Entraînement aux inspections en mer. Crédits photo : Lt. Corey Barker/US Navy

The non-proliferation regime is essential and it should be bolstered, but a lot lies with States to implement it, to sanction its violations and to curb proliferation.

France considers that it is particularly important to step up concrete efforts to prevent and curb proliferation. This means better controlling experts, monitoring access to the most sensitive training, curbing proliferation-related trafficking, criminalizing proliferation-related activities and combating their financing.

Nationally, France has developed strict export controls. Moreover, it has undertaken to enhance its measures to combat proliferation. In this connection, a bill shoring up legal means to fight proliferation is currently being debated by the French Parliament. An interministerial directive was adopted in mid-2009 that aims to make the government’s action more effective in this area improving interministerial co-ordination and getting all relevant administrations and departments involved.

Internationally, France is actively participating in efforts to fight proliferation more effectively. France also plays a role in initiatives developed outside established fora where these can make an effective contribution to the general effort to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction : the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI), aiming to intercept cargoes related to programmes to acquire weapons of mass destruction ; the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism ; the G8 Global Partnership against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction (G8GP), which aims to reduce nuclear, chemical and biological risks from the ex-USRR ; promotion of the implementation of UNSC Resolution 1540, which calls on all States to shore up their national measures in this area ; ongoing Financial Action Task Force (FATF) work on the suppression of proliferation financing. Action undertaken in this sphere must respect the legitimate right of States to benefit from the technology necessary for their development.

The European Union is likewise stepping up their concrete action in this area, with the adoption, at the instigation of the French Presidency of the European Union in the second half of 2008, of the “New lines for action by the European Union in combating the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their delivery systems” which serves as a work agenda for these topics.