Missiles continue to be a focus of increased international attention, discussion and activity. Their potential to carry and deliver weapons of mass destruction (WMD) payload quickly and accurately makes missiles a qualitatively significant political and military issue. In addition, the diversity of international views on matters related to missiles poses a particular challenge for efforts to address the issue in multilateral fora. These concerns are related to, inter alia, the increasing number, range, technological sophistication and geographic spread of missiles and their capability of delivering weapons of mass destruction, in particular nuclear weapons, as well as conventional weapons, missile defences and their strategic consequences, the potential use of space-launch vehicle technology for the development of missiles, the role of missiles in military doctrines as well as the role and scope of confidence-building measures.
NAM Member States are committed to establishing a peaceful international order based on a rule of law. As part of promoting the principle of disarmament, NAM has highlighted the need for a multilaterally negotiated, universal, comprehensive, transparent and non-discriminatory approach toward the issue of missiles in all its aspects as a contribution to international peace and security. NAM has expressed its support for efforts to be continued within the UN to explore further the issue of missiles in all its aspects.
In this regard, NAM has emphasized the contribution of peaceful uses of space technologies, including space launch vehicle technologies, to human advancement, such as for telecommunications and data gathering on natural disasters. The Movement has emphasized the need to keep the issue of missiles in all its aspects on the agenda of the UN General Assembly and welcomed that the Panel of Governmental Experts established in accordance with Resolution 59/67 successfully concluded its work in 2008 and submitted its report to the 63rd session of the UN General Assembly.
The Movement has encouraged follow up efforts to further examine the elements contained in the conclusions of the UN Secretary- General’s Report A/63/176. The report discusses the background and present situation with regard to missiles, and identifies a number of key issues which should be taken into account in order to address, in a comprehensive manner, the issue of missiles in all its aspects. These issues include, inter alia, the global and regional security backdrop which provides the motivation (or lack thereof) for missile development, testing, production, acquisition, transfer, possession, deployment and use; the circumstances of transfer to and use of certain types of missiles and missile technology by State or non-State actors; the issue of disarmament, arms control and non-proliferation; the interrelation between doctrines, strategies and missile-related behaviour; the relative salience of ballistic and cruise missiles as well as missiles as delivery vehicles for weapons of mass destruction or conventional arms; missile defence; and the increased contribution of space-based capabilities to a wide range of human endeavours.
NAM agrees with the conclusion of the report that it is important to have continued international efforts to deal with the increasingly complex issue of missiles in the interest of international peace and security, and to further deliberate on the issue, specifically focusing attention on existing and emerging areas of consensus. In this context, NAM has emphasized the important role of the United Nations in providing a more structured and effective mechanism to build such a consensus.
NAM’s firm position is that pending the achievement of such a universal approach related to delivery systems for weapons of mass destruction, any initiative to address these concerns effectively and in a sustainable and comprehensive manner should be through an inclusive process of negotiations in a forum where all States could participate as equal. The Movement thus stresses the importance of the security concerns of all States at regional and global levels in any approach to the issue of missiles in all its aspects.