India became the 35th full member of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR). To mark the occasion Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar signed the instrument of accession to MTCR in New Delhi, in the presence of France’s Ambassador-designate Alexandre Ziegler, The Netherlands Ambassador Alphonsus Stoelinga, and Luxembourg Charge d’Affaires Laure Huberty.
“India has joined the MTCR this morning…India’s entry into the regime as its thirty-fifth member would be mutually beneficial in the furtherance of international non-proliferation objectives,” the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said, in a statement. Importantly, the entry into MTCR came just days after India failed to get Nuclear Supplier Group (NSG) membership due to opposition from China and a few other countries.
India becoming a full member is deemed considered as mutually beneficial in the furtherance of international non-proliferation objectives. It also marks India’s first entry into any multilateral export control regime.
India was able to successfully enter this multilateral export control regime with the unopposed support of all 34 MTCR Partners. The MEA also thanked all the 34 other MTCR Partners for their support for India’s membership. Earlier in 2015, India’s bid for the membership to the group had failed after it was blocked by Italy.
By becoming MTCR member, India will now be able to buy high-end missile technology and also can enhance its defense joint ventures with Russia. India’s inclusion to the MTCR will also strengthen its own export controls, which will also provide assistance to India justifying the transfer of sensitive technology in front of other MTCR members. Further, it will also overlay for India’s bid to become the member of NSG, Wassenaar Agreement (dealing with conventional arms, dual-use goods and technologies) and Australia Group (dealing with chemical weapons).
The MTCR was established by G-7 countries in 1987. It is an informal and voluntary partnership among 35 countries, with a common aim to restrict the proliferation of missiles, unmanned air vehicles (UAVs), complete rocket systems and related technology for those systems capable of carrying a 500 kilogram payload for at least 300 kms, as well as systems intended for the delivery of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs). Latest member India formally applied for membership to the group in June 2015, with active support from France and the United States, and officially became a member in one year time since application, with the consensus of all 34 member nations.