On 3rd December, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute published a new report on the challenges facing multilateral export control regimes. These are groups of states that co-ordinate their controls on exports of proliferation-relevant goods, technologies and military items, and there are 4 main regimes —
- the Australia Group (on chemical and biological weapons);
- the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR);
- the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG); and
- the Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls for Conventional Arms and Dual-use Goods and Technologies
These groupings play a key role in setting norms for supply-side non-proliferation policies and state behaviour. However, the report says that there has traditionally been limited official engagement between the regimes, with member countries generally using other fora and means to actually co-ordinate their systems. The report makes the case for using more formalised inter-regime dialogue meetings, particularly to address the difficulties in controlling emerging technologies with cross-regime relevance and co-ordinating the production of guidance materials.
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