Foreign and Commonwealth Office, London, United Kingdom
Fourth Meeting of the PSI, October 9-10, 2003
London, United Kingdom
October 10, 2003
The London meeting was the fourth meeting of the PSI, consolidating and building on the foundations laid at Madrid (12 June); Brisbane (9-10 July); and Paris (3-4 September).
Following the publication of the Statement of Interdiction Principles on 4 September 2003, PSI participants approached other countries to seek their support for the Statement, and their views on how they might contribute to the Initiative.
Participants agreed that the response had been very encouraging. The Initiative had been well received. Over 50 countries had already expressed support for the Statement of Principles.
It was agreed that further co-ordinated outreach work would be needed to broaden international understanding of and co-operation with the Initiative. In this context, further regionally based meetings and activities would be valuable. In this regard the meeting welcomed planned efforts in the Asian region by Japan and Australia. The possibility was discussed of inviting additional participants to specific PSI exercises or other activities, on an ad hoc basis.
The meeting agreed that the PSI was a global initiative with an inclusive mission. Successful interdiction of trafficking in WMD [weapons of mass destruction], their delivery systems and related materials requires the widest possible co-operation between states. Participation in the PSI, which is an activity not an organisation, should be open to any state or international body that accepts the Paris Statement of Principles and makes an effective contribution.
The meeting noted that participation would vary with the activity taking place, and the contribution participants could provide. Some countries had particular experience, assets or expertise relevant to all PSI activities; other countries or organisations could be expected to contribute according to their particular capabilities.
It was noted that a number of countries which had expressed particularly keen interest in participating in future PSI activities and meetings had experience and capabilities which would be of value to the Initiative, and which should be taken into account in future decision making.
Focus of efforts
The Statement of Interdiction Principles, agreed at Paris in September, outlines the scope of the Initiative. It makes clear that "States or non-state actors of proliferation concern" generally refers to those countries or entities that the PSI participants involved establish should be subject to interdiction activities because they are engaged in proliferation through: (1) efforts to develop or acquire chemical, biological, or nuclear weapons and associated delivery systems; or (2) transfers (either selling, receiving, or facilitating) of WMD, their delivery systems, or related materials.
Participants agreed that the Initiative aimed to impede and stop trafficking of WMD, their delivery systems and related materials by any state or non-state actor engaged in or supporting WMD proliferation programmes, at any time and in any place.
WMD is a global threat which calls for a global response. Participants looked forward to working with all concerned states on developing the specific measures they were able and willing to take in support of the PSI.
Participants had an initial exchange of views on a possible Boarding Agreement, presented by the U.S., which could facilitate practical implementation of the Initiative. They agreed that participants should make comments as rapidly as possible, so that states which are interested can move forward with concluding the agreement.
Participants agreed that future interdiction exercises should build on the successful exercises that have already taken place: an Australian-led maritime interdiction training exercise in the Coral Sea in September, and a UK-led air interception command post exercise in London. Future exercises should seek to integrate civil, military, and law enforcement decision making, as appropriate.
The meeting agreed further steps to plan training exercises that will take place in the coming months:
Contacts with international organisations
Participants agreed that all relevant fora should be kept informed of significant developments under the Initiative. To this end, the chair of each PSI Plenary meeting should, as appropriate, circulate its conclusions.
Recalling the 1992 UN Security Council Presidential Declaration on the proliferation of WMD, the meeting noted the value of securing an expression of support in relevant international fora for greater international co-operation against trafficking in WMD, their delivery systems and related materials.
Concluding, the Plenary Chair noted that the broad direction of the PSI had now been agreed. Plenary meetings might therefore become less frequent. But exercises and expert discussion of specific operational and policy issues under the PSI umbrella would continue, with the broadest possible participation by states committed to PSI Principles and to making effective contributions.
The offer by the United States to host an operational experts' meeting in December was warmly welcomed. A number of countries, beyond the original 11 participants, that support the PSI Principles and have concrete contributions to make to PSI activities will take part in that meeting.
Participants warmly welcomed Portugal's offer to host the next PSI Plenary meeting in early 2004.