In response to the changed world situation following the end of the Cold War, the 17 members of the Coordinating Committee for Multilateral Export Controls, better known as COCOM (most NATO countries, Australia, and Japan), agreed that its purpose of controlling advanced technology exports to communist nations had become outdated. At the Vancouver Summit in 1993, Presidents Clinton and Yeltsin agreed that the regime should be replaced with a new, non-discriminatory arrangement, to be joined by Russia. The COCOM partners decided to terminate the regime as of March 31, 1994, and to create such a new arrangement to enhance openness worldwide in the transfer of arms and sensitive technologies. Since that decision, ACDA has been a part of the U.S. Government effort, along with other like-minded nations, to establish the new regime on a consensus basis.

The current group of participating countries, as listed above in the Final Declaration, has been expanded from the original 17 COCOM members. As of April 1, 1996, it now numbers 31 with the addition of Argentina, Austria, the Czech Republic, Finland, Hungary , Ireland, New Zealand, Poland, Romania, the Russian Federation, the Slovak Republic, South Korea, Sweden, and Switzerland. Other countries currently seeking membership include Bulgaria and Ukraine.

Membership is open on a global and nondiscriminatory basis to all countries meeting the established criteria, under which a member country is to:

The following address details the provisions of the Wassenaar Arrangement thus far and discusses U.S. objectives for it's further evolution.

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