2022 marks the 20th anniversary of The Hague Code of Conduct against Ballistic Missile Proliferation (HCoC). The Code's two decades of existence have highlighted its importance to the multilateral nonproliferation architecture. The HCoC is the sole universal instrument that fosters trust-building and transparency in the field of ballistic missiles and space launches while calling for restraint and vigilance in the development and use of their technologies.
From the outset, France and the Netherlands have championed and promoted the HCoC. We strongly believe that multilateralism and the strengthening of the international rules-based order are the most effective way to address the issue of ballistic missile proliferation. In addition to the Code's principle focus on nonproliferation, we recognize the important role it plays in avoiding misinterpretations, escalating responses and ballistic missile arms races, as well as its contributions to space security.
On June 1 of this year, France and the Netherlands organized a multilateral conference in partnership with the EU to mark our support for the Hague Code of Conduct on the occasion of its 20th anniversary. Since 2008, the EU and its member states have provided significant support for the universalization and effective implementation of the Code, in cooperation with the Fondation pour la Recherche Stratégique, which has organized numerous expert missions, seminars and outreach events with non-subscribing states.
The Code's universalization remains key to achieving its potential. Since the signature and entry into force of the HCoC, the number of its signatories has increased from 93 to 143. We are committed to continuing our efforts to achieve its universalization and its full and effective implementation.