last update: November 2012


1) UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan

'Secretary-General welcomes launch of International Code of Conduct Against Ballistic Missile Proliferation', statement issued by the Spokesperson for Secretary-General Kofi Annan, UN Press Release SG/SM/8523, November 25.

The Secretary-General welcomes the launching of the International Code of Conduct against Ballistic Missile Proliferation. The accumulation, technical refinement, proliferation, use or threat of use of ballistic and other types of missiles has long been a source of concern to the international community. The Code of Conduct, as a voluntary, non-legally binding instrument, is a positive step towards preventing the proliferation of ballistic missiles and towards international peace and security. At the same time, the Secretary-General stresses the need to continue international efforts to deal with the issue of missiles in its totality. There is no universally accepted norm or instrument specifically governing the development, testing, production, acquisition, transfer, deployment or use of missiles. He looks forward to additional measures that will address this and related concerns.

2) Russian Foreign Ministry

'On the International Launching Conference for the International Code of Conduct Against Ballistic Missile Proliferation', Statement by Alexander Yakovenko, Official Spokesperson for the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Russian Foreign Ministry Document 2452-27-11-2002, November 27.

... The International Code of Conduct, which is a document of a political nature, represents a set of basic principles of conduct in the field of missile non-proliferation. The Russian Federation has acceded to the International Code of Conduct on the understanding that the Code is only the first step along the road to elaborating a legally binding multilateral agreement on a global missile non-proliferation regime. The Russian Federation, based on the results of the successful holding of the Hague conference, expects that countries which for some or other reasons at this stage have not deemed it possible to accede to the Code will nevertheless be able to participate in international efforts for solving the problem of missile proliferation, both within the framework of the ICOC and under the aegis of the United Nations and, perhaps, in other formats.

3) UK Foreign Office Minister Mike O'Brien

'International Code of Conduct Against Ballistic Missiles Launching Conference', Statement to Parliament by Foreign & Commonwealth Office Minister of State Mike O'Brien, November 26.

The ICOC is a politically binding agreement designed to tackle the proliferation of ballistic missiles capable of delivering weapons of mass destruction. It does so by promoting transparency and confidence building among States. It consists of principles, commitments and confidence-building measures. It will establish international norms for the first time in the area of ballistic missiles. The Code will complement the existing range of international instruments against WMD.

The non-proliferation commitments in the Code include a commitment not to contribute to, support or assist any ballistic missile programme in countries which might be developing or acquiring weapons of mass destruction in contravention of international obligations. Also to exercise vigilance in assistance to Space Launch Vehicle programmes, given that these can be used to conceal ballistic missile programmes. The Code also calls for maximum possible restraint in the development, testing and deployment of ballistic missiles capable of delivering weapons of mass destruction.

The confidence-building and transparency measures are designed to promote confidence through information sharing, in the form of both pre-launch notifications and annual declarations about ballistic missile and space launch programmes. The aim is to boost confidence for instance that space launch vehicle programmes are not being used as cover for ballistic missile programmes.

The Code represents a significant step forward for the international community in the area of arms control - in this case the control of one of the delivery systems of choice for weapons of mass destruction. The UK has played a leading role in the development of the ICOC since its inception. We are calling on all States to subscribe to the Code.

Source: UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office,

4) French-Russian declaration

The proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their delivery vehicles creates a growing threat to peace and international stability. In the face of this threat a global approach is necessary.


Russia and France welcome the launching of the Hague International Code of Conduct Against the Proliferation of Ballistic Missiles. They continue efforts for the implementation of the Hague Code of Conduct, as well as for the involvement in the Code of missile-significant countries which so far do not participate in it. The Code of Conduct is the first step on the road to elaborating a broad, legally binding agreement.

Source: Ministry Of Foreign Affairs Of The Russian Federation.

5) US Undersecretary of State John Bolton

I am honored to represent the United States of America as an initial Subscribing State to the International Code of Conduct against Ballistic Missile Proliferation (ICOC). The entry into effect today of the ICOC marks an important contribution to the international effort against the proliferation of ballistic missiles capable of delivering weapons of mass destruction - an effort that the United States has always strongly supported.

The large number of countries that have subscribed to the ICOC and are represented here is a concrete demonstration that the international community has recognized and is looking for additional ways to address the proliferation of the most threatening means of delivery for weapons of mass destruction. It is no accident that the dangerous proliferation of ballistic missiles occurs predominantly in parallel with programs for nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons. International concern about such ballistic missile programs is heightened by the fact that weapons of mass destruction programs also often exist in parallel with support for terrorist groups. Viewed in this context, it is clear why the proliferation of ballistic missiles threatens international peace and security on a worldwide basis.

The United States regards the proliferation of ballistic missiles capable of delivering WMD as a direct threat to the US, our deployed forces, our friends and allies, and our interests in key regions of the world.

The United States sees the International Code of Conduct against Ballistic Missile Proliferation as an important addition to the wide range of tools available to countries to impede and roll back this proliferation threat. One element of our strategy is multilateral efforts against missile proliferation, such as the ICOC and the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR). Another important element is missile defense. We view our missile defense efforts as complementary to, and consistent with the objectives of, the ICOC and the MTCR. Each seeks in different ways to protect us from the dangers posed by WMD and ballistic missile proliferation. We are now in the process of discussing with allies and friends, including the Russian Federation, cooperation on missile defense programs because our nation is hardly alone in needing the additional protection that such programs can provide. Missile defenses, the MTCR, and the ICOC play important roles in deterring and reducing missile proliferation, and the United States will be ready to work with members of the ICOC, and of the MTCR, to ensure that these complementary efforts are mutually reinforcing.

While an important new addition to the broad arsenal of non-proliferation measures, it is no secret that the ICOC has its limitations. For example, in taking on the political commitment pursuant to the ICOC to exercise maximum possible restraint in the development, testing and deployment of ballistic missiles capable of delivering weapons of mass destruction, the United States - like other countries - understands this commitment as not limiting our right to take steps in these areas necessary to meet our national security requirements consistent with US national security strategy. This includes our ability to maintain our deterrent umbrella for our friends and allies, and the capabilities necessary to defeat aggression involving WMD attacks. But all subscribing states will have the opportunity to discuss these issues in detail, and to participate in consensus decisions to evolve the text.

Most of this implementation work will concern the ICOC's requirements for pre-launch notification of subscribing states ballistic missile and space-launch vehicle launches and test flights. The United States intends to make pre-launch notifications and annual declarations pursuant to the ICOC based upon current US proposals in its negotiations with the Russian Federation on a Pre-Launch Notification System, including on the question of which launches are to be notified. For example, the United States reserves the right in circumstances of war to launch ballistic missiles and space-launch vehicles without prior notification.

Once implementation is completed, the notifications and annual declarations that the United States provides pursuant to the ICOC will be based upon the US-Russian Pre-Launch Notification System, to be established in connection with the US-Russian Joint Data Exchange Center. Over the longer term, we agree with the Russian Federation that the bilateral US-Russian system should be multilateralized. We hope, in turn, that such a multilateralized system might provide the mechanism by which all ICOC subscribing states exchange pre-launch notifications. We plan to keep all subscribing states informed on the progress of the implementation of the US-Russia agreement on launch notification, and on the implications and opportunities that a multilateralized US-Russia Pre-Launch Notification System can present for the ICOC.

Some have been concerned that the ICOC is simply a political declaration and not legally binding. But surely the real issue is not the nature of the commitment, but the extent of the political will to comply with the code that signatories demonstrate. Too often in the arms control and nonproliferation fields, countries make a great public flourish about adhering to codes and conventions, and then, quietly and deceptively, do precisely the opposite in private.

In the context of the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC), for example, we know that several member states are violating their commitments to the treaty. To expose some of these violators to the international community, we have named publicly states the US government knows to be pursuing the production of biological warfare agents in violation of the BWC: including Iraq, North Korea, Iran and Libya, as well as Cuba, which we believe has at least a limited, developmental offensive biological warfare R&D effort, and which has provided dual-use biotechnology to other rogue states.

Even as we speak, we face a grave threat to the integrity of the Non-Proliferation Treaty. North Korea brazenly admitted last month to having a program to enrich uranium for nuclear weapons. This egregious violation of its treaty commitments threatens the security of all nations, as well as the continued credibility of the Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Surely, none of us wants this disdain and disregard to happen to the new ICOC. That is why we are not concerned about the states that have chosen not to subscribe to the code. Far better to know who is actually prepared to live under its terms, and who is not. Far better to know who is truly serious about stopping the proliferation of ballistic missile technology and the risk that such technology could be used to carry weapons of mass destruction against innocent civilian populations.

In conclusion, Mr. Chairman, the United States places great value on the International Code of Conduct against Ballistic Missile Proliferation and has high confidence in its future potential. We pledge our full support to you and our fellow Subscribing States in the demanding tasks ahead.

Source: Text US is Confident in Future Potential of Missile Code of Conduct, US State Department (Washington File), November 25.

6) Relevant excerpt of the EU Council Decision

The European Union has strongly supported the Code from its inception. The European Union considers the Code as an important multilateral instrument which aims at curbing the proliferation of ballistic missiles systems and related technologies through transparency and confidence building measures. All the European Union Member States have subscribed to the Code and are implementing the Code in good faith.

In the EU Council Decision, the European Union supports three objectives as follows:

- Universality of the Code,

- Implementation of the Code,

- Enhancement and improved functioning of the Code.

Source: EU Council Decision