Research Papers

Under the current Council Decision, FRS will publish a series of Research Papers on the various aspects of the Code, as well as short Issue Briefs to highlight specific thematic and regional issues, and a major technical study. To find out more, go to our Project Activities

Research Papers

The Hague Code of Conduct and Space

This paper considers the dual approach of the Code by analysing the similarities between launchers and ballistic missiles in light of new technical developments, and assessing the risk of missile technology proliferation. It also assesses the new trends and developments in the space sector that may have an impact on the ability of the HCoC to remain relevant in its efforts to curb the proliferation of ballistic launchers.

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Research Papers

Harnessing Transparency Potential for Missile Non-Proliferation

Information is key for non-proliferation efforts. But the times when information was the exclusive purview of governments are over. Affordable, commercial and open-source monitoring capabilities empower states and societies alike, while challenging the ability of governments to preserve secrecy. Technological democratisation means that information is practically becoming a public good. And it allows for unprecedented transparency.

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Research Papers

The HCoC and China

China is currently the main ballistic missile possessor and spacefaring nation which remains outside the Hague Code of Conduct against Ballistic Missile Proliferation (HCoC). This can be explained by China’s traditional opacity regarding its deployment of strategic missiles, but also its exports of ballistic systems or technologies abroad. This absence is nonetheless problematic for a regime based on voluntary transparency and confidence-building which aims at universality.

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Research Papers

Ballistic missiles and conventional strike weapons: Adapting the HCoC to address the dissemination of conventional ballistic missiles

The Hague Code of Conduct aims at curbing the proliferation of missiles capable of carrying weapons of mass destruction. Today, with an important increase in ranges, these weapons are more and more used for a conventional mission, by a variety of states. This dissemination illustrates the fact that many stakeholders master the technologies necessary to build and sustain these weapons. But it also raises questions on the possible destabilising effects of these arsenals, even when they are not linked to WMDs.

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Research Papers

Opening HCoC to cruise missiles: A proposal to overcome political hurdles

The issue of extending the scope of the Hague Code of Conduct to cruise missiles is regularly raised in academic and political discussions about the Code. Some non-subscribing States justify their refusal to join the instrument because of this exclusion, perceived as a major flaw. Indeed, cruise missiles have characteristics that can make them very effective in carrying weapons of mass destruction. It is therefore clearly of interest to consider extending the HCoC scope to these weapons.

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Research Papers

The use of the existing WMD free zones as an exemple and a potential Framework for further initiatives banning ballistic missiles

Taken as a wide-ranging notion, weapons of mass destruction (WMD) have not produced significant instruments in international security over time, UNSCR1540 being an exception. As such, there are no existing WMD free zones (WMDFZ) which can be used as examples and as potential frameworks for further initiatives banning ballistic missiles.

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Research Papers

Limiting the proliferation of WMD means of delivery: a low-profile approach to bypass diplomatic deadlocks

Since the creation of the HCoC in 2002, the need for more collective commitment and action to fight the proliferation of ballistic missiles has certainly not decreased. The destabilizing nature of these weapons has not changed. Non-proliferation is just less about keeping the world stable and more about not adding a risk factor to an uncertain future. The HCoC was and remains a response to that need, but certainly not the end of the quest for improvement.

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Research Papers

The HCoC: current challenges and future possibilities

The Hague Code of Conduct (HCoC), currently the only game in town on its topic, marked its 10th anniversary in 2012. It has generated membership comfortably into three figures, and its supporters have tried valiantly to help it make progress. However, even its most enthusiastic admirers would concede that has not fulfilled the hopes and expectations of its founders when they gathered for the opening ceremony in November 2002.

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