Policy Paper

Paper 34 Separating Fact from Fiction: The Australia Group and the Chemical Weapons Convention

in Program

Authored by Amy Smithson, this report presents a factual discussion of the Australia Group’s history and modus operandi, as well as of the CWC’s trade-related provisions. The first segment of the report relates the Australia Group’s origins, followed by an account of how Australia Group meetings generally operate and the criteria for joining the collective. Next, the discussion moves to how the Australia Group expanded the scope of its activities and its membership. The North-South discord and the Australia Group’s rebuttal of its critics in view of the challenges of containing proliferation in the post-Cold War era are explored in the ensuing sections. The final two segments of the report offer a discussion of the domestic misperceptions about the Australia Group and the CWC and some concluding observations about the need for a variety of complementary tools to restrict the proliferation of biological and chemical weapons.

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