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4 December 1998. Add message on future elaboration.
Source: Digital files and fax from Secretariat, The Wassenaar Arrangement.

Original: (27K)




1. The fourth Plenary meeting of the Wassenaar Arrangement (WA) was held December 2-3, 1998 under the chairmanship of Ambassador Staffan Sohlman (Sweden).

2. The Plenary took note of the work carried out in 1998. Participating States considered a number of issues relevant to the WA's purposes, including information on: arms and sensitive technology flows to regions in conflict or otherwise of concern; issues related to specific projects, programmes and end-users of concern; and on diversions and unauthorised transshipments. Participating States also examined global arms import trends and sensitive emerging technologies.

3. Participating States noted with satisfaction the increasing amount of information being exchanged in the WA, allowing them more effectively to develop common understandings of the risks associated with the transfer of arms or sensitive dual-use goods and technologies. The information exchange process is designed to help Participating States achieve the purposes of the WA, inter alia, to promote transparency and greater responsibility in transfers of conventional arms and dual-use goods and technologies, thus preventing destabilising accumulations. On the basis of information exchanged, Participating States assess the scope for coordinating national control policies to combat the risks associated with transfers. The WA will seek in 1999 to enhance further the value and effectiveness of its information exchange.

4. The WA in 1999 will undertake its first assessment of the overall functioning of the Arrangement, as specified in the Initial Elements. Participating States approved the basic scope and procedures for the assessment.

5. Participating States discussed arms flows to a number of regions where conflict is occurring. Participating States are committed to exercising, as a matter of national policy, maximum restraint when considering licences for the export of arms and sensitive dual-use items to all destinations where the risks are judged greatest, in particular to regions in conflict, and to maintaining national policies consistent with the purposes and objectives of the WA and with relevant decisions adopted by United Nations Security Council and/or other international organisations to which the Participating States may belong.

6. Participating States approved a study paper on criteria for assessing destabilising weapons accumulations entitled, "Elements for Objective Analysis and Advice Concerning Potentially Destabilising Accumulations of Conventional Weapons." This document, with an explanatory note, is attached.

7. The Plenary authorised further work in the Wassenaar Arrangement on arms transparency, building on the work already undertaken, recognizing the requirement to assess in 1999 the overall functioning of the WA based upon the relevant provisions of the Initial Elements, including paragraph II.5, and the goals of the WA.

8. The WA agreed control list amendments to take into account recent technological developments. The amendments to the lists included elimination of coverage of commonly available civil telecommunications equipment as well as the modernisation of encryption controls to keep pace with developing technology and electronic commerce, while also being mindful of security interests. Participating States also discussed the potential need for the WA and national export control authorities to respond quickly and effectively to the emergence of new technologies.

9. Participating States acknowledged initiatives undertaken in other fora that could be relevant to the WA's objectives. The WA will seek to maintain or establish appropriate contacts with such fora, in order to advance mutual goals and interests and to avoid duplication of effort.

10. The Wassenaar Arrangement welcomed the October 31 Declaration of a Moratorium on the Importation, Exportation and Manufacture of Light Weapons by ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States) member states. Participating States will undertake an appropriate collaborative role with ECOWAS member states to respect the provisions of the Moratorium and will be open to providing advisory and/or technical assistance in the implementation of the Moratorium.

11. In view of the significant negative impact that excessive accumulations of small arms and light weapons have had in recent, largely sub-national conflicts, and the relevance this has to the WA's objectives, Participating States recognised the importance of implementing responsible export policies and maintaining effective export controls with respect to small arms and light weapons. In particular, they affirmed the importance of exercising vigilance over any transfers of small arms and light weapons to areas of conflict and to prevent their diversion to such areas.

Participating States recognized the utility of exchanging information on issues such as diversionary routes and end-users as a means of helping national enforcement authorities to reduce illicit arms trafficking.

Participating States have taken note of the efforts of a number of international fora that are seeking to contribute to the prevention of excessive accumulations of small arms and light weapons. To increase mutual understanding and to avoid duplication of effort, the WA will be active in communicating to other relevant fora Participating States' commitment to responsible transfer policies and effective export controls on small arms and light weapons. The WA invites other fora to provide relevant information on their activities to the WA.

12. The Participating States confirm that they share the concerns regarding the threat to civil aviation posed by the illicit possession of Man Portable Air Defense Systems (MANPADS) and recognize the need for appropriate measures to prevent such possession. In this connection, the Participating States have agreed to continue the discussion of this issue. In particular, they will consider their national practices and possibly develop guidelines and will report the results of this work to the 1999 Plenary. The Participating States call on all the non-participating end-user States to strengthen their national controls on MANPADS in order to avoid their unauthorised possession and use.

13. Participating States examined technical aspects of their export controls, such as controls on the most sensitive dual-use items, end-use assurances and disposal of surplus military equipment. These discussions are designed to assist Participating States to bring their export controls on arms and sensitive dual-use items to the most effective levels possible.

14. Participating States exchanged views on means to promote, through their outreach contacts with non-Participating States, global adherence to responsible policies and effective controls with respect to international non-proliferation objectives and arms and dual-use transfers. The Plenary reaffirmed that the Wassenaar Arrangement is open, on a global and non-discriminatory basis, to prospective adherents that comply with the agreed criteria.

15. In 1998, the WA completed its secretariat structure by appointing Ambassador Luigi Lauriola (Italy) as the Head of the Secretariat of the Wassenaar Arrangement.


The Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls for Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies was established in July 1996 by 33 Participating States. Meetings are held in Vienna, Austria, where the Arrangement is based. The Participating States of the Wassenaar Arrangement are: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, the Republic of Korea, Portugal, Romania, Russian Federation, Slovak Republic, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, and the United States.

Original: (20K)



The 1998 Wassenaar Arrangement (WA) Plenary approved 3 December 1998 the paper, "Elements for Objective Analysis and Advice Concerning Potentially Destabilising Accumulations of Conventional Weapons."

The paper was produced to examine what scope there is for increasing the relevant categories for reporting pursuant to paragraph II. 5 of the Initial Elements and its goals. The paper could be useful in assisting WA Participating States during the deliberation process associated with considering transfers or denials.

The paper is of a non binding character; decisions on export licensing remain under national control of each WA Participating State.

The paper does not imply a fixed order of priority among the elements to be taken into account. Indeed the priorities among those elements may change depending upon specific issues under consideration.

The elements of the paper, which are framed generally in the form of questions, are not considered exhaustive. Participating States understand the document as a work-in-progress, to be elaborated further as experience is gained through the exchange of information and discussions within the WA, and as a result of constantly changing international circumstances.

Original: (46K)



1. Assessment of Motivation of the State under Study

a. What is the state's military doctrine? How do its weapons and their deployment posture fit with the implementation of the doctrine and/or meet national security requirements?

b. What do we believe to be the motivation of the state in accumulating conventional weapons beyond its current holdings, either through import or national production? How are such weapons likely to be used? Does the state believe its accumulation of conventional weapons is necessary in the exercise of its right to self-defence in accordance with the UN Charter? Does the state wish to gain a tactical or strategic advantage, status or national prestige, improved indigenous production capability, a capability to reverse-engineer or entrance to the export market? If conventional weapons or military technology are being acquired through import, does the state provide valid and credible end-use/end-user or re-transfer assurances? Are there risks of diversion to unauthorised end-use/end-users?

c. What are the general directions of the state's foreign policy? Is there a clearly identifiable risk that the state would use its weapons offensively against another country or in a manner inconsistent with the UN Charter; assert by force a territorial claim; or otherwise project power in a region?

d. Are the quantities involved in the state's accumulation of conventional weapons inconsistent with its likely requirements, suggesting possible diversion to an unauthorised end-user or efforts to reverse-engineer?

e. Is there a clearly identifiable risk that the weapons might be used for the violation and suppression of human rights and fundamental freedoms?

2. Regional Balance of Forces and the General Situation in the Region

a. What is the nature of the relationship among the states of the region? Are there territorial claims or disputes among them, including questions of unlawful occupation with the intent of annexation? Are there economic, ethnic, religious or other disputes or conflicts among them? Are one or several states of the region prepared to use force or the threat of the use of force in a manner inconsistent with the UN Charter to resolve disputes with other states of the region?

b. What are the state's national security requirements? Is the state's accumulation of conventional weapons greater than that required by its legitimate defence and security interests? Does it represent an appropriate and proportionate response to a threat? Consider the balance of forces and relative capabilities (offensive and defensive) between and among neighbouring and regional states and their relative expenditure on defence. The following factors, inter alia, might be considered, both individually for each state and comparatively: Size of the armed forces of the state, including trained reserves; quantity of weapons and related military equipment in service and in store; technical characteristics of weapons; their level of performance and maintenance; level of combat-readiness of the troops, including the quality of training of military personnel and their morale; and whether the deployment and training of forces is best suited for offensive or defensive action.

c. What would be the perception of the state's accumulation of conventional weapons by other states in the region? Would political, historical, territorial, geographic or logistic considerations cause the accumulation to be perceived as a direct threat or to be otherwise intimidating? Does the actual balance of forces in the region provide a sound basis for such a perception?

d. Could the accumulation of conventional weapons lead to an increase in tension or instability in the region or to the exacerbation of an existing conflict? Would potential adversaries perceive a need to prepare, deploy, or use additional forces or countermeasures? In a crisis, would they perceive a need to risk using force first? Is the accumulation of conventional weapons difficult or impossible to counter by forces in the region? Given the relative capabilities of states in the region, would the accumulation of conventional weapons provide sufficient protection or defence to offensive assets in such a manner as to be perceived as destabilising?

e. Would other states in the region wish to acquire (including through national production, if possible) similar quantitative or qualitative capabilities, or acquire offsetting capabilities? Could the accumulation of conventional weapons contribute to a destabilising regional arms race or to an accelerating process of competitive production or procurement?

3. Political/Economic Standing/Status of the State

a. Has the state signed and/or ratified relevant international or regional agreements and treaties pertaining to arms control and limitation, non-proliferation, and confidence and security building? What is its record of compliance with those agreements and treaties? Does the state participate in the UN Register of Conventional Arms? Does the state comply with internationally-recognised human rights, anti-terrorism and non-proliferation norms? Does the state have the intention to develop weapons of mass destruction (WMD); does it possess WMD; what are its views on the use of WMD? What is the general nature of the state's political system and what is the level of internal stability? Is there a civil armed conflict?

b. What is the state's military expenditure? What percentage of GDP does it spend on the military? Is the information it gives on its military expenditures open and accurate, or does it seek to conceal the true costs?

c. Does the accumulation of conventional weapons by the state exacerbate an already economically insupportable burden of defence? Does it risk economic or social destabilisation, either nationally or regionally?

4. Operational Capability


a. How would the accumulation of conventional weapons by the state affect the regional balance of forces and the situation in the region? A particular import or procurement through national production of an individual weapon, weapon system or sub-system may not be destabilising per se, but it may have a potentially destabilising character in combination with other equipment.

b. Would an additional conventional weapons acquisition, whether by import or through national production, introduce a new capability to the region?

c. Would an additional conventional weapons acquisition, whether by import or through national production, supplement or replace existing equipment? Would it substitute for current forces? If an import, are construction and maintenance (equipment support/spares) deals included? What is the operational life of the equipment with and without provision of maintenance

d. Would an additional conventional weapons acquisition, whether by import or through national production, provide the state with an additional strategic capability? Consider weapon system characteristics that have greater inherent potential to be destabilising (e.g., because they enhance power projection; there are few or no countermeasures; they contribute to the infliction of strategic harm).

e. Would an additional conventional weapons acquisition, whether by import or through national production, provide the state with new or otherwise increased quantitative or qualitative operational capabilities, or increased sustainability? Would it allow more effective operational use of existing military assets or a bypass of force weakness? If ammunition or missiles, will the quantities significantly enhance operational sustainability?


f. Is the additional conventional weapons acquisition, whether by import or through national production, appropriate given the manpower capabilities of the state? Consider equipment/manpower levels, training, combat experience and leadership/ morale.

g. If acquired by import, is a training package being provided in conjunction with the import?

h. Will the equipment itself enhance manpower effectiveness (e.g., simulators)?

5. Acquisition of Military Technology

a. Would the acquisition of particular technology, whether by tangible or intangible means or by indigenous development, provide a substantial technological advantage to the state's military capability? How will it affect the regional balance of forces and overall regional situation?

b. If by import, would the acquisition itself, or the terms of the deal, such as offset agreements, lead to an indigenous production capability?

c. If by import, is a design or technology package being provided in conjunction with the acquisition?

d. If by import, is there a possibility of reverse engineering, inter alia, does the acquisition involve components, spares or prototypes that can be reverse-engineered?

6. Other Factors

a. Would an additional conventional weapons system, if acquired by import, put the exporter's national forces or those of its friends and allies or of a UNSC-approved operation at risk?

b. Does the method used to import the additional conventional weapons raise concerns about how the weapons are likely to be used?


Conversion to HTML by JYA/Urban Deadline.

From: "Caspar Bowden" <>
To: <>
Subject: News from Wassenaar Secretariat
Date: Fri, 4 Dec 1998 16:23:58 -0000

Just talked to Dirk Weicke, Senior Adviser to Wassenaar Organisation.
(Tel:+43 1 516360)

No written details will be issued until next week, but gist is:

*) No alteration to question of whether Wassenaar covers intangible exports.
Up to signatory states to interpret and legislate.

*) mass-market software, symmetric key length limited to 56-bits.

*) software generally available, but with other restrictive tests on
end-user re-configurability, symmetric key length limited to 64-bits.

*) Assymetric key lengths (not sure how relates to above) limited to:

   RSA & Digital logarithm: 512 bits
   Elliptic curve : 112 bits

Caspar Bowden          
Director, Foundation for Information Policy Research
Tel: +44(0)171 354 2333      Fax: +44(0)171 827 6534