The HCoC is a voluntary, legally non-binding international confidence building and transparency measure that seeks to prevent the proliferation of ballistic missiles that are capable of delivering weapons of mass destruction. Along with the MTCR, the HCOC is the only multilateral transparency and confidence building instrument concerning the spread of ballistic missiles.
HCoC formerly known as “The International Code of Conduct” (ICoC), was adopted at an international conference held on 25-26 November 2002 in The Hague. Since the signing and entering into force of HCoC the number of signatories has increased from 93 to 143. By subscribing to the HCoC, members voluntarily commit themselves politically to provide pre-launch notifications (PLNs) on ballistic missile and space-launch vehicle launches (SLVs) and test flights. Subscribing States also commit themselves to submit an annual declaration (AD) of their country’s policies on ballistic missiles and space-launch vehicles.
As agreed by the conference in The Hague, Austria serves as the Immediate Central Contact (Executive Secretariat) and therefore coordinates the information exchange within the HCoC framework. Since the entry into force of the HCoC in November 2002, annual Regular Meetings of Subscribing States to the HCoC (annual conferences) are held in Vienna.
The link between the UN and the HCoC, a multilateral code negotiated outside the context of the United Nation System, is established with the Resolutions regarding the HCoC that were adopted during the 59th, 60th, 63rd, 65th, 67th, 69th, 71st and the 73rd UN-General Assemblies in New York.
India has subscribed to the Hague Code of Conduct against Ballistic Missile Proliferation (HCoC) by notifying the HCoC Central Contact in Vienna in 2016.