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Multilateral Export Control Regime

Multilateral Export Control Regime

A Multilateral Export Control Regime (MECR) is an international body that states use to organize their national export control systems. It includes the following regimes: 1. Wassenaar Arrangement: The Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls for Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies, is one of four multilateral export control regimes in which the United States participates. The Arrangement’s purpose is to contribute to regional and international security and stability by promoting transparency and greater responsibility in transfers of conventional arms and dual-use (i.e. those having civil and military uses) goods and technologies to prevent destabilizing accumulations of those items. The Wassenaar Arrangement establishes lists of items for which member countries are to apply export controls. Member governments implement these controls to ensure that transfers of the controlled items do not contribute to the development or enhancement of military capabilities that undermine the goals of the Arrangement, and are not diverted to support such capabilities. In addition, the Wassenaar Arrangement imposes some reporting requirements on its member governments. 2. Nuclear Suppliers Group: The Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) is a group of 46 member countries established in 1992 and focused on stemming the proliferation of nuclear weapons. 3. Australia Group: The formation of the Australia Group (AG) in 1985 was prompted by Iraq’s use of chemical weapons during the Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988). Australia, concerned with Iraq’s development of chemical weapons, recommended harmonization of international export controls on chemical weapons precursor chemicals. As the AG membership grew, it expanded its focus to include chemical production equipment and technologies and measures to prevent the proliferation of biological weapons. Today the AG is composed of 40 member countries. 4. Missile Technology Control Regime: The United States has been a member of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) since the regime’s inception in 1987. The focus of the MTCR is to limit the proliferation of missiles capable of delivering weapons of mass destruction. Initially, the MTCR consisted of only seven members. The MTCR has grown to include 34 member countries that have agreed to coordinate their national export controls to stem missile proliferation.

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