The Turkish Presentation to the MANPADS Seminar in Jerusalem
5-6 April 2006
As I take the floor, let me first thank for the excellent preparation of this seminar.
Proliferation and unauthorized use of MANPADS pose an imminent and acute threat to civil aviation, crisis management and anti-terrorist operations. In the hands of trained terrorists, these weapons have already caused substantial civilian casualties.
Turkey also, during her fight against terrorism has confronted many causalities caused by the use of MANPADS by terrorists.
Since installing effective countermeasures on the civilian aircraft would be a time-consuming and costly process, these aircraft are likely to be vulnerable to MANPADS attacks for the foreseeable future.
The threat emanating from proliferation and unauthorized use of MANPADS is recognized by the international community. In the past few years, states around the world have increasingly shifted their attention to MANPADS, as a specific type of light weapons. New transfer standards developed by the Wassenar Arrangement and OSCE. These principles have gained much international support but are not yet universally accepted. (Non-Waasenar/OSCE world: problem of lack of transparency).
It is imperative that the international community acts to improve cooperation and coordination and encourage the development of global standards in this regard. However, the primary responsibility to prevent the misuse and illicit transfer of MANPADS lies with states through national measures they should undertake.
While important normative work remains unfinished, especially at the global level, the principal challenge is now shifting from the development of these norms to their concrete implementation at the national level.
One of the most important elements of national transfer control systems is licensing procedures that assess and minimize risk, including risk of diversion, in advance of any export. The lists developed by the UN and the OSCE as well as by the Wassenar Arrangement bring guidance to the issuance of MANPADS export and import licenses.
Turkey fully supports the efforts of the international community, particularly in the UN, the OSCE and the Wassenar Arrangement to establish stricter export controls and information exchange to combat the proliferation of MANPADS.
Turkey maintains the view that monitoring and controlling the activities of producers, exporters, brokers, transporters, importers and end-users of MANPADS are essential in eradicating illicit trade in MANPADS. Hence, a comprehensive approach is needed encompassing not only export controls but also import and transshipment controls as well. Moreover, the scope must include spare parts, components and related technology.
Turkey is not a MANPADS-exporting country. However, MANPADS are included within the list of weapons and equipments whose production and export and import is subject to control and licensing, according to relevant national law. Such control over MANPADS falls within the responsibility of Ministry of Defense, who acts in consultation with Turkish General Staff and Ministry of Foreign Affairs .
The norms and regulations emanating from the documents of international organizations, of which Turkey is a party to or participant of, are also being taken into consideration in applying control mechanisms on MANPADS.
In accordance with its Wassenar Arrangement commitments, Turkey issued a comprehensive set of documentation in order to provide guidance to the entire military personnel in the field of information gathering and control regarding MANPADS, physical security conditions, user training, record keeping and counting, stockpiling, transportation and destruction.
In conclusion, proliferation and unauthorized use of MANPADS is a menace. Turkey strongly believes that the international community should act decisively to strengthen export controls in countries that import and manufacture MANPADS. Turkey will continue to actively contribute to all efforts in this regard.
Thank you Mr. Chairman.