HCoC Issue Brief – October 2020
By Emmanuelle Maitre and Lauriane Héau, FRS
The HCoC was adopted in 2002, at a time where the international community pushed strongly for the adoption of norms to promote non-proliferation and disarmament.
It was initially designed as a first step which would lead to further regulations in the field. However, rising international tensions have prevented states from engaging beyond the 2002 compromise.
Despite its limited scope, the HCoC has been lauded as the only universal instrument regulating ballistic missiles – an essential role given the association of ballistic systems with WMD programmes.
By focusing on confidence-building measures, the HCoC complements other regimes and norms dealing with missiles and is therefore a small yet key tool against missile proliferation.