Joint Statement by France and the Netherlands on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the Hague Code of Conduct against Ballistic Missile Proliferation (HCoC) (25.11.22)

2022 marks the 20th anniversary of the Hague Code of Conduct against Ballistic Missile Proliferation (HCoC). The Code’s two decades of existence have underscored its importance to the multilateral non-proliferation architecture. The HCoC is the only universal instrument that promotes confidence-building and transparency in ballistic missiles and space launches, while encouraging restraint and vigilance in the development and use of their technologies.

From the beginning, France and the Netherlands have championed and promoted the HCoC. We are convinced that multilateralism and the strengthening of the international rules-based order is the most effective way to solve the issue of ballistic missile proliferation. In addition to the Code’s principled focus on non-proliferation, we recognize the important role it plays in avoiding misinterpretations, escalating responses and ballistic missile arms races, as well as its contribution to space security.

On 1 June this year, France and the Netherlands organized a multilateral conference in partnership with the EU to mark our support for the Hague Code of Conduct on the occasion of its 20th anniversary. Since 2008, the EU and its member states have provided significant support for the universalization and effective implementation of the Code in cooperation with the Foundation for Strategic Research, which has organized numerous expert missions, seminars and outreach events with non-subscribing states.

The universalization of the Code remains the key to achieving its potential. Since the signing and entry into force of the HCoC, the number of its signatories has increased from 93 to 143. We are committed to continuing our efforts to achieve its universalization and its full and effective implementation.

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