The Wassenaar Arrangement’s goal is to contribute to security and stability by promoting transparency and responsibility in transfers of conventional arms and dual-use goods and technology.
It is named after a suburb of The Hague where an agreement was reached to start a new type of multilateral cooperation. The Export Controls for Conventional Arms and Dual-use Goods and Technologies was established in 1996.
Preventing the accumulation of weapons
Through transparency and responsibility the Wassenaar Arrangement seeks to ensure that transfers of controlled items do not contribute to the development or enhancement of military capabilities that can undermine regional and international security and stability.
Canada, together with 32 other countries, was a founding member of this organization. There are now 41 Participating States.
The Wassenaar Arrangement is intended to enhance co-operation to prevent the acquisition of armaments and sensitive dual-use items for military end-uses.
The Wassenaar Arrangement is not directed against any state or group of states and does not seek to impede legitimate civil transactions. It also complements and reinforces, with minimal duplication, the other export control regimes for weapons of mass destruction and their delivery systems.
Through its membership in the Wassenaar Arrangement, Canada has committed to control:
- dual-use items that have both civilian and military applications
- items which are specially designed or modified for military purposes
- items that present a strategic military concern
These items can be found under Groups 1 and 2 of the Export Control List.
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