MTCR Current Affairs - 2019
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India and Sweden signed a security protection agreement that will enable the two countries to share classified information with each other. The agreement was signed during the visit of the Indian Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to Sweden.
About the Agreement
Sweden has similar agreements with over 30 countries around the world, as well as with the EU and NATO. The salient features of the agreement are:
- The agreement will regulate how sensitive information is to be handled, processed and protected.
- The pact will provide a framework for greater cooperation on the high end and cutting edge technology and manufacturing.
Indian has proposed dialogue to enable a greater understanding of the successful model of collaboration between government, industry and academia in building technologically advance ecosystem.
India also thanked Swedish PM Lofven for his support to India’s bid for the permanent seat in the United Nation Security Council (UNSC) and the multilateral export control regime–Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR).
India Sweden Ties
Sweden is a Scandinavian country with capital at Stockholm and currency Swedish krona.
In April 2018, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had visited Stockholm and had held a meeting with his Swedish counterpart Stefan Lofven. Both the leaders agreed to enhance the cooperation in the field of defence, cyber-security and innovation. PM Lofven with his delegation had participated in the ‘Make in India’ programme in 2016.
India was admitted as the 43rd member of the Australia Group, an informal bloc (group) of countries that keeps a tight control over exports of substances used in making of chemical weapons.
The inclusion will help to raise India’s stature in the field of non-proliferation, though it is not signatory to Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and help in acquiring critical technologies. India is first South Asian nation to become its full-time member of Australia Group. It is also expected to strengthen India’s bid to enter 48-member Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG).
With its admission into Australia Group, India is now part of three of the four key export control groups in world dealing with non-proliferation. This includes Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), an informal and voluntary partnership among 35 countries that regulates trade in sensitive equipment and technologies to ensure there is no proliferation of missile and unmanned aerial vehicle technology capable of carrying payloads above 500kg for more than 300km. India had joined it in June 2016.
India had joined Wassenaar Arrangement, which is also an informal grouping of 42 countries, exercising control over the export of dual-use goods and technologies in December 2017.
Now, NSG, which controls the export of sensitive nuclear technologies and equipment, with the aim of preventing nuclear weapons’ proliferation is only export control group that India is not part of. China has repeatedly blocking India’s entry in NSG. Significantly, China is not member of Wassenaar Arrangement, MTCR and Australia Group.
India’s entry into three of four export control regimes burnishes its credentials i.e. a reference to country’s position that it has scrupulously adhered to rules governing non-proliferation of sensitive technologies and equipment.
It is multilateral export control regime (MECR) and informal group that works to counter spread of materials, equipment and technologies that could contribute to development or acquisition of chemical and biological weapons (CBW) by states or terrorist groups through harmonisation of export controls. It was established in 1985.
Coordination among participant countries of Australia Group helps them to fulfil their obligations under Chemical Weapons Convention and the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention to the fullest extent possible. It has now has 43 members. China, Pakistan, Iran, North Korea are not its members.