Missile Control

UNIDIR Disarmament Forum

Special Issue

This issue of Disarmament Forum assesses the current situation concerning missiles and investigates future prospects for control. Existing devices, such as the Missile Technology Control Regime and the Hague Code of Conduct (HCOC), UN Security Council resolution 1540 and the Proliferation Security Initiative, are all attempts at ameliorating some aspects of missile-related problems, as are the various bilateral confidence-building measures already in operation. Much remains to be done, however, as cruise missiles are largely unregulated, HCOC implementation is progressing but leaves much to be desired, and research, development, deployment and international cooperation on active anti-ballistic missile defences continue apace. Following two United Nations panels of governmental experts on missiles in 2002 and 2004 (the latter of which failed to adopt a consensus report) and an expert study conveyed by the UN Secretary-General to the General Assembly in 2006, a third panel of governmental experts will be convened later this year.




  1. Missiles matter (Christophe Carle)
  2. Missiles in conflict: the issue of missiles in all its complexity (Jürgen Scheffran)
  3. Lessons from regional approaches to managing missiles (Waheguru Pal Singh Sidhu)
  4. Missile control agreements: a general approach to monitoring and verification (Michael Vannoni & Kent Biringer)
  5. Connecting paradigms: MANPADS in the national and human security debates (James Bevan)
  6. The final frontier: missile defence in space? (Bruno Gruselle)
All publications

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

Hypersonic missiles: Evolution or revolution for missile non-proliferation and arms control instruments?

After listing major programmes and key drivers beyond the acquisition of these technologies, this paper considers their development under the prism of arms control, and analyses whether current mechanisms (non-proliferation arrangements, bilateral arms control treaties and confidence-building measures) dealing with missiles are adapted to these weapons.

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All publications

The Hague Code of Conduct Against Ballistic Missile Proliferation: “Lessons Learned” for the European Union Draft Code of Conduct for Outer Space Activities

Concerns about the harm caused upon orbiting space objects – whether intentional or accidental – have increased in recent years, as well as the emerging awareness that the security and safety of national satellites – of vital importance for modern societies but at the same time so vulnerable – relies on a collective effort. In December 2008 the EU responded to these concerns by adopting a Draft Code of Conduct (EU Draft CoC) for outer space activities.

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