Declaration by the United States and the European Union on the Responsibilities of States and on Transparency Regarding Arms Exports
                              THE WHITE HOUSE

                       Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release
December 18, 2000

                       Washington, December 18, 2000

       The United States and the European Union share a common vision on
the question of arms export controls.  That is why we have decided to work
jointly to encourage all arms exporting countries to adopt the principles
and degree of transparency which we apply to our own exports. We are agreed
that we have special responsibilities in this respect. Accordingly,
together we will pursue the promotion of these principles with rigor and
seriousness of purpose.

       The European Union expressed, very early on, its determination to
promote common high-level standards in this field with the adoption in 1991
and 1992 by the Luxembourg and Lisbon European Councils of the first set of
common criteria for arms exports.  The adoption in 1998 of the EU Code of
Conduct for arms exports was a new step forward as it introduced a
mechanism for notifications and consultations, the only one of its kind.
Since its entry into force in June 1998, the Code of Conduct has helped to
increase significantly the level of transparency in arms exports and to
promote convergence of the national arms export policies implemented by
Member States.  The European Union encourages other countries to adhere to
the principles of the code of conduct and welcomes the fact that 17
countries have declared they would apply these principles to their own
export decisions.

       The United States, for its part, maintains comprehensive national
arms export control policies, including registration of manufacturers and
exporters of defense articles and services subject to U.S. jurisdiction,
wide-ranging controls on exports of defense services, manufacturing
licenses, technical assistance and brokering transactions, rigorous
case-by-case review of applications or other requests for approval,
requirements for U.S. government consent for retransfers of U.S. origin
defense articles and services, and effective enforcement measures including
a vigorous program of pre- and post-shipment monitoring of U.S. arms
transfers. The United States has also supported efforts to strengthen
international and multilateral controls involving greater responsibility,
transparency and restraint.  The United States has welcomed and expressed
its strong support for the principles embodied in the EU Code of Conduct
for Arms Exports, which are consistent with the U.S. arms transfer policy
criteria. In furtherance of these policies and efforts, the United States
has recently proposed the development and negotiation of an "international
arms sales code of conduct" as a means of promoting principles and
practices of responsibility, transparency and restraint on a wider
international scale.

       In deciding to collaborate in the promotion of these principles
regarding arms exports, the United States and the European Union reaffirm
the right of States to acquire the means of self-defense, consistent with
the UN Charter Implementation of stringent and responsible controls by
exporting States is a sine qua non for the acceptable conduct of arms
exports.  The efficiency of such controls is enhanced by a close dialogue
between the licensing authorities and the exporting companies.

       We reaffirm the fundamental importance we attach to the promotion of
democracy and the respect for human rights. For this reason, we deem it
crucial to avoid export of military equipment when there is reason to
believe that it will be used for internal repression or violation of
internationally recognized human rights and fundamental freedoms.

       We also stress that arms transfers should not contribute to or
result in excessive or destabilizing arms accumulations, regional
instability, armed aggression, the precipitation, escalation or aggravation
of internal or interstate conflicts, proliferation of weapons of mass
destruction and missiles capable of delivering them, international
terrorism, or in arms diversion. We reiterate the fundamental importance of
respect, by all countries, of international commitments, in particular arms
embargoes imposed by the United Nations Security Council and other
competent international bodies.

       Illicit trafficking and diversion of military equipment are also
serious concerns. We will continue to exercise particular vigilance with
regard to exports of small arms and light weapons.  We adopted a joint
declaration on "Common Principles on Small Arms and Light Weapons", on
December 17, 1999, which encompasses these standards. We support the
Moratorium and the Code of Conduct adopted by ECOWAS in 1999 and assert our
intention to respect the Moratorium's principles when examining export
applications at the national level.

       In this context, the United States and the European Union have
decided to act jointly to encourage all arms exporting countries to submit
their export decisions to rigorous criteria and to greater transparency. In
particular, we commit ourselves to promoting the highest possible standards
of conduct and enhanced export control practices based on our shared
principles of responsibility, transparency and restraint, including:

-    implementation of stringent national controls over exports of arms and
     military equipment, and of related technologies;

-    authorization of exports of arms and military equipment, and of
     related technologies only after an in-depth review of the internal
     situation of the buyer country and of the regional context in order to
     assure that such exports are not likely to create or heighten internal
     tensions or conflicts, to be used for the violation of human rights,
     to threaten peace and regional stability, or be diverted or
     re-exported in undesirable conditions; and

-    promotion of transparency by regularly circulating public information
     at the national level on authorized arms transfers and supporting
     expanded transparency regarding arms exports in the competent
     international fora, including the United Nations Register of
     Conventional Arms, the OSCE and the Wassenaar Arrangement.

       The United States and the European Union affirm their commitment to
work together to promote the aforementioned principles and enhanced export
control practices.


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