A two-day international conference on “Promoting Strategic Trade Controls through International Cooperation” was held in Islamabad on 5-6 September 2022. The event was jointly organized by Strategic Export Control Division (SECDIV) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Institute of Policy Studies (NIPS) of the National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST).
The Conference aimed at developing a greater understanding of Strategic Trade Management (STM), legislative and enforcement framework of the participating States and exchange of best practices for enhancing effectiveness and facilitation of legitimate trade. It also focused on promoting dialogue for international cooperation on peaceful uses of goods and technologies for attainment of UN Sustainable Development Goals through effective implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolutions (UNSCRs). The Conference served as a platform to reinforce networking among export control community for promoting global efforts against proliferation of WMDs and their delivery systems.
The conference was attended by over two hundred participants including thirty-six foreign delegates. These included independent experts and government representatives from different countries, export control regimes including Chairs of Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) and Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), UNSCR-1540 Committee as well as academia and industry.
During the inaugural session, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar highlighted Pakistan’s legislative, regulatory and administrative frameworks for exercising effective controls over transfers of sensitive goods and technologies to prevent their diversion to non-peaceful uses. She underlined that Pakistan possesses the expertise, infrastructure, human resource and the ability to supply items listed in Control Lists of the NSG. She emphasized the need to have objective criteria for the NSG membership of non-NPT States that should be applied without discrimination.
Concluding the Conference, Foreign Secretary Sohail Mahmood underscored that, as a country with extensive expertise, experience and technological capabilities, Pakistan clearly qualifies for participation in the existing multilateral export control regimes. “Pakistan’s participation in these regimes will further their non-proliferation objectives”, he added.
The Conference was followed by a field visit of the participants to Pakistan Centre of Excellence for Nuclear Security (PCENS) – an internationally recognized training Centre in the field of nuclear security and physical protection. At PCENS, participants were briefed about national nuclear security architecture that had evolved over the years at par with international standards.
Besides showcasing Pakistan’s credentials of non-proliferation, such events reflect Pakistan’s commitment as a partner in global non-proliferation efforts and for promotion of international trade for peaceful uses of technology to uplift socio-economic development.