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Wassenaar Arrangement

Wassenaar Arrangement
Highlights

In a significant development, elite export control regime Wassenaar Arrangement (WA) on Thursday decided to admit India as its new member, which is...

In a significant development, elite export control regime Wassenaar Arrangement (WA) on Thursday decided to admit India as its new member, which is expected to raise New Delhi’s stature in the field of non-proliferation besides helping it acquire critical technologies.

The decision was taken at the two-day plenary meeting of the grouping in Vienna. Earlier, India's chances of getting Wassenaar Arrangement membership are 'very good', Russian deputy FM had said. Wassenaar Arrangement, one of the key export control regimes that deals with non-proliferation.

Earlier this year, India approved SCOMET (Special Chemicals, Organisms, Materials, Equipment, and Technologies) items, mandatory under the Wassernaar arrangement. Through the revised list of items, India also seeks to send a message about its larger commitment to non-proliferation.

India is already a member of the missile control technology regime (MTCR). China is neither the member of the Wassenaar Arrangement nor the MTCR and the Australia Group.

Membership to the Wassenaar Arrangement and Australia Group, another export control regime, would give India a chance for a closer interaction with member-states and also hold up its credentials, despite not being a signatory to the non-proliferation treaty (NPT).

China has, on several occasions, stone-walled India's bid for membership to the 48-member Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG). The WA membership is also expected to build up a strong case for India’s entry NSG.

The Wassenaar Arrangement was established to contribute to regional and international security and stability by promoting transparency and greater responsibility in transfers of conventional arms and dual-use goods and technologies, thus preventing destabilizing accumulations.

Participating states seek, through their national policies, to ensure that transfers of these items do not contribute to the development or enhancement of military capabilities which undermine these goals, and are not diverted to support such capabilities.

It is the successor to the Cold War-era Coordinating Committee for Multilateral Export Controls, and was established on 12 July 1996, in Wassenaar, the Netherlands, which is near The Hague.

The Wassenaar Arrangement is considerably less strict than COCOM, focusing primarily on the transparency of national export control regimes and not granting veto power to individual members over organizational decisions.

A Secretariat for administering the agreement is located in Vienna, Austria. Like COCOM, however, it is not a treaty, and therefore is not legally binding, according to Wikipedia.

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