- The Wassenaar Arrangement, formally established in 1996, is a voluntary export control regime whose 42 members exchange information on transfers of conventional weapons and dual-use goods and technologies.
- Through such exchanges, Wassenaar aims to promote “greater responsibility” among its members in exports of weapons and dual-use goods and to prevent “destabilizing accumulations.”
- Unlike its predecessor, the Cold War-era Coordinating Committee for Multilateral Export Controls (COCOM), which was created to restrict exports to the former Soviet Union and Eastern bloc, Wassenaar is not targeted at any region or group of states, but rather at “states of concern” to members.
- Wassenaar members also lack veto authority over other member’s proposed exports, a power that COCOM members exercised.
- 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.
Why in News?
- India has assumed the chairmanship of the plenary of the Wassenaar Arrangement for one year.