Skip to content .

Service navigation

Main Navigation


Further information

Link to opens in a new window


Statements in International Organisations


7th Regular Meeting of the Hague Code of Conduct against Ballistic Missile Proliferation (Vienna, 29 - 30 May 2008)

Statement of the Republic of Slovenia on behalf of the European Union by Head of Delegation, mr. Bojan Bertoncelj, Chargé d`Affaires for Multilateral Affairs, Permanent Mission of Slovenia

Madame Chair,

  1. I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union. The Candidate Countries Croatia,* The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia* and Turkey, the Countries of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidates Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, and Serbia, the EFTA countries Iceland an Norway, members of the European Economic Area, as well as Ukraine, associate themselves with this statement.


Madame Chair,

  1. Allow me first of all to express our thanks to Bosnia and Herzegovina for the work done during their chairmanship of the Hague Code of Conduct against Ballistic Missile Proliferation and to welcome the new Chair, Hungary. The EU welcomes also the preparedness of Costa Rica to accept the Chairmanship in 2009/2010. This early indication of readiness to assume Chairmanship, first in the history of HCOC, adds continuity and strength to the mechanism.
  1. The EU would also like to express its gratitude to Austria for its continued strong support to the HCoC through the Immediate Central Contact in Vienna.
  1. The EU welcomes Dominican Republic, Maldives, San Marino and Samoa as the most recent Subscribing States to the Code, raising the number of Subscribing States to 130.
  1. Since the previous HCoC Subscribing State meeting end of May 2007, we have observed some worrisome developments concerning the Hague Code of Conduct. Before elaborating more on that, let me emphasize that in spite of all our concerns, the EU strongly believes that the HCoC could and should become a truly multilateral forum where matters relating to ballistic missile proliferation can be discussed with the attention they deserve.


Madame Chair,

  1. Let me first address implementation issues. What matters most is of course faithful implementation of the Code. This applies to its transparency measures, i.e. the submission of pre-launch notifications and of the annual declarations, and also to attendance at the Annual Meeting. In this regard the record remains weak.
  1. We noted with regret the decision of Russia, early this year, to suspend the submission of its pre-launch notification for preliminary one year. We believe that this can only aggravate an overall unsatisfactory level of implementation of transparency measures enshrined in the Code. It is against this background that the EU has carried out high ranking demarches in HCoC Subscribing States, in particular in Washington and Moscow, encouraging full implementation of the Code.
  1. The EU fears that a persistent lack of full implementation can threaten the functioning and thus the viability of the Code as a whole. The European Union therefore uses this opportunity to call upon all Subscribing States to fulfil their implementation obligations in full. For every Subscribing State without ballistic missile capability, the submission of Annual Declarations is a simple but nevertheless important expression of its continued commitment to the Code. In this context, I want to reiterate the commitment of all EU Member States to continue meeting their obligations under the Code.
  1. The regular attendance of Subscribing States at annual meetings is a proof of serious commitment of Subscribing States to the Code. The European Union has fully supported the initiative of the Dutch Foreign Minister encouraging his counterparts in the HCoC Subscribing States to send representatives to this year's annual meeting. We note [with regret] that in spite of those efforts, the degree of attendance, [although improved in comparison to last year], is still far from satisfactory. We must continue to work on this.


Madame Chair,

  1. My second point, equally important, concerns the current level of      subscription to the Code. While the number of Subscribing states expanded to 130, thus to more than two thirds of UN members, the Code is still far from reaching universality, with a number of states with recognised ballistic missiles capabilities still not having subscribed to it. The EU continues to encourage its major partners especially in Asia, the Middle East and Latin America, to subscribe to the Code. In this context, I would recall the EU-organised workshop on "Challenges in Missile Non-Proliferation - Multilateral Approaches" in the margins of the last-year's annual meeting, in which nine important non-subscribing states participated.
  1. Certain States continue to have doubts and to raise questions concerning the way how the Code was initiated. Therefore, the EU believes that we need to re-emphasize a clear multilateral and universal vocation of the Code. In this context, the European Union deeply regrets that we, the HCoC Subscribing States, have failed to agree to submit the HCoC Resolution to the 62nd Session of the United Nations General Assembly. In order to facilitate the adoption of a resolution in support of the HCoC by the 63rd UNGA in autumn this year, the European Union submitted a draft for endorsement by HCoC Subscribing States under agenda item 8.


Madame Chair,

  1. Why does the European Union insist so much on faithful implementation of the Hague Code of Conduct and its universality?
  1. The EU Strategy against the proliferation of WMD, adopted by Heads of State and Government of the European Union in December 2003, clearly identified the proliferation of WMD delivery systems, such as ballistic missiles, as a growing cause of concern and expressed the overriding importance the EU attaches to this threat to international peace and security.
  1.  The missile activities of Iran are of particular concern especially in the light of continuous defiance of UNSC Resolutions concerning its nuclear programme. Iran attempts to master the staging of missiles and to further increase its missile ranges. Considering the many features of SLV and long-range, stages missiles have in common, a progress in Iran's SLV program, marked by claimed space launches in February 2007 and 2008, could contribute to Iran's objectives in missile domain. UNSCR 1737, 1747 and 1803 impose sanctions targeted i.a. at Iran’s ballistic missile program to prevent the development of nuclear weapons delivery systems in Iran.
  1. Despite some progress achieved within the Six Party Talks on nuclear issue, no progress has been made to tackle DPRK's missile proliferation activities and programmes in violation of UNSC Resolutions 1695 and 1718.
  1. Other countries of concern have carried on with their missile programmes. The ongoing development, testing and acquisition of ever more advanced ballistic missiles continue to be a source of concern also in other regions of the world, such as South Asia. In this context, we have all observed a multiplication of events, flight tests or parades as well as public statements referring to the acquisition or the development for missile capabilities.


Madame Chair,

  1. We believe that a multilateral response, either at a global scale or in regional context, is the most adequate and effective way to tackle the issue of ballistic missile proliferation, given the dynamics and main driving forces behind the phenomenon. In this context, while imperfect in terms of both scope and membership, the Hague Code of Conduct is the sole multilateral confidence-building and transparencyinstrument in the field of missile proliferation.
  1. The EU welcomes initiatives aimed at further broadening the scope of our debate to include relevant issues of a more general nature, including new transparency measures, as foreseen by Article 4b of the Code. The above mentioned EU workshop helped to generate a lot of ideas in this context.
  1. The EU Member States look forward to fruitful discussions in this regard at this annual meeting with a view to further strengthening the HCoC.

Thank you, Madame Chair.


*Croatia and The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia continue to be part of the Stabilization and Association Process


Accessibility     . Print     .

Date: 05.06.2008