India Joins Australia Group

Australia group

Key Information:

Date of join: January 19, 2018
Members of Australia Group: 43 (India is 43rd member of Australia Group)
Established year of Australia Group: 1985
Aim of Australia Group: Control over export and use of chemical and biological weapons


About Australia group

  • Australia group is an informal group of 43 countries whose primary aim is to minimize the risk of chemical and biological weapons proliferation. This group is known as ‘Australia Group’ as Australia was the first country who took initiative to control the spread of chemical and biological weapons.
  • Now, the Australia group’s members regulate the export of 54 compounds under the control list (this list made by Australia group). These chemical compounds are very harmful and can be used to make dangerous biological weapons.

The 43 members of Australia group are as follow:

1) Australia 16) Spain 32) Republic of Cyprus
2) Belgium 17) United Kingdom 33) Turkey
3) Canada 18) United States 34) Bulgaria
4) Denmark 19) Norway 35) Estonia
5) EU(European Union) 20) Switzerland 36) Latvia
6) France 21) Austria 37) Lithuania
7) Germany 22) Finland 38) Malta
8) Greece 23) Sweden 39) Slovenia
9) Ireland 25) Hungary 40) Ukraine
10) Italy 26) Iceland 41) Croatia
11) Japan 27) Czech Republic 42) Mexico
12) Luxembourg 28) Poland 43) India
13) Netherlands 29) Slovak Republic
14) New Zealand 30) Romania
15) Portugal 31) Republic of Korea (South Korea)
Note: China, Pakistan, Iran and North Korea are not member of Australia Group

Criteria to become member of Australia Group

  • First, to prevent the proliferation of chemical and biological weapons.
  • Secondly, the country, who wants to become a member of Australia group, should be a manufacturer of that chemical compound which is listed in control list of Australia group.
  • Accept all the guidelines for chemical and biological weapons and implement them.
  • If member countries do not follow guidelines of Australia group then legal penalties will be enforced on them.
  • Strengthen the Australia group in preventing chemical and biological weapons.

What are a Chemical weapon and Biological weapon?

  • Chemical weapons: Chemical weapons are considered as a weapon of gases. These weapons suffocate victims and can cause massive burning.
  • Biological weapons: Biological weapons are slow acting weapons. These types of weapon can cause diseases like anthrax, smallpox.

Why Australia Group formed?

  • During the Iran-Iraq war (1984), Iraq had used chemical weapons on Irani civilians, which is a violation of the 1925 Geneva protocol. According to Geneva protocol, no county can directly attack civilians.
  • In 1985, Australia initiated a meeting of countries with an aim of control the export of harmful chemicals and coordinating their national licensing measure and enhancing cooperation.
  • The first meeting of Australia group was joined by 15 countries including European Union in Brussels.

How the membership of Australia group is beneficial for India?

Now India becomes a member of Australia group. Benefits of membership of Australia group are as follow:
  • Now India can boost the relationship with Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) members, as many of members of NSG are also a member of Australia group and the good news is that China is not a part of this group. As we know, China is holding up India’s membership in the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG).
  • Now, India can also participate in farming rules to prevent the spread chemical and biological weapons.

India’s Progress

India is a member of Australia group, MTCR and Wassenaar group.

Groups Established India
NSG 1974 -
Australia Group 1985 43rd member
Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) 1987 35th member
Wassenaar Agreement 1996 42nd member


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