Big Diplomatic win for the Modi government as India enters into the “Australia Group”!

Yet again a huge milestone achieved by India. After being inducted in the Wassenaar Arrangement Export Control Regime, India has successfully joined membership along with the Australia Group as per official announcement. This is an informal group of countries that works to harmonize and controls to ensure that export of critical chemicals doesn’t lead to development of chemical or biological weapons.

This membership has badly defeated China and its long term attempts to block India’s entry into the elite Nuclear suppliers group ( NSG) saying that India had not signed the Nuclear non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).This membership results in not-less than a victory over a war.

China continued to cause hindrance in India’s entry despite US, along with other countries, backing India as a responsible ‘nuclear’ country. Interestingly, India, however, got into the MCT and Wassenaar without signing the NPT. Its recent entry into AG is expected to push its case for NSG membership further.

In response to its admission, the ministry of external affairs on Thursday said that “India’s entry into the Group would be mutually beneficial and further contribute to international security and non-proliferation objectives.”

All about Australian Group…

The Australian Group (AG) is an informal forum of countries which, through the harmonization of export controls, seeks to ensure that exports do not contribute to the development of chemical or biological weapons.

Coordination of national export control measures assists Australia Group participants to fulfill their obligations under the chemical weapons convention and the biological and Toxin weapons convention to the fullest extent possible.

This group initially consisted of 15 members. With the incorporation of Mexico on 12th of August, 2013, it now has now got 42 members at present. The list includes Australia, the European Commission, all 28 member states of the European Union, Ukraine, and Argentina. The name comes from Australia’s initiative to create the group. Australia manages the secretariat.

“India has now become the 43rd participant in the group”.

Here’s what the Australia Group’s announcement of India’s membership states:

“On 19 January 2018 India formally became the 43rd member of the Australia Group (AG), the cooperative and voluntary group of countries working to counter the spread of materials, equipment and technologies that could contribute to the development or acquisition of chemical and biological weapons (CBW) by states or terrorist groups.

There was very strong support expressed for India’s membership at the 26-30 June 2017 Australia Group Plenary, after which consensus was reached intersessionally.

India then reaffirmed its intention to join the Group.In warmly welcoming India to the Group, the other Australia Group members recognized the Government of India’s commitment to bring India’s export control system into alignment with the Australia Group and India’s determination to contribute to the global effort to prevent the proliferation of CBW in the security interests of all members of the international community.

In joining the Group, the Government of India said its entry into the Group would be mutually beneficial and would contribute further to international security and non-proliferation objectives; and, that India’s law-based export control system enables the Government of India to implement the obligations arising from the Australia Group’s Guidelines and Common Control Lists including its reporting requirements, information exchange and principles.

With its admission into the AG, India has demonstrated the will to implement rigorous controls of high standards in international trade, and its capacity to adapt its national regulatory system to meet the necessities of its expanding economy. India is also aware of the need to constantly adapt its export controls in the face of rapidly evolving scientific and technological challenges, and in this regard, affirmed its readiness to act in close cooperation with all members towards the furtherance of Australia Group objectives.

The other Australia Group members are: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, European Union, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Republic of Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom and United States.”