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India joins Australia Group against spread of bio-chem weapons

January 19, 2018 16:45 IST

Image: A man dressed in a bio-hazard protective gear poses while holding a mock syringe as a sales representative displays Imvamune, a smallpox vaccine developed by Bavarian Nordic to fight bioterrorism, during the Global Security Asia 2007 conference in Singapore, March 27, 2007. Photograph: Vivek Prakash/Reuters.

After gaining entry into two export control regimes -- MTCR and Wassenaar -- India on Friday joined the Australia Group, which seeks to ensure that exports do not contribute to the development of chemical or biological weapons. 

"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," the AG said in a  release. 


Reacting to India's entry to the group, ministry of external affairs spokesperson Ravish Kumar said it would be "mutually beneficial and to help in non-proliferation". 

He said the AG membership will help in establishing India's credentials further. 

India joined the Missile Technology Control Regime  in 2016 and the Wassenaar Arrangement (WA) last year. 

The Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls for Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies is a multilateral export control regime.

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