Monday, August 06, 2007

Australian Group Chemicals

The Indo-US nuclear deal is paving way for greater access to dual-use materials and technology by the Indian industry. So the government is burning midnight oil to introduce stricter export-control regime to prevent proliferation of such materials from India.

In this context it would be interesting to know something about the Australian Group Chemicals. I excerpt below for you, from an excellent article that appeared in today’s ET:

This refers to the 63 chemicals that are identified by the Australia Group as chemical weapons precursors. Hence they need stricter licensing according to the signatories of this grouping. US is a participant in this group. India is not. The group members are signatories to the Chemical Weapons Convention, a treaty that binds nations to be transparent about the nature of chemicals produced by them. India has legislated a chemical weapons statute in line with this treaty.

The Australia Group does not impose any legally binding obligations on its members and believes that the effectiveness of its work depends solely on a shared commitment to the non-proliferation of chemical and biological weapons. It advocates easy-to-implement export-licensing measures that are effective in checking production of chemical and biological weapons without harming legitimate trade.