Omc - security exceptions

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ARTICLE XXI

SECURITY EXCEPTIONS

I. TEXT OF ARTICLE XXI 599

II.INTERPRETATION AND APPLICATION OF ARTICLE XXI 600
A.Scope and Application of Article XXI 600
1.Paragraphs (a) and (b): “it considers ... essential security interests” 600
2.Paragraph (a): “furnish ... any information” 601
3.Paragraph (b): “action” 602
(1)“relating to fissionable materials or the materials from whichthey are derived” 602
(2)“relating to the traffic in arms, ammunition and implements of war and to such traffic in other goods and materials as is carried on directly or indirectly for the purpose of supplying a military establishment” 602
(3)“taken in time of war or other emergency in international relations” 602
4.Paragraph (c): “any action in pursuance of its obligations under the UnitedNations Charter for the maintenance of international peace and security” 605
5.Other invocations of Article XXI 605
6.Procedures concerning notification of measures under Article XXI 605
B. Relationship between Article XXI and other Articles of the General Agreement 606
1.Articles I and XIII 606
2.Article XXIII 606
C.Relationship between Article XXI and general international law 608III.PREPARATORY WORK 608

IV.RELEVANT DOCUMENTS 610

TEXT OF ARTICLE XXI TEXT OF ARTICLE XXI"

Article XXI

Security Exceptions

Nothing in this Agreement shall be construed

(a) to require any contracting party to furnish any information the disclosure of which it considers contrary to its essential security interests; or

(b) to prevent any contracting party from taking any actionwhich it considers necessary for the protection of its essential security interests

(i) relating to fissionable materials or the materials from which they are derived;

(ii)relating to the traffic in arms, ammunition and implements of war and to such traffic in other goods and materials as is carried on directly or indirectly for the purpose of supplying a militaryestablishment;

(iii)taken in time of war or other emergency in international relations; or

(c) to prevent any contracting party from taking any action in pursuance of its obligations under the United Nations Charter for the maintenance of international peace and security.

INTERPRETATION AND APPLICATION OF ARTICLE XXIINTERPRETATION AND APPLICATION OF ARTICLE XXI"

Scope andApplication of Article XXIScope and Application of Article XXI"

Paragraphs (a) and (b): “it considers ... essential security interests”Paragraphs (a) and (b)\: “it considers ... essential security interests”"

During discussions in the Geneva session of the Preparatory Committee, in response to an inquiry as to the meaning of “essential security interests”, it was stated by one of thedrafters of the original Draft Charter that “We gave a good deal of thought to the question of the security exception which we thought should be included in the Charter. We recognized that there was a great danger of having too wide an exception and we could not put it into the Charter, simply by saying: ‘by any Member of measures relating to a Member's security interests,’ because that would permitanything under the sun. Therefore we thought it well to draft provisions which would take care of real security interests and, at the same time, so far as we could, to limit the exception so as to prevent the adoption of protection for maintaining industries under every conceivable circumstance. ... there must be some latitude here for security measures. It is really a question of balance. Wehave got to have some exceptions. We cannot make it too tight, because we cannot prohibit measures which are needed purely for security reasons. On the other hand, we cannot make it so broad that, under the guise of security, countries will put on measures which really have a commercial purpose”. The Chairman of Commission A suggested in response that the spirit in which Members of the...
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