HAGUE CODE OF CONDUCT: INDIA JOINS BALLISTIC MISSILE PROLIFERATION REGIME
Delhi has joined the Hague Code of Conduct against Ballistic Missile Proliferation ( HCoC ) in a move that would push India’s membership application for the coveted Missile Technology Control Regime ( MTCR ) and strengthen its case at the Nuclear Suppliers Group ( NSG ). India joined the group by notifying the HCoC Central Contact in Vienna through diplomatic channels.
The HCoC is a voluntary, legally non-binding international confidence building and transparency measure that seeks to prevent the proliferation of ballistic missiles that are capable of delivering weapons of mass destruction. Since the signing and entering into force of the HCOC Code in November 2002 in The Hague, the number of signatories has increased from 96 to 138.
During a state visit to India in November 2010, U.S. President Barack Obama announced U.S. support for India’s participation in the Nuclear Suppliers Group, theWassenaar Arrangement, and the Missile Technology Control Regime, “in a phased manner,” and to encourage the evolution of regime participation criteria to that end, “consistent with maintaining the core principles of these regimes.”
During a visit to India in December 2010, French President Sarkozy also expressed his country’s backing for India’s inclusion in Nuclear Suppliers Group.
The United Kingdom has for a long time been a supporter of India’s inclusion in the Nuclear Suppliers Group.
During Republic Day visit of India in January 2015, Obama said that India was ready for NSG membership. China’s Foreign Ministry offered conditional support for Indian membership in the NSG, but also called for “prudence and caution” over the issue.
A ballistic missile can be launched from land, from a silo, from mobile platforms on trucks or trains, from submarine or ship, or from an airplane. After launch, a ballistic missiles arches up from one point, and lands at another point. All rockets, from fireworks to massive space launchers, carry both fuel and some form of oxygen. Because they do not burn oxygen from the air, ballistic missiles can fly beyond earth’s atmosphere. A missile is called ballistic because, just as one would throw a ball or spear, the rocket’s engine gives the missile an initial push, after which its flight is affected only by gravity. Ballistic missiles do not fly. They go up, and they come down.
Ballistic missiles are not to be confused with cruise missiles. The former are unmanned projectiles; the latter are pilotless airplanes, either remote controlled or pre-programmed. They fly through the air, and only through the air. The engines of cruise missiles, like those of aircraft, burn oxygen from the air.
Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) is a multinational body concerned with reducing nuclear proliferation by controlling the export and re-transfer of materials that may be applicable to nuclear weapon development and by improving safeguards and protection on existing materials.
The Missile Technology Control Regime is an informal and voluntary association of countries which share the goals of non-proliferation of unmanned delivery systems capable of delivering weapons of mass destruction, and which seek to coordinate national export licensing efforts aimed at preventing their proliferation. The MTCR was originally established in 1987 by Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States. Since that time, the number of MTCR partners has increased to a total of thirty-four countries, all of which have equal standing within the Regime.
The Wassenaar Arrangement, was established on 12 July 1996, in Wassenaar, the Netherlands, which is near The Hague, is a multilateral export control regime established in order to contribute to regional and international security and stability, by promoting transparency and greater responsibility in transfers of conventional arms and dual-use goods and technologies, thus preventing destabilising accumulations. The aim is also to prevent the acquisition of these items by terrorists.