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Proliferation Security Initiative: Chairman's Statement at the Fifth Meeting


March 5, 2004

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Palacio Foz
Fifth Meeting of the PSI, March 4-5, 2004
Lisbon, Portugal
March 5, 2004

1. The fifth Plenary meeting of the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) took place at Palácio Foz, Lisbon, on March 4-5, 2004, building on deliberations at Madrid (December 6, 2003); Brisbane (July 9-10, 2003); Paris (September 3-4, 2003) and London (October 9-10, 2003). Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Singapore, Spain, the UK, and the U.S. were represented.

2. The participants reaffirmed their strong determination to respond effectively to the threat represented by proliferation and trafficking of WMD [weapons of mass destruction], their delivery systems, and related materials worldwide. Recent developments leave no doubt as to the seriousness of the danger posed by such proliferation activities. The PSI [Proliferation Security Initiative] has been successful in raising worldwide awareness to this threat and in fostering the international cooperation that is required to stop WMD-related shipments as well as the proliferation networks. Trafficking in WMD constitutes a global threat to international peach and security. It is an unacceptable activity and should be addressed by all countries. If linked to terrorism, it can represent a random threat to anyone, in any continent.

3. Deterring trafficking is therefore in the interest of all peace-loving countries. The open nature of this Initiative is reiterated and the contributions from countries that share PSI concerns, principles and goals continue to be welcomed. This is a global endeavor with an inclusive nature and it relies on the widest possible cooperation between states from different parts of the world. Participants considered that geographical balance and regional diversity are assets that need to be preserved, as they represent an important added value to PSI effectiveness. In this spirit, the strengthened commitment of Canada, Norway, and Singapore to the PSI is warmly welcomed.

4. Participants supported the call by U.S. President Bush to expand the role of the PSI to not only interdict shipments of WMD, their delivery systems and related materials, but to cooperate in preventing WMD proliferation facilitators (i.e. individuals, companies, and other entities) from engaging in this deadly trade. They also warmly welcomed contributions by other participants namely the UK. Participants agreed to pursue greater cooperation through military and intelligence services and law enforcement to shut down proliferation facilitators and bring them to justice.

PSI participants agree to begin examining the key steps necessary for this expanded role, including:

  • identifying national points of contact and internal processes developed for this goal;
  • developing and sharing national analyses of key proliferation actors and networks, their financing sources, and other support structures;
  • undertaking national action to identify law enforcement authorities and other tools or assets that could be brought to bear against efforts to stop proliferation facilitators.

Outreach

5. The participants agreed that it was essential to continue broadening the international consensus in favor of the fight against the proliferation of WMD, their delivery systems, and related materials, as well as to the widening of the international political and operational support for PSI aims and actions. This will be carried out notably by building on previous outreach activities (over 60 countries have expressed support for the Paris Statement of interdiction Principles until now). This may also be done by concluding bilateral agreements with interested States, notably in view of obtaining their consent for expeditious procedures for the boarding of vessels flying their flag, as required. The first examples of such bilateral agreements seem to indicate that this is an approach that can bear fruit most rapidly and which participants could/should usefully pursue.

6. Regarding significant developments related to the fight against WMD-related trafficking, complementary efforts by all relevant international organization and information sharing with such organizations should be pursued as appropriate.

7. Regional outreach activities have shown to be an effective awareness-raising tool. They provide a useful framework for enhancing the involvement in the PSI activities and create a link between its global aims and the various regional contexts. Participants are encouraged to host further meetings to present and promote the PSI along the lines of those organized by Japan and Poland. The Portuguese announcement of one such outreach meeting for the African continent was welcomed.

8. While continuing to promote wide support for the Initiative, participants agreed to focus their outreach efforts particularly on states that have potentially unique contributions to make to interdictions efforts (i.e. flag states, transshipment states, overflight states, transit states, and coastal states). The support of all countries interested in PSI and cooperation in interdiction is welcome and states are encouraged to consider the following practical steps that can establish the basis for involvement in PSI activities:

  • Formally commit to and publicly endorse the PSI and its Statement of Interdiction Principles and indicate willingness to take all steps available to support PSI efforts.
  • Undertake a review and provide information on current national legal authorities to undertake interdictions at sea, in the air or on land. Indicate willingness to strengthen authorities where appropriate.
  • Identify specific national assets that might contribute to PSI efforts (e.g. information sharing, military and/or law enforcement assets).
  • Provide points of contact for PSI interdiction requests and other operational activities. Establish appropriate internal government processes to coordinate PSI response efforts.
  • Be willing to actively participate in PSI interdiction training exercises and actual operations as opportunities arise.
  • Be willing to consider signing relevant agreements (e.g. boarding agreements) or to otherwise establish a concrete basis for cooperation with PSI efforts (e.g. MOU on overflight denial).

9. The participants discussed the proposed amendments to the Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Maritime Navigation (SUA) that would criminalise the transport of weapons of mass destruction, their delivery systems, and related materials on commercial vessels at sea.

Operational Activities

10. The participants noted with satisfaction that the PSI is by now operationally active. They also recognized that specific, significant progress was thereby obtained in fighting proliferation activities and that PSI partners had contributed decisively to recently disclosed successes in the disruption or indeed dismantling of some previously covert WMD programs.

11. The meeting heard a report from the chairman of the operational experts meeting that took place in Washington, DC on December 16-17, 2003. It encouraged the operational experts to pursue their work at the meeting that was announced in Canada, to take place in April, notably in view of reaching conclusions on the improvement and rationalization of the PSI exercise program, providing for improved thematic and geographical balance, as well as on several other steps identified at the Washington meeting.

12. Training is required for operational effectiveness. Six exercises took place in different parts of the world since the launching of the PSI and further important operational activities are foreseen in the months to come. The Plenary took note with satisfaction that the UK, Australia, Spain, France, Italy, the U.S., Germany, and Poland, have organized or will organize PSI exercises. Other participants are encouraged to take similar initiatives, in the framework of a coordinated and rationalised exercise program.

13. The Plenary particularly drew the participants’ attention to the fact that the attainment of the PSI goals requires continued efforts within the operational experts group to work through operational legal issues, as commenced at the Washington meeting. All countries are encouraged to take the necessary steps to improve their legal systems and practical tools to strengthen their capacity to effectively act as and when required to take action consistent with the PSI Statement of Interdiction Principles. Bearing in mind our common goals, appropriate consultations might be required in this regard.

Future of PSI

14. Not yet one year from the moment it was launched, the Proliferation Security Initiative has established itself as a crucial instrument to respond effectively to some of the most serious security challenges of the XXI century. This is reflected in the growing number of countries supporting the PSI. All participate in this sense in the Initiative and all their contributions are warmly welcomed. Just like proliferation can be a multifaceted phenomenon, the responses may have to be flexible and may need to take many shapes and forms.

15. PSI is an activity, not an organization. Progress since the London Plenary demonstrates that the main lines of the PSI are now well established and that several directions of action can be pursued separately but still in a mutually reinforcing mode. However, to further build the PSI as an activity, political vision and strategic guidance remain necessary. Further consideration shall be given to the suggestion of establishing a network of contact points at policy level among participants.

Next Meeting

16. To commemorate the anniversary of the launching of the PSI Poland offered to host a meeting in Krakow that will bring together all countries that support the PSI.



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