International Disarmament, Arms Control, and Non-Proliferation
Disarmament, arms control, and non-proliferation play an increasingly important role in international security policy. Austria participates in this process in the various disarmament bodies in the framework of the United Nations system, in disarmament and arms control treaty negotiations, and in almost all arms control and disarmament agreements both at the global and at the European level.
Progress in strategic, tactical, and conventional disarmament, arms control by verification mechanisms under international treaties, and the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (nuclear, biological and chemical) are important contributions to international peace. Protection and safety of individuals are both the cornerstone and the starting point of Austria’s commitment in this regard.
Austria was able to strengthen further its international role in disarmament by taking over the function of the “Immediate Central Contact” (ICC) under The Hague Code of Conduct against Ballistic Missile Proliferation (HCOC) in 2002. From now on public HCOC data is made accessible on an separate HCOC-website.
(Since 2006, Austria has been part of the core group of countries in the international process against cluster munitions, which has successfully lobbied for a ban of these weapons which cause unacceptable harm to civilians. Austria’s leading role follows the commitment against anti-personnel mines during the years 1996 to 1998. In these international fora, Austria is committed to securing standards as high and as comprehensive as possible concerning victima ssistance. This commitment was exemplified in UN-Security Council Resolution 1894 on the protection of civilian in situations of armed conflict, passed unanimously under Austrian chairmanship in November 2009.
With her 2007 proposal on the multilateralisation of the nuclear fuel cycle, Austria aims at a sustainable improvement in transparency and security in a politically very sensitive area.