Representatives of the 33 Participating States of the Wassenaar Arrangement held their second plenary meeting in Vienna, Austria on 12 and 13 December 1996.
They noted with satisfaction that all Participating States have now started work on the basis of the Arrangement's Initial Elements.
The reiterated that the central purpose of the Arrangement is 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. They recalled that all measures undertaken with respect to the Arrangement will be in accordance with national legislation and policies and will be implemented on the basis of national discretion.
Pursuing this purpose, the Participating States of the Wassenaar Arrangement exchanged information and views on the transfer of arms and dual-use goods and technologies to several parts of the world.
They took note of the recent United Nations Security Council Resolution 1076 (1996) which calls upon all states immediately to end the supply of arms and ammunition to all parties to the conflict in Afghanistan. In the course of the information exchange, it was established that, as a matter of national policy, none of the Participating States transfers arms or ammunition to those parties.
At the Plenary, Participants also discussed the need to promote world-wide adherence to responsible policies regarding transfers of conventional arms and dual-use goods and technologies through outreach to non-members.
The Participants of the Arrangement agreed on the programme of work and budget for 1997, adopted guidelines on confidentiality and provided for the Secretariat in Vienna to support the Arrangement's activities. They welcomed the completion in the nearest future of the premises of the Secretariat as well as the granting of legal status to the Secretariat by the Austrian authorities.
Source: Press Statement by the Participating States, 13 Dec. 1996