The HCoC is an acronym for the Hague Code of Conduct against Ballistic Missile Proliferation (HCoC). It is a widely subscribed multilateral instrument that aims at delegitimizing ballistic missile proliferation. The HCoC consists of a set of general principles, modest commitments, and limited confidence building measures.
The HCoC was formally brought into effect on November 25, 2002, at a launching conference hosted by the Netherlands in The Hague.
The HCoC aims to contribute to the process of strengthening existing national and international security arrangements and disarmament and non-proliferation objectives and mechanisms. Participants recognize a need to prevent and curb the proliferation of ballistic missile systems capable of delivering weapons of mass destruction, as well as the importance of strengthening, and gaining wider adherence to, multilateral disarmament and non-proliferation mechanisms. To meet these objectives, participants try to exercise maximum possible restraint in the development, testing, and deployment of ballistic missiles capable of carrying weapons of mass destruction.
The UN General Assembly adopted on December 3, 2004, a resolution (A/Res/59/91) welcoming the adoption of the HCoC and calling on states that have not adhered to it to do so. On December 8, 2005, 158 nations in the UN General Assembly voted in favor of General Assembly Resolution 60/62 supporting the HCoC. The Code’s importance and relevance was reaffirmed by subsequent resolutions of the 63rd, 65th and the 67th UN General Assembly (A/Res/63/64, A/Res/65/73, and A/Res/67/42).
The HCoC complements the important, ongoing work of the MTCR. All states, whether or not they are members of the MTCR are encouraged to join the HCoC, which reflects the founding States’ intent to make the Code universally accepted.
As of June 2016, 138 countries have subscribed to the HCoC.
Participation in the HCoC is voluntary and open to all states. A country may subscribe to the HCoC by sending a diplomatic note stating that it wishes to become an HCoC Subscribing State to the Austrian Foreign Ministry, which serves as the Immediate Central Contact (ICC) for the HCoC.
The HCoC is a political commitment that is open to all countries’ voluntary subscription. By subscribing to the HCoC, members voluntarily commit themselves politically to provide pre-launch notifications (PLNs) on ballistic missile and space-launch vehicle launches (SLVs) and test flights. Subscribing States also commit themselves to submit an annual declaration (AD) of their country’s policies on ballistic missiles and space-launch vehicles, including information on the number and generic class of ballistic missiles and space launch vehicles launched during the preceding year. The HCoC does not require any financial commitment: there are no assessed contributions or any other monetary costs of subscribing.
The HCoC’s decision-making body, the Regular Meeting, normally convenes annually for two days in Vienna, Austria, in May. Further information on the Regular Meetings can be obtained athttp://www.un.org/disarmament/HomePage/ODAPublications/Yearbook/index.shtml
The annual Regular Meeting is chaired on a rotating basis. The Chair of this meeting becomes the HCoC Chair for the period extending to the next Regular Meeting of Subscribing States.
As agreed by the conference in The Hague, Austria serves as the Immediate Central Contact (Executive Secretariat) and therefore coordinates the information exchange within the HCOC framework. In 2011 a new HCOC website was created with EU financing (www.hcoc.at).
The following countries have served as HCoC Chair:
Source: Austrian Foreign Ministry