Trans-Atlantic security organization agrees to tighten export
controls of shoulder-fired missiles
Associated Press Worldstream
May 26, 2004 Wednesday
VIENNA, Austria — Europe’s largest security organization agreed
Wednesday to tighten export controls of shoulder-fired missiles to
keep the weapons, which can be used to shoot down airplanes, out of
Members of the 55-nation Organization for Security and Cooperation in
Europe agreed to report transfers of the weapons, known as ManPADS
(Man-Portable Air Defense Systems), during a meeting of the group’s
Forum for Security Cooperation.
“We are determined to contribute to reducing the risk of diversion of
small arms and light weapons on to the black market,” said Armenian
Ambassador Jivan Tabibian, whose country holds the chairmanship
“We have recognized the threats posed by unauthorized proliferation
and use of (ManPADS), especially to civil aviation, peacekeeping,
crisis management and anti-terrorist operations.”
The decision means that all OSCE countries will adopt the principles
of the “Wassenaar Arrangement,” a 31-country group formed in 1996 that
promotes transparency and responsibility in transfers of weapons and
materials that could be used as weapons.
Any infringement of those principles would be a criminal offense,
the OSCE said in a news release.
Members of the Vienna-based organization also agreed to promote the use
of ManPAD export controls in countries that aren’t part of the group.