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India will assume the chairmanship of the Wassenaar Arrangement (WA), a multilateral technology control agreement, on 1 January 2023, for a period of one year.

“WA is a multilateral export control regime, which, through regular information exchange among members on transfers of conventional arms and dual-use goods and technologies, seeks to promote transparency and greater responsibility in such transfers and prevent destabilising accumulations," according to a press release by the Ministry of External Affairs. The primary goal of the organisation is to restrict access to sensitive technologies for terrorist outfits.

The Wassenaar Arrangement came into being in 1996 and has 42 members. The WA operates on a voluntary basis and decisions are made by consensus.

According to the Arms Control Association, “Every six months, members exchange information on deliveries of conventional arms to non-Wassenaar members that fall under eight broad weapon categories: battle tanks, armored combat vehicles (ACVs), large-caliber artillery, military aircraft/unmanned aerial vehicles, military and attack helicopters, warships, missiles or missile systems, and small arms and light weapons."

The WA maintains lists of technologies which are of interest. Tier 1 denotes a list of basic items while Tier 2 denotes Sensitive or Very Sensitive Technologies.

The US, the UK, Japan, South Korea, France, Germany and Australia are some key members of the WA. Prominent non-members include China and Israel. India will take over from Ireland.

India joined the Wassenaar Arrangement (WA) in 2017 and became its 42nd member.

“As the incoming Chair of WA, India remains ready and committed to work in close cooperation with other members to further the WA goal of contributing to regional and international security and stability," reads the press release by the MEA.

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