India on Friday became the 43rd member of the Australia Group, a voluntary group of countries that work to identify and control the export of material, equipment and technologies that could lead to the proliferation of chemical and biological weapons.
“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,” the Australia Group said. “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.”
The Centre said its entry into the Australia Group would be “mutually beneficial and would contribute further to international security and non-proliferation objectives”.
This is New Delhi’s third such international victory in the past year and a half. In December 2017, India became a member of the multilateral export control regime, Wassenaar Arrangement, which aims to bring transparency to exports of arms and dual-use goods and technologies.
In July 2016, India formally became a member of a similar export control group, Missile Technology Control Regime, which will make purchases of high-end missile technology and state-of-the-art surveillance drones easier for the country.
India’s membership to the Nuclear Suppliers’ Group, however, remains elusive because of the opposition from China and some other countries. China is not a member of either the Wassenaar Arrangement, the Missile Technology Control Regime, or the Australia Group.