The Wassenaar Arrangement is a group of 42 countries which share their details about arms exports and transfer to the non-member nations among each other. India became the latest country to join the group.
Its membership application was supported by the USA, France, Germany and Russia. The actual name of Wassenaar Arrangement is Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls for Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies.It was formed in Wassenaar, in Netherland. Many Europen countries along with the USA, UK and Russia are in the group. Their primary aim is to voluntarily exchange information about their arms export.
There are different categories of arms described in the arrangement such as a battle tank, military aircraft and military helicopter etc. India became the member of the group on the 7th December 2017. The committee accepted its application with a formal announcement about the decision. Our neighbouring countries are not part of the group. China, which has been opposing the admission of India into the Nuclear supplier’s group is not part of the arrangement.
Why Wassenaar is Important
It is one of the groups which was born after the cold war era and considered a powerful group of countries which aim to bring transparency, stability and responsibility in the export of arms and technology. India has always wanted to be considered a nuclear power and use the technology for peaceful purposes.
India performed its first peaceful nuclear explosion in 1974 which prove its credibility. But, for being considered a nuclear weapon state, a country has to be a member of NPT(Nuclear Proliferation Treaty) which is a group of 190 countries including China, Russia, USA, France and the UK who have the authority to keep a nuclear weapon in the group. India has strongly objected this treaty and is not a member of it.
India claims NPT is a flawed treaty having discriminating nature against countries having nuclear weapons for peaceful use. India and USA signed a deal in 2005 for the supply of peaceful atomic energy. Under the deal, India places its 14 of its nuclear warheads in the IAEA Safeguards which falls under civilian use.
The Future with Nuclear Power
India has no first use policy for its nuclear weapons which shows its commitment towards the use of nuclear power for peaceful purposes. China was criticized for it increased nuclear cooperation with Pakistan who is also not a member of NPT.
Wassenaar arrangement can be the starting point in the realisation of the peaceful intention of the India of its arms and weapons. There are defined the list in the arrangement which prohibits the sale of sophisticated technology to safeguard the harmful uses of such technology. Google and Facebook have criticized the particular amendment brought in 2013 in action.
They believe it will stop the research and progress of particular activities such as security programs and bug bounty programs. india will be now able to trade its indigenous technology with other countries and collaborate with them on sensitive technologies. Wassenaar arrangement provides a big boost to India as it will now be able to access dual-use technologies and military equipment.