The Australia Group

Fighting the spread of chemical and biological weapons. Strengthening global security.

New measures to fight the spread of Chemical and Biological Weapons

Concluding its annual meeting in Paris (3-6 June), the Australia Group today agreed to adopt tougher export controls aimed at preventing the spread of chemical and biological weapons (CBW), including to terrorist groups.

The Australia Group is an informal network of countries that consult on and harmonise their national export licensing measures on CBW items. Participants aim to prevent any inadvertent contribution to chemical or biological weapons programs. The thirty-three participating countries from Europe, the Asia-Pacific and the Americas, plus the European Commission, have agreed to:

The Group agreed to additional measures to promote awareness of the threat of CBW proliferation through publication of the Australia Group booklet - "Fighting the spread of chemical and biological weapons: Strengthening global security". This complements the Australia Group website.

Participants reiterated their commitment to fair and transparent trade in chemical and biological materials for peaceful purposes. They agreed that the non-discriminatory application of national export licensing measures allows legitimate trade to expand unhampered by proliferation fears.

All Australia Group participants are parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) and the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC). These conventions legally oblige all state parties, inter alia, not to assist in any way the development and production of chemical and biological weapons anywhere. Participants re-affirmed the central role of national export controls in this regard.