The Wassenaar Arrangement
UNDER SECRETARY OF STATE FOR ARMS CONTROL AND INTERNATIONAL SECURITY WASHINGTON DC
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In December 1995, 28 governments agreed to establish a new international regime to increase transparency and responsibility for the global market in conventional arms and dual-use goods and technologies. The official name of the regime is The Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls for Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies -- Wassenaar being the town outside The Hague where five rounds of negotiations took place over the past 2 years. The Wassenaar Arrangement is just an initial international framework that will need to be elaborated and defined more fully. But it already represents some notable achievements for U.S. foreign policy. For the first time there is a global mechanism for controlling transfers of conventional armaments, and a venue in which governments can consider collectively the implications of various transfers on their international and regional security interests. In view of the close association between advanced technologies, including production technologies, and modern battlefield weapons, sensitive dual-use commodities will receive the same measure of scrutiny as do arms. Moreover, the preliminary scope of international support for this enterprise is already quite broad. Our friends and allies in Europe and in the Pacific comprise the core membership, but Russia and the four Visegrad states of Central Europe have also joined as full members. The composition and the goals of The Wassenaar Arrangement are tailored to respond to the new security threats of the post-Cold War world, and will close a critical gap in the international control mechanisms, which have concentrated on preventing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their delivery systems. While The Wassenaar Arrangement will not duplicate the other nonproliferation mechanisms, it will through a variety of means complement and, where necessary, reinforce them.
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