India Assumes Wassenaar Arrangement Chairmanship

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    • India assumed Chairmanship of Wassenaar Arrangement (WA) Plenary starting from January 1, 2023.
      • India will hold the Chairmanship for one year.

    Wassenaar Arrangement (WA)

    • About:
      • It is a voluntary export control regime formally established in July 1996.
      • The name comes from Wassenaar, a suburb of The Hague, where the agreement to start such a multilateral cooperation was reached in 1995.
      • It is an elite club of countries that subscribe to arms export controls, similar to the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), Australia Group (AG) and the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR).
    • Objective: 
      • The WA monitors transfers of conventional weapons and dual-use goods and technologies through regular exchanges of information among its members.
    • Aim: 
      • To promote “greater responsibility” among its members in exports of weapons and dual-use goods and to prevent “destabilizing accumulations.”
    • Two Control Lists:
      • To promote transparency, Wassenaar calls on states to make a series of voluntary information exchanges and notifications on their export activities related to weapons and items appearing on the arrangement’s two control lists.
        • The Munitions List (Conventional Weapons)
        • The Dual-Use Goods and Technologies List
    • Structure:
      • Secretariat is located in Austria’s capital Vienna.
      • The plenary of the Wassenaar Arrangement is the main decision-making body that operates on consensus
    • Membership:
      • It has 42-member including France, Germany, Japan, Russia, the UK and the USA.
      • The European Union and NATO are member states.
      • India joined the Wassenaar Arrangement in 2017 as its 42nd participating state.

    Importance of the Wassenaar Arrangement

    • It contributes to regional and international security and stability.
    • The WA promotes transparency and greater responsibility in transfers of conventional arms and dual-use goods and technologies
    • The Arrangement complements and reinforces the export control regimes for weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and their delivery systems.
    • The WA is not directed against any state or group of states.
    • It uses export controls as a means to combat terrorism.

    Significance of India’s Chairmanship of WA

    • Democratising Access to Processes & Technologies: 
      • India is expected to play an important role in democratising access to processes and technologies that are likely to play a critical role for the emerging space and defence manufacturers in the country. 
    • Benefits for India’s Defence Sector: 
      • Membership of the WA has bolstered India’s efforts to gain access to sensitive goods and technologies from leading players in the West.
      • Now, Chairmanship is of significance for India due to the recent spurt in activity and investments in defence and space sector.
    • Impetus to India’s Global Credibility: 
      • This will help establish India as a responsible stakeholder in the global non-proliferation architecture.

    Way Ahead

    • India should work in close cooperation with other members to further the Wassenaar Arrangement goal of contributing to regional and international security and stability.
    • India’s focus needs to be on discussing and resolving global and regional issues.

     

    Slavkov Format

    • This is also known as “North-Trilateral”, “Austerlitz format”, or “Slavkov trilateral”
    • It is cooperation between three Central European Nations – Czech Republic, Austria and Slovakia.

    Dual-use 

    • It refers to the ability of a good or technology to be used for multiple purposes – usually peaceful and military.

    Source: FE