For those of you unfamiliar with the name, the Australia Group is an informal consortium of countries seeking to restrict unintentional transfer of dual-use chemical/biological materials, through participation in voluntary export controls. The group arose in 1984, following Iraq’s ability to purchase chemical weapons components through legitimate international channels. The Australia Group fills a critical niche internationally, helping to prevent the unintentional proliferation of WMD components. The group has since expanded from its 15 founding members to include 42 countries and the European Union, with Mexico joining yesterday as its 42 member.
From the press release:
In warmly welcoming Mexico to the Group, the other Australia Group members recognised the Government of Mexico’s steadfast efforts to bring Mexico’s export control system fully into line with AG common control lists and guidelines, and its determination to contribute even more effectively to the global effort to prevent the proliferation of CBW in the security interests of all members of the international community. Mexico has also underlined its continuing commitment to WMD non-proliferation and to strengthening international standards for best practice export controls.
In joining the Group, the Government of Mexico said it would contribute constructively to the achievement of the Group’s objectives and to support its principles, in the interest of disarmament, global security and non-proliferation. As an AG Participant, Mexico would also promote the fulfilment of international obligations created under the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC), the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) and UN Security Council Resolution 1540, among others.
Read the full release here.
(image via Kate Sheets/Flickr)