The Australia Group is a multilateral export control regime (MECR) and an informal group of countries (now joined by the European Commission) established (after the use of chemical weapons in the form of nerve agents and sulphur mustard by Iraq in 1984) to aid member countries to recognize those exports which need to be controlled so as not to contribute to the spread of biological and chemical weapons.
The group, initially consisting of 15 members, held its first meeting in Brussels, Belgium, in September 1989. With the incorporation of India on January 19, 2018, it now has 43 members, including Australia, the European Commission, all 28 member states of the European Union, the United States, India, Argentina, and Ukraine. The name comes from Australia's initiative to create the group. Delegations representing the members meet every year in Paris, France
All member countries are members of the:
- Biological and Toxins Weapons Convention (BTWC) and
- Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC)
|Members:||42 countries + European Union|
|Republic of Korea||Netherlands||Slovakia||Ukraine||Bulgaria||Estonia|
|Hungary||Latvia||New Zealand||Slovenia||United Kingdom||Canada|
|European Union||Iceland||Lithuania||Norway||Spain||United States|
Purpose of Australia Group
- Prevent of the spread of chemical and biological weapons.
- Members of the group maintain export controls on a uniform list of 54 compounds, including several that are not banned for export under the Chemical Weapons Convention, but can be used in the manufacture of chemical weapons
Functions of the Group
- The first was the "no-undercut" requirement, which stated that any member of the group considering making an export to another state that had already been denied an export by any other member of the group must first discuss with that member state before approving the export.
- The second was the "catch-all" provision, which requires member states to stop all exports that could be used by importers in chemical or biological weapons programs, regardless of whether the export is on the group's control lists.
India and the Australia group
- Australia Group would enable India to participate in discussion in framing rules to shield the proliferation of chemical and biological weapons. India's participation would help to group's vision to prevent the proliferation of chemical and biological weapons, especially in the South-Asia region
- Gaining India membership in AG increase India's chances to get membership in other MECR like NSG membership.
- India is 44th member to join the group
Eligibility of member countries for joining Australia group
- Member of BTWC and CWC
- Elaborate framework in existence: