction was set to expire in 2012, but due to its success the Partnership was extended. The extension was needed to address the areas covered during the G8 2010 summit in Huntsville, Ontario, Canada, from 25-26 June 2010: securing nuclear and radiological materials, bio-security, engagement of weapons scientists in the field of non-proliferation, and implementation of the UN Security Council Resolution 1540—a resolution obliging states to implement a range of domestic measures against WMD terrorism. The G8 leaders expressed their continued commitment to completing the "priority projects" in Russia, such as destroying the nation's chemical weapons stockpile. In addition, expansion of the Partnership was addressed by the members, but it was not mentioned which countries could be potential candidates.[355]

261.  From 2002-2012, the UK committed over £350 million of funding to Global Partnership projects. In 2011 the renewed Global Partnership agreed four priorities, which are all closely aligned with Britain's National Security Strategy:

  • nuclear security
  • biological security
  • scientist engagement in the WMD field
  • implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1540—summarised in paragraph 260 above.

The Global Threat Reduction Programme (GTRP) is the UK's main programme of overseas assistance to counter proliferation of Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear (CBRN) materials. The Department of Energy and Climate Change is responsible for implementing the nuclear and radiological elements of the GTRP, and the Ministry of Defence manages the chemical weapon destruction and biological elements of the programme. The Foreign & Commonwealth Office hold the overall policy responsibility.[356]

262.  In the Committees' Recommendation on the National Counter-Proliferation Strategy for 2012-15 in their 2012 Report (HC 419) the Committees included a recommendation relating to the G8 Global Partnership; the relevant part of the Recommendation and the Government's Response were as follows:

The Committees' Recommendation:

The Committees recommend that the Government in its Response to this Report:

details the Government's planned expenditure, and on what projects, under the G8 Global Partnership delivering chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) security improvements on the ground.[357]

The Government's Response:

The G8-based Global Partnership against the spread of weapons and materials of mass destruction (GP) was set up in 2002 as a 10-year, US$20 billion initiative, with a strong focus on tackling the legacy of the former Soviet Union's WMD programmes. At the G8 Summit in Deauville in 2011, it was extended with four future priorities: nuclear security, biological security, scientist engagement and support to implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1540. These Global Partnership priorities align closely with existing UK national security objectives.

The Global Threat Reduction Programme (GTRP) is the UK's contribution to the Global Partnership. The UK's national security strategy recognises a chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear (CBRN) attack by international terrorists as one of the highest priority risks to national security. The GTRP remains a key element in the UK's work to counter this risk. GTRP projects have a budget of £15.55 million in Financial Year 2012-13. Over the year we will complete Cold War nuclear legacy projects in Russia and continue the process of closing out some of our long-term projects in the Former Soviet Union as we shift our main focus—along with that of the Global Partnership—towards new and emerging priorities.

This year will see the completion of the Closed Nuclear Cities / Centres Partnership (CNCP) which facilitated employment opportunities for former nuclear weapons personnel in Russia and the Former Soviet Union. We will continue our work to secure highly active radiological sources in Ukraine. We continue our close cooperation with the IAEA, including by supporting their Nuclear Security Fund, which benefits a number of countries. We will also continue our close cooperation with US-managed nuclear security initiatives to secure and prevent the illicit trafficking of nuclear and radiological material in a number of countries.

Our biological security programming continues in the Former Soviet Union, in particular Tajikistan and Georgia, where we run a number of scientist engagement and training projects. The programme is also expanding to new areas, with new projects approved in Afghanistan and the Middle East and North Africa. We continue to work closely with international partners, in order to reduce costs and avoid duplication. We have also set up collaboration agreements with the World Health Organisation (WHO), Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) and the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) to allow us to carry out projects which meet both health and security objectives (the "health-security interface"), for example strengthening management of biological risk.[358]

263.  Following receipt of the Government's Response (Cm8441) to the Committees' 2012 Report (HC 419) I wrote to the Foreign Secretary with the following question (under the heading of the National Counter-Proliferation Strategy for 2012-15) relating to the G8 Global Partnership:

The Committees' question:

i)  Has a reference to Annex A of Cm8441 been omitted?

ii)  What is the total amount of:

a)  funds committed and

b)  funds spent

by the UK as its contribution to the Global Partnership against the spread of weapons and materials of mass destruction?

iii)  What is the total amount of:

a)  funds committed and

b)  funds spent

by each of the other countries contributing to the Global Partnership?

iv)  What steps are the Government taking to publicise to members of both Houses of Parliament and generally the scale and the details of the contribution of successive British Governments to the Global Partnership?

The Government's answer:

i)  It appears so. Annex A: the UK contribution to the Global Partnership—detailing UK funding commitments and spend on Global Partnership projects was included in Command Paper 8441.[359]

ii)   a)  As per Annex A of Cm 8441: total funds committed through the Global Threat Reduction Programme (GTRP) for 2002-12 were £332m. The GTRP budget for 2012-13 is £15.55m.

b)   As per Annex A of Cm 8441: total funds spent for 2002-2012: £330m.

iii)  The Global Partnership was conceived as a 10-year, US$20 billion initiative to prevent terrorists, or states that support them, from acquiring or developing weapons of mass destruction (WMD). Not all GP countries publish or make public their financial contributions to the GP. But the current United States Global Partnership Presidency notes that GP partners spent, collectively over the 2002-2012 period, US$21 billion.

iv)  The Global Threat Reduction Programme (GTRP) is the UK's contribution to the Global Partnership and HMG publishes the progress, strategy and funding of GTRP work in an annual report each year. The House of Commons Foreign Select Committee highlighted the work of the Global Partnership in its report 'Global Security-Non Proliferation: "The G8 Global Partnership, and the UK's contribution to it through the Global Threat Reduction Programme, are continuing to deliver important results in reducing the risks of a security breach occurring in relation to weapons of mass destruction". The Government has also taken the opportunity to provide, over the last ten years, details of the British Government contribution to the Global Partnership through, for example, replies to Parliamentary Questions in both Houses. A representative selection of these is at Annex A([360]).[361]

264.   I propose that the Committees conclude that the UK's expenditure of £322 million by the previous and present Governments from 2002 to 2012 in the Global Threat Reduction Programme—this being the UK's contribution to the G8-based Global Partnership against the spread of weapons and materials of mass destruction—has been fully merited and very necessary. I propose that the Committees recommend that the Government states in its Response what its Global Threat Reduction Programme planned expenditure will be in 2013-14, 2014-15 and 2015-16.

The Nuclear Suppliers Group

265.  Nuclear energy supplier countries recognised the responsibility to ensure peaceful uses of nuclear energy and international co-operation. They accepted that such co-operation did not contribute to the proliferation of nuclear weapons. Shortly after entry into force of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) in 1970, multilateral consultations on nuclear export controls led to the establishment of two separate mechanisms for dealing with nuclear exports: the Zangger Committee in 1971 and what has become known as the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) in 1975. The NSG is a group of nuclear supplier countries that seeks to contribute to the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons through the implementation of two sets of Guidelines for nuclear exports and nuclear-related exports.

266.   The NSG Guidelines contain the so-called "Non-Proliferation Principle," adopted in 1994, whereby a supplier, notwithstanding other provisions in the NSG Guidelines, authorises a transfer only when satisfied that the transfer would not contribute to the proliferation of nuclear weapons. The Non-Proliferation Principle seeks to cover the rare, but important, cases where adherence to the NPT or to a Nuclear Weapon Free Zone Treaty may not by itself be a guarantee that a State will consistently share the objectives of the Treaty or that it will remain in compliance with its Treaty obligations. The NSG Guidelines facilitate the development of trade by providing the means whereby obligations to facilitate peaceful nuclear cooperation can be implemented in a manner consistent with international nuclear non-proliferation norms.[362]

267.  At the 2012 Seattle Plenary, which took place on 21-22 June 2012 in Seattle, USA, participating Governments reiterated their firm support for the full, complete and effective implementation of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). They further emphasized that many challenges remain to the international nuclear non-proliferation regime. In particular:

  • Participating Governments exchanged information on positive and negative developments in the nuclear non-proliferation regime; they also focused on specific regions and countries of concern.
  • Within the framework of the NSG's mandate, concerns were shared about the proliferation implications of the nuclear programmes of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) and Iran. The NSG reiterated its long-standing support for diplomatic efforts for a solution to the Iranian nuclear issue based on the NPT and the full implementation by Iran of United Nations Security Council and International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Board of Governors Resolutions, and for a solution to the DPRK nuclear issue in a peaceful manner consistent with the 2005 Joint Statement of the Six-Party talks.
  • Participating Governments called on all states to exercise vigilance and make best efforts to ensure that none of their exports of goods or technologies contribute to nuclear weapons programs.

The NSG noted the need to address proliferation concerns without hampering legitimate trade and reaffirmed the importance of licensing and enforcement based on NSG Guidelines and control lists. The NSG therefore:

  • approved an amendment to Part One of the NSG Guidelines in relation to access to nuclear material for peaceful purposes;
  • emphasized the importance of keeping its lists up to date with technological developments and took stock of the ongoing fundamental review process of the Trigger and Dual-Use Lists including the approved changes to reactors and isotope separation;
  • approved a paper to guide the NSG's outreach programme;
  • continued to consider all aspects of the implementation of the 2008 Statement on Civil Nuclear Cooperation with India and discussed the NSG relationship with India;
  • noted the utility of industry engagement and approved revising the guidance on such efforts;
  • discussed brokering and transit and agreed to consider these matters further;
  • discussed and exchanged information and best practices on licensing and enforcement;
  • agreed to revise and update the NSG's website; and
  • agreed that it would update INFCIRC/539 "The Nuclear Suppliers Group: Its Origins, Role and Activities".P362FP362FP362FP362FP362F[363]

268.  Following publication of the Government's United Kingdom Strategic Export Controls Annual Report 2012 the Committees wrote to the Government asking a question about the Nuclear Suppliers Group. The question and answer were as follows:

The Committees' question:

What was the outcome of the Nuclear Suppliers Group Plenary in Seattle in June 2012, and how far did the outcome meet, or fail to meet, the Government's objectives?

The Government's answer:

The outcomes of the 2012 Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) Plenary are reflected in the agreed public statement which may be viewed at:

http://www.nuclearsuppliersgroup.org/Leng/PRESS/2012-06-Seattle_NSG_Public_Statement__FINAL_.pdf

The NSG:

  • approved an amendment to Part One of the NSG Guidelines in relation to access to nuclear material for peaceful purposes;
  • emphasised the importance of keeping its lists up to date with technological developments and took stock of the ongoing fundamental review process of theTrigger and Dual-Use Lists including the approved changes to reactors and isotope separation;
  • approved a paper to guide the NSG's outreach programme;
  • continued to consider all aspects of the implementation of the 2008 Statement on Civil Nuclear Cooperation with India and discussed the NSG relationship with India;
  • noted the utility of industry engagement and approved revising the guidance on such efforts;
  • discussed brokering and transit and agreed to consider these matters further;
  • discussed and exchanged information and best practices on licensing and enforcement;
  • agreed to revise and update the NSG's website; and
  • agreed that it would update INFCIRC/539 "The Nuclear Suppliers Group: Its Origins, Role and Activities".

The Government was satisfied with the outcomes from the meeting and particularly welcomed the progress made in the comprehensive review of the NSG's control lists, where UK experts have made significant contributions.[364]

269.  Following receipt of the Government's Response (Cm8441) to the Committees' 2012 Report (HC 419) I wrote to the Foreign Secretary with the following question (under the heading of the National Counter-Proliferation Strategy for 2012-15) relating to the Nuclear Suppliers Group:

The Committees' question:

Which countries, who are "major technology exporters", are not yet members of:

The Australia Group,

The Missile Technology Control Regime,

The Nuclear Suppliers Group,

The Wassenaar Arrangement,

and what specific steps is the Government taking in the case of each of those countries to try to achieve its membership of the relevant Group, Regime and Arrangement?

The Government's answer relating to the Nuclear Suppliers Group:

The Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) has 47 Participating Governments. Major technology holders who remain outside of the NSG include; India, Pakistan and Israel. Suppliers of dual use technology who are not members include the UAE, Malaysia, and Singapore. The UK considers membership applications against the NSG membership criteria. The UK supports outreach by the NSG to supplier states in order to ensure awareness of the NSG Guidelines and control lists, and to engage in membership discussions as appropriate.[365]

270.  The Government has stated that the major technology holders who remain outside of the Nuclear Suppliers Group include India, Pakistan and Israel, and that suppliers of dual-use technology who are not members include the UAE, Malaysia and Singapore. I propose that the Committees recommend that the Government states in its Response with which of those countries it has had, or will be having, discussions about membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group.

The Australia Group

271.  The Australia Group (AG) is an informal forum of countries which, through the harmonisation of export controls, seeks to ensure that exports do not contribute to the development of chemical or biological weapons. Co-ordination of national export control measures assists Australia Group participants to fulfil their obligations under the Chemical Weapons Convention and the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention to the fullest extent possible. The principal objective of Australia Group participants is to use licensing measures to ensure that exports of certain chemicals, biological agents, and dual-use chemical and biological manufacturing facilities and equipment, do not contribute to the spread of chemical and biological weapons (CBWs). The Group achieves this by harmonising participating countries' national export licensing measures. The Group's activities are especially important given that the international chemical and biotechnology industries are a target for proliferators as a source of materials for CBW programmes. Export licensing measures also demonstrate the determination of Australia Group participants to avoid not only direct but also inadvertent involvement in the spread of Chemical and Biological Weapons, and to express their opposition to the use of these weapons. It is also in the interests of commercial firms and research institutes and of their Governments to ensure that they do not inadvertently supply chemicals, chemical equipment, biological agents or biological equipment for use in the manufacture of Chemical and Biological Weapons. Global chemical and biological industries have firmly supported this principle.P365FP365FP365FP365FP365F[366]

272.  Following publication of the Government's United Kingdom Strategic Export Controls Annual Report 2012 the Committees wrote to the Government asking two questions about the Australia Group. The questions and answers were as follows:

The Committees' question:

Does the Government plan to take part in an outreach visit to the Russian Federation as a non-Australia Group country?

The Government's answer:

There are no outreach visits planned to the Russian Federation for the year 2012-2013. The Russian Federation has requested that no further visits should take place at the present time.

The Committees' question:

Does the Government consider that China, India or the Russian Federation may become Australia Group participating countries in the foreseeable future?

The Government's answer:

Although these countries have signalled interest in membership, neither China, India nor the Russian Federation have submitted formal expressions of interest. Outreach visits to China continue on an annual basis—the last in May 2011. India was last visited in May 2012. The UK participated in both visits.[367]

273.  Following receipt of the Government's Response (Cm8441) to the Committees' 2012 report (HC 419) I wrote to the Foreign Secretary with the following question (under the heading of the National Counter-Proliferation Strategy for 2012-15) relating to the Australia Group:

The Committees' question:

Which countries, who are "major technology exporters", are not yet members of:

The Australia Group,

The Missile Technology Control Regime,

The Nuclear Suppliers Group,

The Wassenaar Arrangement,

and what specific steps is the Government taking in the case of each of those countries to try to achieve its membership of the relevant Group, Regime and Arrangement?

The Government's answer relating to the Australia Group:

The Australia Group (AG) focus is on those countries that have large or developing chemical industries, e.g. China, India, Pakistan, or those which act as transhipment hubs, e.g. Singapore, Vietnam. Universal adherence to AG guidelines is the goal rather than universal membership. To this end, every year the AG Plenary decides which countries they will plan to visit for outreach. The aim of outreach visits is to raise awareness of the AG and its working methods; to encourage greater enforcement of export control systems and to identify areas where training and assistance might be provided.[368]

274.  I propose that the Committees recommend that, as the Government has said that the Australia Group focus is on those countries that have large or developing chemical industries, for example China, India and Pakistan, or those which act as transhipment hubs, such as Singapore and Vietnam, it states in its Response what steps it is taking to ensure UK participation in Australia Group outreach visits to those countries. I propose that the Committees further recommend that the Government states in its Response whether it is satisfied with the interface between the Australia Group and those organisations responsible for implementing and monitoring the Chemical Weapons Convention.

The Academic Technology Approval Scheme

275.  The FCO's website states that the Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) was introduced on 1 November 2007 and is an essential part of the UK's commitment to counter proliferation. The scheme is specifically designed to ensure that those applying for postgraduate study in certain sensitive subjects do not acquire knowledge that could potentially be used in WMD programmes.[369] The ATAS was introduced in November 2007, replacing the Voluntary Vetting Scheme (VVS). The ATAS vets overseas students wishing to undertake postgraduate and integrated masters studies in subjects of proliferation concern. The scheme is aimed at preventing the spread of knowledge and skills that could assist in programmes to develop Weapons of Mass Destruction or their means of delivery, i.e. nuclear, biological, chemical, radiological or ballistic missiles, and the legal basis for the scheme is enshrined in the UK Immigration Rules.[370]

276.  Following publication of the Government's United Kingdom Strategic Export Controls Annual Report 2012 the Committees wrote to the Government asking a question about the Academic Technology Approval Scheme. The question and answer were as follows:

The Committees' question:

In its Annual Report the Government states that the Academic Technology Approval Scheme seeks to protect certain sensitive technologies relating to weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery from possible misuse by proliferators. Is the Government satisfied that there is no weapons of mass destruction proliferation risk arising from its policy of requiring an Academic Technology Approval Scheme certificate only from foreign students wishing to study sensitive subjects at masters level or higher at UK Institutes of Higher Education and not requiring such certificates from UK students?

The Government's answer:

The Government is satisfied with its current policy. The effectiveness of the scheme is continually assessed to ensure that counter proliferation objectives are met. The Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) was set up in 2007, replacing the Voluntary Vetting Scheme (VVS) for overseas students. ATAS is designed to prevent those students who pose the greatest risk from studying potential WMD proliferation subjects. In order to give the broadest and most efficient coverage, ATAS is built into the Tier 4 student visa requirement. There is currently no legal basis for the scheme to include UK students.[371]

277.  I propose that the Committees recommend that the Government states in its Response to the Committees' Report:

a)  whether it remains satisfied that the UK's Academic Technology Approval Scheme remains effective in preventing those foreign students who pose the greatest risk from studying potential Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) proliferation subjects at UK Institutions of Higher Education; and

b)  whether it will consider introducing legislation to extend the Scheme to include those UK students who pose the greatest risk.

The Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC)

278.  The Chemical Weapons Convention states in its preamble that the Convention is "Determined for the sake of all mankind, to exclude completely the possibility of the use of chemical weapons, through the implementation of the provisions of this Convention." It continues by mentioning the benefits of peaceful chemistry and the desire to promote free trade in chemicals and international co-operation in chemical activities not prohibited by the Convention. The Chemical Weapons Convention was adopted in Geneva on 3 September 1992 by the Conference on Disarmament, which transmitted it to the United Nations General Assembly. The Conference of the States Parties is the plenary organ consisting of all members of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) which has the general power to oversee the implementation of the Convention, and to act in order to promote the object and purpose of the Convention. The Conference may make recommendations and take decisions on any questions, matters, or issues within the scope of the Convention. The Review Conferences of the States Parties are held every five years and the Second Conference was held in 2008. The Third Conference was held in the Hague between 8 and 19 April 2013 and I attended on the opening day as a member of the UK delegation.[372] The FCO Minister Alistair Burt spoke at the Conference.[373]

279.  There are currently 188 signatory states who have also ratified the Convention; two signatory states have yet to ratify the Convention (Israel and Myanmar); and six states have neither signed nor ratified the Chemical Weapons Convention (Angola, Egypt, North Korea, Somalia, South Sudan and Syria).[374]

280.  The Third Review Conference concluded with the adoption by consensus of a two-part final document: a political declaration that confirms the "unequivocal commitment" of the States Parties to the global chemical weapons ban, and a comprehensive review of CWC implementation since the last Review Conference in 2008, that mapped out the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapon's (OPCW) priorities for the coming five years. In an news article on the OPCW's website issued at the conclusion of the Review Conference the OPCW Director-General, Ambassador Ahmet zmc, said that the State Parties had "underlined their commitment that the OPCW remains a global repository of knowledge and expertise on implementing the Convention, and their determination to maintain the CWC as a bulwark against chemical weapons." The political declaration reiterates the "deep concern" of States Parties that chemical weapons may have been used in the Syrian Arab Republic, underlining that "the use of chemical weapons by anyone under any circumstances would be reprehensible and completely contrary to the legal norms and standards of the international community." The political declaration also stated the OPCW's:

  • Conviction that, 16 years after its entry into force, the Convention has reinforced its role as the international norm against chemical weapons;
  • Unqualified commitment to achieve the universality of the CWC, urgently calling upon the remaining States not Party to join the Convention without delay and precondition;
  • Determination that the destruction of all existing chemical weapons be completed in the shortest time possible;
  • Commitment to adopt the necessary measures to fully implement the Convention as a matter of priority, noting that 100 States Parties still need to adopt such measures;
  • Commitment to foster international cooperation in the peaceful uses of chemistry, and to implement the CWC in a manner that avoids hampering economic and technological development;
  • Intention to continue providing the OPCW the support it needs to fully implement the CWC and to deal more effectively with future opportunities and challenges; and
  • Desire to improve interaction with chemical industry, the scientific community, academia and civil society organisations in promoting the goals of the CWC.[375]

281.  I tabled a Written Question to the FCO on the Chemical Weapons Convention which was answered on 26 March 2013. My Question and the Government's Answer were as follows:

Sir John Stanley: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what outcomes the Government wants to see achieved at the forthcoming Chemical Weapons Convention 3rd Review Conference. [149311]

Alistair Burt: The Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) has proved an invaluable tool to progress our objective to see a world free from chemical weapons. We welcome the progress made to destroy 78% of the world's declared chemical weapons. While completion of destruction is essential, we want the third CWC review conference to also focus on ensuring that chemical weapons cannot return. We want the Director General of the Organisation for the Prevention of Chemical Weapons to be given a clear mandate to enable the organisation to focus more on chemical safety and security issues. We want to see an even greater effort to bring into the convention the remaining eight non-states parties, including Syria; to promote effective national implementation of the convention by all states parties; for the convention and its verification regime to take into full account developments in Science & Technology and, in doing so, promote awareness of the "dual use" risks from chemistry among scientists and engineers.[376]

282.  I propose that the Committees recommend that the Government states in its Response:

a)  how far it considers that its objectives for the Chemical Weapons Review Conference as set out in the Written Answer of FCO Minister Alistair Burt on 26 March 2013 were, or were not, fulfilled; and

b)  what specific steps it will take to try to secure accession to the Convention by those 8 states who have not done so thus far, namely Angola, Egypt, Israel, Myanmar, North Korea, Somalia, South Sudan and Syria.

The Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC)

283.  The Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on Their Destruction—more commonly known as the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC)—was simultaneously opened for signature in Moscow, Washington and London on 10 April 1972 and entered into force on 26 March 1975. The Convention bans the development, production, stockpiling, acquisition and retention of microbial or other biological agents or toxins, in types and in quantities that have no justification for prophylactic, protective or other peaceful purposes. It also bans weapons, equipment or means of delivery designed to use such agents or toxins for hostile purposes or in armed conflict.[377] It effectively prohibits the development, production, acquisition, transfer, retention, stockpiling and use of biological and toxin weapons and is a key element in the international community's efforts to address the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. States Parties to the Biological Weapons Convention undertake "never in any circumstances to develop, produce, stockpile or otherwise acquire or retain:

a)  microbial or other biological agents, or toxins whatever their origin or method of production, of types and in quantities that have no justification for prophylactic, protective or other peaceful purposes;

b)  weapons, equipment or means of delivery designed to use such agents or toxins for hostile purposes or in armed conflict."

There are currently 165 States Parties and 12 Signatory-only States.[378]

284.   The latest Review Conference, the seventh, took place in Geneva between 5 and 22 December 2011. The final document from the Review Conference included the following decisions:

the Review Conference retains the previous structures of annual Meetings of States Parties preceded by annual Meetings of Experts; makes cooperation and assistance, a review of developments in the field of science and technology, and strengthening national implementation all Standing Agenda Items to be discussed during the intersessional period; establishes a database system to facilitate requests for and offers of exchange of assistance and cooperation among States parties; establishes a sponsorship programme to increase the participation of developing States parties in the meetings of the intersessional programme; adopts revised reporting forms for all Confidence Building Measure submissions; requests States parties to promote universalization of the Convention through bilateral contacts and regional and multilateral activities; and renews the mandate of the Implementation Support Unit from 2012 to 2016.[379]

285.  In the Committees' Recommendations on the National Counter-Proliferation Strategy for 2012-15 in their 2012 Report (HC 419) the Committees included a Recommendation relating to the Biological and Toxic Weapons Convention: the relevant part of the Recommendation and the Government's Response were as follows:

The Committees' Recommendation:

The Committees recommend that the Government in its Response to this Report:

b)  sets out what precise steps the Government is taking to establish a verification regime for the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention;

The Government's Response:

b)  On 7 February 2012 Lord Howell of Guildford responded to a written PQ from Lord Harris of Haringey. Lord Harris asked Her Majesty's Government what representations they have made about ensuring that the Biological Weapons Convention has an adequate compliance verification mechanism. [HL15250]. The response is at Column WA33.

[Lords Written Answer—7 February 2012 WA32-33]

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): Since 1991, parties to the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC) have been required to submit information on defensive and offensive biological defence research and development programmes, both current and past.

Of the 165 parties to the BTWC, 69 returns were submitted in 2011, covering the year 2010. Many parties consider them to be only voluntary. Twenty-two states parties, including the UK, made them available publicly at: http://www.unog.ch/bwc/cbms.

The publicly available confidence building measures show that the following states parties to the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention declared national biological defence research programmes in 2011: Australia; Austria; Belgium; Canada; Czech Republic; Denmark; Finland; Germany; Latvia; Norway; Portugal; Romania; Sweden; Switzerland; Turkey; UK; and the United States.

We continue to push for those countries which have not submitted returns to do so. We also actively encourage those countries which are not yet parties to adhere to the convention and to abide by these reporting requirements.]

The Government wishes to add that establishing a verification regime remains a long term UK and EU aim. However, given the current absence of any international consensus on whether such a regime would be effective—the USA in particular is opposed on the grounds that it would be both ineffective and potentially damaging to their national security (bio-defence) and commercial proprietary interests—there are no immediate steps that can be taken realistically by the UK alone. However, the UK is working with others to make progress in the latest Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC) intersessional process (the period between the five-yearly BTWC Review Conferences) which would help move incrementally towards a position where certain critical elements of a verification regime become more developed and comprehensive. Examples include national implementation measures; enhanced annual Confidence Building Measures; oversight of the BTWC—relevant scientific and technological developments; and assistance (such as medical countermeasures and protective equipment) to alleged or actual biological weapons use.

This may then help to create a basis to encourage States Parties to look afresh at the integration of these elements in a unified regime to help provide an improved means of compliance assurance. This is unlikely before the Eighth Review Conference in 2016. Separately, we are working with other Member States, including the USA, to identify ways to strengthen the UN Secretary-General's mechanism for investigation into cases of alleged biological (and chemical) weapons use. Progress here—training more qualified inspectors and developing procedures for instance—would help address at least one critical component of a putative verification regime—an ability to investigate any case of alleged use or suspicious outbreak of disease in humans, animals and plants. The EU, at UK instigation, has provided for assistance for this mechanism in a new EU Council Decision in support of the BTWC, which we hope to see adopted shortly.[380]

286.  Following receipt of the Government's Responses to the Committees Recommendations I wrote to the Foreign Secretary with the following question (under the heading of the National Counter-Proliferation Strategy for 2012-15) relating to the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention:

The Committees' question:

i) Which international body does the Government wish to see taking responsibility for oversight of the Biological and Toxins Weapons Convention (BTWC)?

ii) By what date does the Government expect the new EU Council Decision in support of the BTWC to be adopted?

The Government's answer:

i) We would have wished to see the creation of an Organisation for the Prohibition of Biological Weapons as was envisaged in the draft BTWC Protocol in 2001. That enterprise failed for a variety of reasons. At present there is no agreement among States Parties on what a verification regime for the Convention would consist of, nor is there consensus on how to take this forward. This is not likely to change for the foreseeable future.

However, the current intersessional work programme adopted by the Seventh BTWC Review Conference in 2011 provides for an oversight process of sorts for the Convention—the States Parties meet at expert and political levels for two weeks each year to consider three standing agenda items: developments in science and technology, cooperation and assistance and national implementation. In addition, the States Parties also consider universality of the Convention annually, and will also look at two special topics in the next four year period: operation of the current system of Confidence Building Measures and how to respond effectively to the threat or use of biological and toxin weapons. The States Parties are supported in these endeavours by a three person Implementation Support Unit. The UK was instrumental in efforts that led to the creation of this intersessional process and it serves in the interim as an important oversight mechanism given the absence of a more comprehensive system.

ii) EU Council Decision 2012/421/CFSP in support of the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention, in the framework of the EU Strategy against Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction was adopted on 23 July 2012.[381]

287.  I propose that the Committees conclude that the Government's statement that establishing a verification regime for the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention remains a long-term UK and EU aim is welcome, but that the absence of any such regime, because of US opposition in particular, is a matter of deep concern.

288.  I propose that the Committees recommend that the Government in its Response:

a)  lists which States have signed but not ratified the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC), and which States have neither signed nor ratified the BTWC;

b)  sets out what specific steps it will take to try to secure accession to the BTWC by those States who have not done so thus far;

c)  whether it is aware of States with holdings of biological or toxin weapons and, if so, which those States are; and

d)   whether it considers the civil population to be at risk from State or non-State holdings of biological or toxin weapons and, if so, what steps it is taking both nationally and internationally to mitigate that risk.

The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT)

289.  Ever since the nuclear age began, the difficulty of the proliferation of nuclear weapons and technology has been recognised as a major threat and this became a central issue in discussions on peaceful uses of nuclear energy. Initial efforts, which began in 1946, to create an international system enabling all States to have access to nuclear technology under appropriate safeguards, were terminated in 1949 without the achievement of this objective, due to serious political differences between the major Powers. In December 1953, US President Eisenhower, at the eighth session of the United Nations General Assembly, urged that an international organization be established to disseminate peaceful nuclear technology, while guarding against development of weapons capabilities in additional countries. His proposal resulted in 1957 in the establishment of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which was charged with the dual responsibility of promotion and control of nuclear technology. IAEA technical assistance activities began in 1958. An interim safeguards system for small nuclear reactors, put in place in 1961, was replaced in 1964 by a system covering larger installations and, over the following years, was expanded to include additional nuclear facilities. Efforts to strengthen the effectiveness and improve the efficiency of the IAEA safeguards system culminated in the approval of the Model Additional Protocol by the IAEA Board of Governors in May 1997.

290.  Within the framework of the United Nations, the principle of nuclear non-proliferation was addressed in negotiations as early as 1957 and gained significant momentum in the early 1960s. The structure of a treaty to uphold nuclear non-proliferation as a norm of international behaviour had become clear by the mid-1960s, and by 1968 final agreement had been reached on a Treaty that would prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons, enable co-operation for the peaceful use of nuclear energy and further the goal of achieving nuclear disarmament. The Treaty provided for a conference to be convened 25 years after its entry into force to decide whether the Treaty should continue in force indefinitely, or be extended for an additional fixed period or periods. At the NPT Review and Extension Conference in May 1995, States parties to the Treaty agreed on the Treaty's indefinite extension, and decided that Review Conferences should continue to be held every five years.

291.  Conferences to review the operation of the Treaty have been held at five-year intervals since the Treaty came into effect in 1970. Each Conference has sought to agree on a Final Declaration that would assess the implementation of the Treaty's provisions and make recommendations on measures to strengthen it further. Consensus on a Final Declaration was reached at the 1975, 1985, 2000 and 2005 Review Conferences, but could not be achieved in 1980, 1990, and 1995. Differences centred on the question of whether or not the nuclear-weapon States had sufficiently fulfilled the requirements of article VI (nuclear disarmament) as well as on issues such as nuclear testing, qualitative nuclear-weapon developments, security assurances to non-nuclear-weapon States by nuclear-weapon States, and on co-operation in the field of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.[382]

292.  The last 2010 NPT Review Conference was held between 3-28 May 2010 at the UN Headquarters in New York. It was reported that expectations were extremely high going into the Conference, but that the positions of many of the nearly 190 participating countries were very far apart. States still found a way to negotiate constructively and find pragmatic approaches to issues such as North Korea's withdrawal and nuclear testing, Iran's noncompliance, prospects for a Middle East WMD Free Zone, and further progress on disarmament. The Final Declaration that was unanimously adopted on May 28 was considered an incremental success. In addition to the Final Declaration, the President of the Review Conference, Ambassador Libran Cabactulan, submitted under his own auspices a separate document that included a 122 paragraph review of the operation of the NPT. The Conference's Final document, which reflected conclusions and recommendations for follow-on actions, included:

  • A recommitment of nations to the basic bargain of the NPT;
  • Specific Action Plans on non-proliferation, disarmament, and peaceful uses of nuclear energy; and
  • Proposed steps for implementing the 1995 Resolution calling for a WMD Free Zone in the Middle East

All of these elements advanced the agenda further than the previous two Conferences and laid the groundwork for future progress. The Action Plans themselves were considered a significant achievement. For the first time, there were specific and measurable actions that States were asked to take in support of the three pillars of the NPT: non-proliferation, disarmament, and the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. The Action Plans were drafted in a way to serve as a means for measuring progress and ensuring there would be accountability at future meetings.[383]

293.  The Preparatory Committee (PrepCom) for the 2015 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) held its first session from 30 April to 11 May 2012 in Vienna. This meeting was the first of three sessions that will be held prior to the 2015 Review Conference. The PrepCom, open to all States parties to the Treaty, addressed substantive and procedural issues related to the Treaty and the upcoming Review Conference in 2015. The purpose of the PrepCom was to prepare for the Review Conference in terms of assessing the implementation of each article of the NPT and facilitating discussion among States with a view to making recommendations to the Review Conference.[384] A press release issued by the United Nations at the conclusions of the PrepCom stated that:

The Committee conducted its work in an efficient manner and in a focused and constructive atmosphere. A total of 111 States parties, five international organizations and 60 non-governmental organizations participated in the session.

During their deliberations, the States parties reaffirmed their commitment to the NPT and underlined their resolve to seek a safer world for all and to achieve the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons. They held focused and constructive discussions on implementation of the Treaty and of the commitments contained in the Final Document of the successful 2010 NPT Review Conference. Many States parties also made substantive proposals for possible consideration and adoption at the 2015 Review Conference.

In his closing remarks, Ambassador Woolcott said he hoped the Committee's first session had led the States parties to recognize that they had made a start on implementing the commitments of 2010, but that an enormous amount of work remained. The States parties needed to stay focused and constructive.[385]

294.  On 21 May 2013 the FCO Minister Alistair Burt made a Written Ministerial Statement on the Conference on Nuclear Disarmament and Non-Proliferation that had taken place on 18-19 April 2013 in Geneva. He said that the Conference had brought together senior policy officials, military staff and nuclear scientists from all five NPT nuclear weapon states to discuss issues across the three pillars of the NPT. He went on to say that:

  • The had reviewed progress towards fulfilling the commitments made at the 2010 NPT Review Conference, and had continued discussions on issues related to all three pillars of the NPT—non-proliferation, the peaceful uses of nuclear energy and disarmament, including confidence-building, transparency, and verification experiences. The also had a positive exchange with representatives of civil society during the Geneva Conference.
  • The had reviewed the outcome of the 2012 Preparatory Committee for the 2015 NPT Review Conference, and significant developments in the context of the NPT since the 2012 Washington Conference. They had assessed issues relating to strategic stability and international security, and exchanged views concerning prospects for further steps to promote dialogue and mutual confidence in this area, including in a multilateral format.
  • The were also briefed by the Russian Federation and the United States on the joint 2012 inspection in Antarctica conducted pursuant to the Antarctic Treaty of 1959 and its Environmental Protocol.
  • The had discussed the latest developments in the area of multilateral disarmament initiatives including the situation at the Conference on Disarmament. They had expressed their shared disappointment that the Conference on Disarmament continues to be prevented from agreeing on a comprehensive program of work, including work on a legally binding, verifiable international ban on the production of fissile material (FMCT) for use in nuclear weapons, and discussed efforts to find a way forward in the Conference on Disarmament [..]
  • The had reiterated their support for the immediate start of negotiations on a treaty encompassing such a ban in the Conference on Disarmament.
  • The had continued their previous discussions of efforts to achieve the entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT)
  • The pledged to continue to meet at all appropriate levels on nuclear issues to further promote dialogue and mutual confidence. The plan to follow up their discussions and hold a fifth conference in 2014.P385FP385FP385FP385FP385F[386]

295.  I propose that the Committees recommend that the Government states in its Response in specific terms:

a)  the extent to which it considers that the commitments made at the 2010 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference, and in the 2010 NPT Action Plans have, or have not, been fulfilled; and

b)  what are the Government's objectives for the 2015 NPT Review Conference.

The Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty

296.  The Comprehensive Nuclear Test Bban Treaty (CTBT) bans nuclear explosions on the Earth's surface, in the atmosphere, underwater and underground, It makes it very difficult for countries to develop nuclear weapons for the first time, or for countries that already have them to make them more powerful. Over 2,000 nuclear tests were carried out between 1945 and 1996 when the CTBT opened for signature: by the United States (1,000+), the Soviet Union (700+), France (200+), the United Kingdom and China (45 each). Three countries have broken the de facto moratorium and have tested nuclear weapons since 1996—India Pakistan and North Korea. 183 countries have now signed the Treaty, of which 157 have also ratified it (as of April 2012) including three of the nuclear weapon states—France, the Russian Federation and the United Kingdom. But 44 specific nuclear technology holder countries must sign and ratify before the CTBT can enter into force. Of these, 8 have not so far done so—China, Egypt, India, Iran, Israel, North Korea, Pakistan and the USA.[387]

297.  I propose that the Committees recommend that the Government states in its Response what specific steps it is taking with each of the remaining 8 countries whose signature and ratification is necessary to enable the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty to enter into force—namely China, Egypt, India, Iran, Israel, North Korea, Pakistan and the USA—to try to persuade them to ratify the CTBT.

Sub-strategic and tactical nuclear weapons

298.  On 30 January 2012 I wrote to the Foreign Secretary, William Hague, asking whether the UK's strategic deterrent, Trident, had a sub-strategic capability and, if so, whether this would be consistent with the terms of the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces[388] (INF) agreed between the USA and the then Soviet Union. The Foreign Secretary in his reply explained that the UK Government had changed the way in which it described the Trident capability and it differed slightly from NATO terminology. Since 2007 the British Government had ceased to refer to a sub-strategic capability in relation to Trident. He said that "this is for the simple reason that we believe any use of our deterrent would be strategic in intent and in effect. Since the British Government no longer uses the phrase 'sub-strategic' to describe this capability and there exists no internationally agreed definition of what comprises a sub-strategic nuclear capability, the British Government ascribes no specific range to the term 'sub-strategic'." He concluded by stating: "we do not consider that any of the capabilities of Trident represent a potential breach to the terms of the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF)."[389]

299.  The Committees' Recommendation on sub-strategic and tactical nuclear weapons in its 2012 Report (HC 419) and the Government's Response (Cm8441) were as follows:

The Committees' Recommendation:

The Committees recommend that the Government sets out in its Response whether it wishes to see any change in NATO's policy of deploying tactical nuclear weapons in Europe, and whether it is taking any steps to facilitate multilateral reductions in US and Russian tactical nuclear weapons.[390]

The Government's Response:

Since the end of the Cold War, NATO has dramatically reduced the number, types and readiness of nuclear weapons stationed in Europe and its reliance on nuclear weapons in Alliance strategy. Allies stated in the Deterrence and Defence Posture Review (DDPR) published at the Chicago Summit in May that nuclear weapons remain a core component of NATO's overall capabilities for deterrence and defence alongside conventional and missile defence forces and that as long as nuclear weapons exist, NATO will remain a nuclear alliance.

Nonetheless, the Alliance declared its willingness to consider further reducing the requirement for short range nuclear weapons assigned to NATO in the context of reciprocal steps by Russia, taking into account greater Russian stockpiles of short range nuclear weapons stationed in the Euro-Atlantic area, and developments in the broader security environment. The UK will support any measures agreed among all Allies which ensure adequate burden sharing, preservation of the trans-Atlantic link, and an ongoing commitment to safe, secure and effective weapons.

The next round of arms control discussions with Russia needs to be bilateral between the US and Russia. We hope that any follow-on negotiations from the US-Russia new START Treaty will include short range as well as strategic nuclear weapons. We and our NATO Allies look forward to continuing to develop and exchange transparency and confidence-building ideas with the Russian Federation in the NATO-Russia Council, which we hope will facilitate this process.[391]

300.  Following receipt of the Government's Response to the Committees Recommendations I wrote to the Foreign Secretary with the following question relating to sub-strategic and tactical nuclear weapons:

The Committees' question:

Does the Government consider that the US Government's plans to deploy a new generation of sub-strategic nuclear weapons in Europe will help or hinder a further reduction in short range nuclear weapons assigned to NATO in the context of reciprocal steps by Russia?

The Government's answer:

At the 2012 Chicago Summit, Allies restated their determination to maintain an appropriate mix of nuclear, conventional, and missile defence capabilities for deterrence and defence. NATO also highlighted its preparedness 'to consider further reducing its requirement for non-strategic nuclear weapons assigned to the Alliance in the context of reciprocal steps by Russia, taking into account the greater Russian stockpiles of non-strategic nuclear weapons stationed in the Euro-Atlantic area.'

The forward deployment of US short-range nuclear weapons in Europe, in addition to contributing to the deterrence of potential adversaries, the assurance of vulnerable Allies, and the sharing of risks and responsibilities across the Alliance, provides leverage in arms control efforts vis-a-vis the Russian Federation.

Since the end of the Cold War, NATO has dramatically reduced the number, types, and readiness of nuclear weapons stationed in Europe and its reliance on nuclear weapons in NATO strategy. With these weapons nearing the end of their service lives, should the US not have embarked upon the B-61 Life Extension Programme, this capability would have likely ended without any commensurate gain in terms of reciprocal Russian action. Sustaining this capability is primarily driven by the need to maintain NATO's appropriate nuclear force posture and to ensure the safety, security and effectiveness of NATO's arsenal, but will also be helpful in maintaining leverage in future arms control discussions.[392]

301.   I propose that the Committees recommend that the Government sets out in its Response:

a)  what specific action it is taking to reduce the requirement for short-range nuclear weapons assigned to NATO in the context of reciprocal steps by Russia, taking into account greater Russian stockpiles of short-range nuclear weapons stationed in the Euro-Atlantic area, and developments in the broader security environment;

b)  whether it supports the implementation of the US B-61 Life Extension Programme in Europe; and

c)  whether it favours US and Russian holdings of short-range nuclear weapons being reduced to zero on both sides, as achieved for intermediate-range nuclear weapons in the 1987 INF Treaty, in future negotiations on short-range nuclear weapons between the US and Russia.

A Middle-East Weapons of Mass Destruction Free Zone

302.  In December 1974 Resolution 3263 was approved by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) calling for the establishment of a Nuclear Weapons-Free Zone (NWFZ) in the Middle East, following a proposal by Iran and Egypt. Since 1980, that Resolution has been passed annually without a vote by the UNGA and endorsement for the proposals has been incorporated into a number of UN Security Council Resolutions. The IAEA General Conference has from 1991 onwards also adopted annually without objections a resolution calling for the application of full scope safeguards on all nuclear facilities in the region "as a necessary step for the establishment of the NWFZ."[393]

303.  The then UN Secretary General, Javier Prez de Cullar, undertook a "Study on Effective and Verifiable Measures which would facilitate the Establishment of a Nuclear Weapons Free Zone in the Middle East" in 1988 that looked at conditions surrounding the creation of a NWFZ and made a number of recommendations including a list confidence building measures. A 1989 IAEA Technical Study also looked at various modalities for the application of safeguards on nuclear facilities in the Middle East as a necessary step to establishing a NWFZ.

304.  As part of a package of decisions that resulted in the indefinite extension of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), the 1995 NPT Review Conference called for "the establishment of an effectively verifiable Middle East zone free of weapons of mass destruction, nuclear, chemical and biological, and their delivery systems."[394] In 1990 Egypt proposed the Weapons of Mass Destruction-Free Zone (WMDFZ) in the Middle East ; this expanded on longstanding calls to establish a Nuclear Weapons-Free Zone in the Middle East. Both measures, which were intended to be pursued in parallel, have gathered broad international support, but practical progress has since been elusive.

305.  Despite extensive international support and the catalogue of resolutions endorsed, including by all regional states, practical progress has been hindered by sharp disagreements between countries in the region over the terms and the sequence of steps leading to the establishment of the zone. Reflecting differing perceptions of threat and security concerns existing in the region, Israel has closely linked discussions on the establishment of the WMDFZ with the existence of durable peace and compliance with international obligations by states in the region. Arab states have said that no such linkage should exist and that the establishment of WMDFZ would contribute to peaceful relations.

306.  A future WMDFZ would commit parties not to possess, acquire, test, manufacture or use any nuclear, chemical and biological weapons as well as their delivery systems as provided for in the 1995 NPT Review Conference Middle East resolution. In defining the territory for the Middle East WMDFZ the 1989 IAEA Technical Study applied the concept to a region extending from Libya in the west, to Iran in the east, and from Syria in the north to Yemen in the south. A subsequent UN Study expanded the concept further by including all League of Arab states, plus Iran and Israel in the zone.

307.  In the Committees' Recommendation on the National Counter-Proliferation Strategy for 2012-15 in their 2012 Report (HC 419) the Committees included a recommendation relating to the Middle East Weapons of Mass Destruction-Free Zone; the relevant part of the Recommendation and the Government's Response were as follows:

The Committees' Recommendation:

The Committees recommend that the Government in its Response to this Report details the conditions that the Government considers need to be fulfilled to ensure a meaningful outcome to a conference on a Middle East Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) Free Zone.[395]

The Government's Response:

The UK fully supports the convening of a conference towards a Middle East zone free of all weapons of mass destruction. It represents an important opportunity for the states of the Middle East to discuss how they could work towards such a zone. As a co-convener of the conference with Russia and the US, we continue to provide practical and political backing to the efforts of the conference facilitator, Finnish Under-Secretary of State Mr Jaakko Laajava.

The states of the region are ultimately responsible for creating and establishing the political and security conditions that will provide a sustainable foundation for a future Middle East Weapons of Mass Destruction Free Zone. They are similarly responsible for laying the foundations for a successful conference on this issue. A Weapons of Mass Destruction Free Zone cannot be imposed from outside. The delivery and success of any conference will require the engagement and agreement of all the states of the region, to ensure the broadest possible participation, and that it becomes start of a constructive process.

The co-conveners delivered a joint statement on the conference at the 2012 Non-Proliferation Treaty Preparatory Committee, available here:

http://www.reachingcriticalwill.org/images/documents/Disarmament-fora/npt/prepcom12/statements/8May_RussiaUKUS.pdf [396]

308.  Following receipt of the Government's Responses to the Committees Recommendations, I wrote to the Foreign Secretary with the following question (under the heading of the National Counter-Proliferation Strategy for 2012-15) relating to the Middle East Weapons of Mass Destruction-Free Zone:

The Committees' question:

In the light of the Government's response that "The delivery and success of any conference [on a Middle East Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) Free Zone] will require the engagement and agreement of all states of the region", what is the Government's judgement of the willingness of

a)  Iran, and

b)  Israel

to engage in such a conference?

The Government's answer:

The Facilitator Mr Laajava has had extensive consultations with all states of the region, including Iran and Israel. Arrangements for the Conference are still under discussion between the Facilitator and states of the region. The UK fully supports his work in this regard. We note that Iran has announced it would be willing to attend the Conference but has set out a series of expectations on format and process, which may be difficult for all regional states to agree. Israel has publicly stated that it has yet to make its final decision on whether to attend any conference.[397]

309.  At the 2010 NPT Review Conference, state parties were able to agree for the first time on five practical steps to make progress towards implementing the 1995 NPT Review Conference Middle East Resolution. The United States, Russia and the United Kingdom, the Treaty depository powers and sponsors of that Resolution, committed to work together with the UN Secretary General to convene a regional conference to discuss the issue in 2012. Other measures agreed included the appointment of a WMDFZ facilitator as well as designation of a Government to host the conference.[398]

310.  On 24 November 2012 Alistair Burt announced that it would not be possible to convene the planned conference due to take place in December 2012. The Foreign Office Minister said that "more preparation and direct engagement between states of the region will be necessary to secure arrangements that are satisfactory to all." He said that the UK Government supported the convening of a conference as soon as possible and endorsed the work of the Conference Facilitator, Finnish Undersecretary of State Jaakko Laajava, to build consensus on next steps.[399]

311.  On 21 May 2013 in a Written Ministerial Statement the FCO Minister Alistair Burt stated:

The reiterated the importance of the implementation of the 2010 NPT Review Conference decisions related to the 1995 Resolution on the Middle East, in particular those related to the convening of a conference, to be attended by all the States of the Middle East, on the establishment of the Middle East zone free of nuclear weapons and all other weapons of mass destruction, on the basis of arrangements freely arrived at by the states of the region. They underlined their support for all States concerned making all efforts necessary for the preparation and convening of the Conference in the nearest future. They also reiterated their full support to the ongoing efforts of the facilitator.[400]

312.  I propose that the Committees recommend that the Government states in its Response:

a)  when it expects the planned regional conference to discuss a Middle East Weapons of Mass Destruction Free Zone to take place;

b)  what are the current positions of Iran and Israel on attending this conference; and

c)  what steps it is taking to try to ensure this Conference takes place.

The National Counter-Proliferation Strategy for 2012-15

313.  The FCO Minister for Counter Proliferation, Alistair Burt, wrote me on 21 March 2012 on the Government's National Counter Proliferation Strategy for 2012-15, and attached the public version of the strategy. The Minister's letter and the public version of the strategy can be found in the Annex 15 of the Committees' 2012 Report.P400FP400FP400FP400FP400F[401]

314.  The Committees' exchanges with Ministers arising out of the National Counter-Proliferation Strategy for 2012-15 regarding:

  • The Middle-East Weapons of Mass Destruction Free Zone
  • The Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention
  • The G8 Global Partnership Against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction
  • The Australia Group
  • Missile Technology Control Regime
  • The Nuclear Suppliers Group
  • The Wassenaar Arrangement

are all in the appropriate sub-sections above.

315.  Two of the Committees' Recommendations on the National Counter-Proliferation Strategy for 2012-15 in their 2012 Report (HC 419) and the Government's Responses (Cm8441) were as follows:

The Committees' Recommendation:

The Committees recommend that the Government in its Response to this Report:

a) details the specific provisions in existing obligations and export control regimes which the Government considers needs to have their enforcement strengthened; and

b) details any areas in which the Government considers that the UK's domestic security practices and export controls need to be strengthened.[402]

The Government's Response:

a)  The UK works with participating governments in the Australia Group, Missile Technology Control Regime, Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) and the Wassenaar Arrangement to strengthen the non-proliferation architecture through shared implementation of export controls. Sharing information on proliferation threats and ensuring the guidelines and control lists of these regimes are up to date to capture the latest technologies are crucial to our efforts to prevent proliferation. The guidelines and control lists for each regime are updated regularly at confidential plenary and inter-sessional meetings, by consensus agreement among the participating states. As an example, at the June Plenary of the NSG, Participating Governments agreed 25 changes to update the control lists. This was achieved in large part by significant heavy lifting by UK experts to build up the required consensus over several years. We also seek to expand membership of the export control regimes, to ensure that they include the major technology exporters. For example, in 2012 the UK welcomed Mexico as a member to both the Wassenaar Arrangement and NSG, further extending the international application of export controls.

b)  The Government seeks on an ongoing basis to improve the effectiveness of its export controls, in particular by ensuring that our control lists are up to date and comprehensive, that our licensing system is efficient and robust and that we detect and act against unlawful activity. We would be happy to expand on any aspect of this.[403]

316.  I propose that the Committees recommend that the Government sets out in its Response:

a)  any amendments or updating it wishes to make to The National Counter-Proliferation Strategy for 2012-15 since its publication in 2012; and

b)  what it considers to be the successes and failures of The National Counter-Proliferation Strategy for 2012-15 to date.


271   House of Commons Library Standard Note: In Brief: The Arms Trade Treaty-recent developments, November 2011 Back

272   Foreign and Commonwealth Office website, http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/global-issues/arms-control/arms-trade-treaty/  Back

273   United Nations. Arms Trade Treaty, http://www.un.org/disarmament/convarms/ATTPrepCom/  Back

274   Ev w69-70 Back

275   House of Commons Library Standard Note: In Brief: The Arms Trade Treaty-what next?, SN05802, 12 September 2012, p 1  Back

276   Acronym Institute for Disarmament Diplomacy, Joint Statement by 90 Countries in Favour of Working Towards an Arms Trade Treaty, 27 July 2012, http://www.acronym.org.uk/official-and-govt-documents/joint-statement-90-countries-in-favour-working-towards-arms-trade-treaty-27-july-2012 Back

277   Gov.UK, FCO,

UK Ministers "fully committed to taking work on Arms Trade Treaty forward urgently", https://www.gov.uk/government/news/uk-ministers-fully-committed-to-taking-work-on-arms-trade-treaty-forward-urgently Back

278   Committees on Arms Export Controls, Second Report of Session 2010-12, Scrutiny of Arms Exports (2012): UK Strategic Controls Annual Report 2010, Quarterly Reports for July to December 2010 and January to September 2011, the Government's Review of arms exports to the Middle East and North Africa, and wider arms control issues, HC 419, para 165 Back

279   Government Response to Committees on Arms Export Controls, First Joint Report of Session 2012-13, Scrutiny of Arms Exports (2012): UK Strategic Export Controls Annual Report 2010, Quarterly Reports for July to December 2010 and January to September 2011, the Government's Review of arms exports to the Middle East and North Africa, and wider arms control issues, Cm 8441, pages 20-21 Back

280   Ev w 86-Letter from the Foreign Secretary to the Chairman of the Committees on Arms Export Controls dated 29 August 2012 Back

281   Ev w1-Committees on Arms Export Controls, Arms Trade Treaty, Session 2012-13, HC 599-i, Q 3 Back

282   Ev w1-Committees on Arms Export Controls, Arms Trade Treaty, Session 2012-13, HC 599-i, Q 2 Back

283   Ev w1-Committees on Arms Export Controls, Arms Trade Treaty, Session 2012-13, HC 599-i, Q 6 Back

284   Arms Trade Treaty Legal Blog, http://armstradetreaty.blogspot.co.uk/ Back

285   Ev w70 Back

286   The countries that abstained were: Bahrain, Belarus, Bolivia, Cuba, Egypt, Iran, Kuwait, Myanmar, Nicaragua, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, United Arab Emirates, Venezuela, Yemen. 43 countries were not present at the meeting. Back

287   "General Assembly concludes main part of session following consensus in Fifth Committee on Member States contributions to regular, peacekeeping budgets", United Nations, http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2012/ga11335.doc.htm,  Back

288   Ev w129-Letter from Alistair Burt to the Chairman of the Committees on Arms Export Controls dated 29 November 2012 Back

289   Ev w70 Back

290   Ev w48 Back

291   Ev w55-56 Back

292   Ev w61 Back

293   Q 2 Back

294   Q 3 Back

295   Ev w129-Letter from the Chairman of the Committees on Arms Export Controls to the Foreign Secretary dated 5 December 2012  Back

296   Q 108 Back

297   Q 109 Back

298   Ev w157-letter from the Foreign Secretary to the Chairman of the Committees on Arms Export Controls dated 6 February 2013 Back

299   United Nations General Assembly Resolution A/RES/67/234, www.un.org Back

300   "Iran, North Korea, Syria block U.N. arms trade treaty", Reuters.com, 28 March 2013, www.reuters.com Back

301   The countries that abstained were: Angola,Bahrain,Belarus,Bolivia,China,Cuba,Ecuador,Egypt,Fiji,India,Indonesia,Kuwait, PDR Lao, Myanmar, Nicaragua, Oman, Qatar, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Swaziland and Yemen. Back

302   "Arms Trade Treaty Negotiating Conference II", Reaching Critical Will, www.reaching criticalwill.org Back

303   "Amnesty International seals historic victory as UN puts human rights at heart of arms trade", Amnesty International, 2 April 2013, www.amnesty.org.uk/ Back

304   See the text of the Arms Trade Treaty in Annex 9 of this Memorandum. Back

305   Foreign and Commonwealth Office Press Notice, "Foreign Secretary welcomes agreement on an Arms Trade Treaty", 3 April 2013, https://www.gov.uk/government/news/foreign-secretary-welcomes-agreement-on-an-arms-trade-treaty Back

306   10 Downing Street Press Notice, "

Adoption of Arms Trade Treaty welcomed by Prime Minister Cameron", 2 April 2013, https://www.gov.uk/government/news/adoption-of-arms-trade-treaty-welcomed-by-prime-minister-cameron Back

307   "We have an Arms Trade Treaty-now for the real work!", Saferworld, 2 April 2013, www.saferworld.org.uk/news-and-views Back

308   "Amnesty International seals historic victory as UN puts human rights at heart of arms trade", Amnesty International, 2 April 2013, www.amnesty.org.uk/ Back

309   "I sign the Arms Trade Treaty for lives needlessly lost", Foreign and Commonwealth Office Press Notice, 3 June 2013, ww.gov.uk  Back

310   House of Commons Library Standard note: SN/1A/4339, Cluster Munitions, May 2007. Back

311   The Convention on Cluster Munitions-CCM, http://www.clusterconvention.org/ Back

312   Cluster Munitions (Prohibitions) Act 2010, http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2010/11/notes/division/2 Back

313   HC Deb, 7 December 2009, col 2WS Back

314   HC Deb, 9 November 2011, cols 417-418 Back

315   Cluster Munition Coalition, http://www.stopclustermunitions.org/ccw/ Back

316   "Britain unites with smaller countries to block US bid to legalise cluster bombs", The Guardian, 25 November 2011. Back

317   Committees on Arms Export Controls, Second Report of Session 2010-12, Scrutiny of Arms Exports (2012): UK Strategic Controls Annual Report 2010, Quarterly Reports for July to December 2010 and January to September 2011, the Government's Review of arms exports to the Middle East and North Africa, and wider arms control issues, HC 419, para 155 Back

318   Government Response to Committees on Arms Export Controls, First Joint Report of Session 2012-13, Scrutiny of Arms Exports (2012): UK Strategic Export Controls Annual Report 2010, Quarterly Reports for July to December 2010 and January to September 2011, the Government's Review of arms exports to the Middle East and North Africa, and wider arms control issues, Cm 8441, p 20 Back

319   For the list of 66 countries see: Committees on Arms Export Controls, Second Report of Session 2010-12, Scrutiny of Arms Exports (2012): UK Strategic Controls Annual Report 2010, Quarterly Reports for July to December 2010 and January to September 2011, the Government's Review of arms exports to the Middle East and North Africa, and wider arms control issues, HC 419, pp 278-9 Back

320   Annex 2-The Committee' questions on the Government's United Kingdom Strategic Export Controls Annual Report 2011 (HC 337) and the Government's answers, p 436 Back

321   Ev w75 Back

322   Q 6 Back

323   Q 139 Back

324   Q 140 Back

325   "The UN Role and Efforts in Combating the Proliferation of Small Arms and Light Weapons", United Nations Chronicle, http://www.un.org/ Back

326   "Outcome document: Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects", Programme of Action on Small Arms and Light Weapons, http://www.poa-iss.org/RevCon2/Documents/RevCon-DOC/Rev1/Draft-Outcome-CRP3-Rev3.pdf Back

327   "Progress on UN Small Arms Programme of Action", Botschaft der Bundesrepublik Deutschland Windhuk, http://www.windhuk.diplo.de/ Back

328   Council of the European Union, EU Strategy to combat illicit accumulation and trafficking of SALW and their ammunition, 5319/06, 13 January 2006 Back

329   Annex 2-The Committee' questions on the Government's United Kingdom Strategic Export Controls Annual Report 2011 (HC 337) and the Government's answers, p 434 Back

330   "Disarmament: Anti-personnel landmines convention", United Nations Office at Geneva, www.unog.ch Back

331   "Disarmament: Anti-personnel landmines convention", United Nations Office at Geneva, www.unog.ch Back

332   "Overview and Convention text", Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personal Mines and on Their Destruction, http://www.apminebanconvention.org/overview-and-convention-text/  Back

333   "The Ottawa Convention at a Glance", Arms Control Association, http://www.armscontrol.org/factsheets/ottawa Back

334   "Introduction", Wassenaar Arrangement, http://www.wassenaar.org/introduction/index.html Back

335   "PUBLIC STATEMENT: 2012 PLENARY MEETING OF THE WASSENAAR ARRANGEMENT ON EXPORT CONTROLS FOR CONVENTIONAL ARMS AND DUAL-USE GOODS AND TECHNOLOGIES", Wassenaar Arrangement, http://www.wassenaar.org/publicdocuments/  Back

336   Annex 2-The Committee' questions on the Government's United Kingdom Strategic Export Controls Annual Report 2011 (HC 337) and the Government's answers, p 437 Back

337   Annex 3-The Committee' questions on the Government's Response (Cm 8441) to the Committees' Report 2012 (HC 419-I & II) and the Government's answers, p 469 Back

338   "UN Register", Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, http://www.sipri.org/research/armaments/transfers/transparency/un_register Back

339   "United Nations Register of Arms: Guideline for Reporting International Transfers", United Nations, http://www.un.org/disarmament/convarms/Register/  Back

340   Annex 2-The Committee' questions on the Government's United Kingdom Strategic Export Controls Annual Report 2011 (HC 337) and the Government's answers, p 438 Back

341   "Fissile Material Talks", The Acronym Institute for Disarmament Diplomacy, http://www.acronym.org.uk/fissban/unga93.htm Back

342   "Nuclear Weapons: Who has what at a glance", Arms Control Association, http://www.armscontrol.org/ Back

343   International Panel on Fissile Materials, Banning the production of Fissile Materials for Nuclear Weapons: Country Perspectives on the Challenges to a Fissile Material (Cutoff) Treaty, 2008, Pp 2-3 Back

344   United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research, A Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty: Understanding the Critical Issues, 2010, p 2  Back

345   "Pakistan's Nuclear Buildup Vexes FMCT talks", Arms Control Association, http://www.armscontrol.org/ Back

346   Committees on Arms Export Controls, Second Report of Session 2010-12, Scrutiny of Arms Exports (2012): UK Strategic Controls Annual Report 2010, Quarterly Reports for July to December 2010 and January to September 2011, the Government's Review of arms exports to the Middle East and North Africa, and wider arms control issues, HC 419, para 172 Back

347   Government Response to Committees on Arms Export Controls, First Joint Report of Session 2012-13, Scrutiny of Arms Exports (2012): UK Strategic Export Controls Annual Report 2010, Quarterly Reports for July to December 2010 and January to September 2011, the Government's Review of arms exports to the Middle East and North Africa, and wider arms control issues, Cm 8441, pages 22-23 Back

348   Annex 3-The Committee' questions on the Government's Response (Cm 8441) to the Committees' Report 2012 (HC 419-I & II) and the Government's answers, p 467 Back

349   HC Deb, 13 December 2012, col142WH Back

350   Ev w155-Letter from Michael Fallon to the Chairman of the Committees on Arms Export Controls dated 22 January 2012 Back

351   "The Missile Technology Control Regime: Introduction", Missile technology Control Regime, http://www.mtcr.info/  Back

352   Annex 2-The Committee' questions on the Government's United Kingdom Strategic Export Controls Annual Report 2011 (HC 337) and the Government's answers, p 441 Back

353   Annex 3-The Committee' questions on the Government's Response (Cm 8441) to the Committees' Report 2012 (HC 419-I & II) and the Government's answers, p 469 Back

354   "Global Partnership Against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction ("10 Plus 10 Over 10 Program"), The Nuclear Threat Initiative, www.nti.org/treaties-and-regimes/  Back

355   "Global Partnership Against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction ("10 Plus 10 Over 10 Program"), The Nuclear Threat Initiative, www.nti.org/treaties-and-regimes/  Back

356   "Countering weapons proliferation", Gov.UK, https://www.gov.uk/government/policies/countering-weapons-proliferation/supporting-pages/global-partnership Back

357   Committees on Arms Export Controls, Second Report of Session 2010-12, Scrutiny of Arms Exports (2012): UK Strategic Controls Annual Report 2010, Quarterly Reports for July to December 2010 and January to September 2011, the Government's Review of arms exports to the Middle East and North Africa, and wider arms control issues, HC 419, para 174 Back

358   Government Response to Committees on Arms Export Controls, First Joint Report of Session 2012-13, Scrutiny of Arms Exports (2012): UK Strategic Export Controls Annual Report 2010, Quarterly Reports for July to December 2010 and January to September 2011, the Government's Review of arms exports to the Middle East and North Africa, and wider arms control issues, Cm 8441, pp 24-25 Back

359   See Government Response to Committees on Arms Export Controls, First Joint Report of Session 2012-13, Scrutiny of Arms Exports (2012): UK Strategic Export Controls Annual Report 2010, Quarterly Reports for July to December 2010 and January to September 2011, the Government's Review of arms exports to the Middle East and North Africa, and wider arms control issues, Cm 8441, pages 37-40 Back

360   See Government Response to Committees on Arms Export Controls, First Joint Report of Session 2012-13, Scrutiny of Arms Exports (2012): UK Strategic Export Controls Annual Report 2010, Quarterly Reports for July to December 2010 and January to September 2011, the Government's Review of arms exports to the Middle East and North Africa, and wider arms control issues, Cm 8441, pages 37-40. Back

361   Annex 3-The Committee' questions on the Government's Response (Cm 8441) to the Committees' Report 2012 (HC 419-I & II) and the Government's answers, p 468 Back

362   "Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG)", Nuclear Suppliers Group, www.nuclearsuppliersgroup.org  Back

363   "NSG PUBLIC STATEMENT: Nuclear Suppliers Group Plenary, Seattle, United States, 21-22 June 2012", Nuclear suppliers Group, http://www.nuclearsuppliersgroup.org/A_test/press/2012-06-Seattle_NSG_Public_Statement__FINAL_.pdf Back

364   Annex 2-The Committee' questions on the Government's United Kingdom Strategic Export Controls Annual Report 2011 (HC 337) and the Government's answers, p 439 Back

365   Annex 3-The Committee' questions on the Government's Response (Cm 8441) to the Committees' Report 2012 (HC 419-I & II) and the Government's answers, p 469 Back

366   "The Australia Group", The Australia Group, www.australiagroup.net Back

367   Annex 2-The Committee' questions on the Government's United Kingdom Strategic Export Controls Annual Report 2011 (HC 337) and the Government's answers, p 441 Back

368   Annex 3-The Committee' questions on the Government's Response (Cm 8441) to the Committees' Report 2012 (HC 419-I & II) and the Government's answers, p 469 Back

369   "Academic Technology Approval Scheme", Gov.UK, https://www.gov.uk/academic-technology-approval-scheme Back

370   "Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS), UK Council for International Student Affairs, http://www.ukcisa.org.uk/files/pdf/conference/presentations/e9_atas_2012.pdf Back

371   Annex 2-The Committee' questions on the Government's United Kingdom Strategic Export Controls Annual Report 2011 (HC 337) and the Government's answers, p 440 Back

372   "Overview of the Chemical Weapons Convention", Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, http://www.opcw.org/chemical-weapons-convention/about-the-convention/ Back

373   The text of Alistair Burt's speech can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/foreign-office-minister-represents-the-uk-at-the-opcw-s-third-review-conference. Back

374   "non member States", Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, http://www.opcw.org/about-opcw/non-member-states/  Back

375   "Third Review Conference Concludes with Consensus Final Document and Political Declaration", Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, 19 April 2013, www.opcw.org/news/ Back

376   HC Deb, 26 March 2013, col 1078W Back

377   "About the Biological and Toxins Weapons Convention", The Biological and Toxins Convention Website, http://www.opbw.org/  Back

378   "Disarmament: The Biological Weapons Convention", The United Nations Office at Geneva, http://www.unog.ch/ Back

379   "Biological Weapons Convention: 2011 Comprehensive Review Conference", United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs, http://www.un.org/disarmament/content/news/bwc_2011/ Back

380   Government Response to Committees on Arms Export Controls, First Joint Report of Session 2012-13, Scrutiny of Arms Exports (2012): UK Strategic Export Controls Annual Report 2010, Quarterly Reports for July to December 2010 and January to September 2011, the Government's Review of arms exports to the Middle East and North Africa, and wider arms control issues, Cm 8441, p 24 Back

381   Annex 3-The Committee' questions on the Government's Response (Cm 8441) to the Committees' Report 2012 (HC 419-I & II) and the Government's answers, p 468 Back

382   "Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons: Background", United Nations, http://www.un.org/en/conf/npt/2010/background.shtml  Back

383   "Understanding the 2010 NPT Review Conference", Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, http://carnegieendowment.org/2010/06/03/understanding-2010-npt-review-conference/4rcg Back

384   "2015 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT)", United Nations, http://www.un.org/disarmament/WMD/Nuclear/NPT2015/PrepCom2012/  Back

385   "The Preparatory Committee for the 2015 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons held constructive deliberations during its first session", United Nations Information Service, http://www.unis.unvienna.org/unis/en/pressrels/2012/unisdc002.html  Back

386   HC Deb, 21 May 2013, cols 70-72WS Back

387   "CTBT: Ending Nuclear Explosions", CTBTO Preparatory Commission, http://www.ctbto.org/ Back

388   The Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty is a bilateral ratified treaty between the U.S. and U.S.S.R., which required the elimination of all missiles with ranges between 625 and 3,500 miles by June 1, 1991, and all missiles with ranges between 300 and 625 miles within 18 months. In all, 2,692 missiles were to be eliminated. In addition, all associated equipment and operating bases were closed out from any further INF missile system activity. Altogether it resulted in the elimination of 846 U.S. INF missile systems and 1,846 Soviet INF missile systems. http://www.atomicarchive.com/Treaties/Treaty15.shtml Back

389   The full text of the Foreign Secretary's letter of 20 February 2012 can be found at Committees on Arms Export Controls, Second Report of Session 2010-12, Scrutiny of Arms Exports (2012): UK Strategic Controls Annual Report 2010, Quarterly Reports for July to December 2010 and January to September 2011, the Government's Review of arms exports to the Middle East and North Africa, and wider arms control issues, HC 419, para 166. Back

390   Committees on Arms Export Controls, Second Report of Session 2010-12, Scrutiny of Arms Exports (2012): UK Strategic Controls Annual Report 2010, Quarterly Reports for July to December 2010 and January to September 2011, the Government's Review of arms exports to the Middle East and North Africa, and wider arms control issues, HC 419, para 168 Back

391   Government Response to Committees on Arms Export Controls, First Joint Report of Session 2012-13, Scrutiny of Arms Exports (2012): UK Strategic Export Controls Annual Report 2010, Quarterly Reports for July to December 2010 and January to September 2011, the Government's Review of arms exports to the Middle East and North Africa, and wider arms control issues, Cm 8441, page 22 Back

392   Annex 3-The Committee' questions on the Government's Response (Cm 8441) to the Committees' Report 2012 (HC 419-I & II) and the Government's answers, p 466 Back

393   "WMD-Free Middle East Proposal at a Glance", Arms Control Association, www.armscontrol.org/factsheets/mewmdfz Back

394   "WMD-Free Middle East Proposal at a Glance", Arms Control Association, www.armscontrol.org/factsheets/mewmdfz Back

395   Committees on Arms Export Controls, Second Report of Session 2010-12, Scrutiny of Arms Exports (2012): UK Strategic Controls Annual Report 2010, Quarterly Reports for July to December 2010 and January to September 2011, the Government's Review of arms exports to the Middle East and North Africa, and wider arms control issues, HC 419, para 174 Back

396   Government Response to Committees on Arms Export Controls, First Joint Report of Session 2012-13, Scrutiny of Arms Exports (2012): UK Strategic Export Controls Annual Report 2010, Quarterly Reports for July to December 2010 and January to September 2011, the Government's Review of arms exports to the Middle East and North Africa, and wider arms control issues, Cm 8441, pp 23-24 Back

397   Annex 3-The Committee' questions on the Government's Response (Cm 8441) to the Committees' Report 2012 (HC 419-I & II) and the Government's answers, p 467 Back

398   "WMD-Free Middle East Proposal at a Glance", Arms Control Association, http://www.armscontrol.org/factsheets/mewmdfz Back

399   Foreign and Commonwealth Office Press release, "Middle East Weapons of Mass destruction Free Zone Conference", 24 November 2012 Back

400   HC Deb, 21 May 2013, col 72WS Back

401   See: Committees on Arms Export Controls, Second Report of Session 2010-12, Scrutiny of Arms Exports (2012): UK Strategic Controls Annual Report 2010, Quarterly Reports for July to December 2010 and January to September 2011, the Government's Review of arms exports to the Middle East and North Africa, and wider arms control issues, HC 419, Annex 12 Back

402   Committees on Arms Export Controls, Second Report of Session 2010-12, Scrutiny of Arms Exports (2012): UK Strategic Controls Annual Report 2010, Quarterly Reports for July to December 2010 and January to September 2011, the Government's Review of arms exports to the Middle East and North Africa, and wider arms control issues, HC 419, para 174 Back

403   Government Response to Committees on Arms Export Controls, First Joint Report of Session 2012-13, Scrutiny of Arms Exports (2012): UK Strategic Export Controls Annual Report 2010, Quarterly Reports for July to December 2010 and January to September 2011, the Government's Review of arms exports to the Middle East and North Africa, and wider arms control issues, Cm 8441, pp 23-26 Back


 
previous page contents next page


© Parliamentary copyright 2013
Prepared 17 July 2013