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Arms Control Regimes

South Africa is a member of both the Zangger Committee and the Nuclear Suppliers Group.  The principal objective of both groups is to support the international nuclear non-proliferation regime, i.e. to prevent the further spread of nuclear weapons.

The Zangger Committee was formed following the coming into force of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), to serve as the "faithful interpreter" of its Article III, paragraph 2, to harmonize the interpretation of nuclear export control policies for NPT Parties.

The Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) was created following the explosion in 1974 of a nuclear device by a non-nuclear-weapon State, which demonstrated that nuclear technology transferred for peaceful purposes could be misused. The NSG first met in 1975 and also produced guidelines and a list of nuclear items (including the associated technology) to be controlled by supplier states within the framework of specific export requirements.

The NSG Guidelines were published in 1978 as IAEA Document INFCIRC/254 (subsequently amended), to apply to nuclear transfers for peaceful purposes to help ensure that such transfers would not be diverted to unsafeguarded nuclear fuel cycle or nuclear explosive activities.

The guidelines and lists of items of both groups are updated from time to time in view of new technological developments and changes in the overall non-proliferation scene.
The NSG Plenary works on the basis of consensus. Overall responsibility for activities lies with the NSG Participating Governments who meet once a year in a Plenary meeting.  South Africa hosted the 2007 Plenary in Cape Town.

The Wassenaar Arrangement was established to contribute to regional and international security and stability, by promoting transparency and greater responsibility in transfers of conventional arms and dual-use goods and technologies, thus preventing destabilising accumulations. South Africa was admitted as Participating State on 28 February 2006.

The Hague Code of Conduct against the Proliferation of Ballistic Missiles (HCOC) is the only normative instrument to verify the spread of ballistic missiles. South Africa became a Subscribing State to the HCOC on 26 November 2002.

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