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Expert meeting in Vienna discusses government and industry efforts to tackle the illicit transfer and diversion of proliferation-sensitive goods and technologies

25 October 2017 Expert meeting in Vienna discusses government and industry efforts to tackle the illicit transfer and diversion of proliferation-sensitive goods and technologies

From 23-25 October, Saferworld and partners met with government and industry experts from 13 countries to discuss government outreach and industry compliance as key elements for tackling the illicit transfer and diversion of strategic goods and technologies. Project partner representatives from the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation (CAITEC) and the Center for Policy Research (CPR) of the State University of New York took part in the event in addition to a working group with experts from Asia, Europe and North America.

‘We have seen the expert working group moving from the level of discussion on general topics and trust-building, to addressing the very practical aspects and pressing issues that we discussed today,” said one expert working group member. “We are very encouraged by this progress, and we look forward to continuing working together with colleagues from different countries and our project partners”.

Since 2015, the working group has been a driving force for improved export controls by sharing experiences and mutual learning in relation to arms and dual-use export controls. It has become one of the most advanced multilateral East-West dialogue processes touching on export control issues. Recently, the group has been looking at more practical ways to reach out to industry and ensure internal compliance within companies and effective government outreach efforts.

At the event, participants were joined by policy experts and industry representatives to discuss some of the common challenges in ensuring compliance with arms and dual-use export controls – including those posed by the growth of trade and commerce, difficulties in controlling intangible technology transfers, differences in commodity classification between jurisdictions and the lack of a common approach to the issue of ‘catch-all’ controls. They also discussed government-industry outreach programmes and the experiences of establishing and running internal compliance programmes.

Read the summary report.

Read more about Saferworld’s arms programme and China programme.

Photo: MONUSCO/South African Battalion