January 19, 2018 – India has become the 43rd member of the Australia group

The day after its army tested its most powerful ICBM missile, [see: India conducted a successful test of intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM)] India was accepted as the 43rd member of the Australia group, an informal forum of countries which seeks to ensure that exports do not contribute to the development of chemical and biological weapons (CBW) by other states or by terrorist groups.

In the last two years India has stepped its efforts to be sign up to international/multilateral non-proliferation regimes: in 2016 it acceded to two missile nonproliferation treaties – The Hague Code of Conduct and the Missile Technology Control Regime – and just last month it joined the Wassenaar export control regime.

By joining these regimes India intends to build its credentials as a responsible power, especially at a time when it is building its defence capabilities, and to signal that it is willing to contribute to international security by adhering to the strict non-proliferation standards. India is now likely to turn its attention again its big for the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) and to put more pressure on international partners to support its membership (although China – not a member of the Australia Group – is likely to continue blocking its entry into that system).



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