What is Wassenaar Arrangement?

What is Wassenaar Arrangement?
Coordinating Committee for Multilateral Export Controls or CoCom was a 17 member group established by Western bloc powers (Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States.) after the end of second world war and the objective was to put an arms embargo on COMECON (Council for Mutual Economic Assistance ) countries which was an economic organization of communist states and a kind of Eastern Bloc equivalent of European Economic Community. It became defunct on March 31, 1994 and later was succeeded by Wassenaar Arrangement on July 12, 1996. Wassenaar is a town in Netherlands. It is a multilateral export control regime (MECR) and current number of members is 40.

The objective is 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.

The member countries 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.

India is not a member of Wassenaar Arrangement. Our country is a principled non-proliferator of nuclear or missile technologies but not a member of different international arrangements that formally commit countries to control export of sensitive equipment/technologies. To be a member in Wassenaar Arrangement , a country part from being a producer/exporter of arms or sensitive industrial equipment has to adhere to the Nuclear Suppliers Group, the Missile Technology Control Regime and the Australia Group; and adherence to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty etc. While we can proactively identify the munitions on which we exercise export controls to show their correspondence with, we have not done.

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