It succeeds the Cold War Coordination Committee on Multilateral Export Controls (COCOM) and was founded on 12 July 1996 in Wassenaar, the Netherlands, near The Hague. The Wassenaar agreement is much less stringent than COCOM, focusing mainly on the transparency of national export control regimes and not giving some members a veto over organisational decisions. A secretariat for the management of the agreement is located in Vienna, Austria. However, as a cocom, it is not a treaty and is therefore not legally binding. The aim of the amendments was to prevent Western technology companies from selling to governments that are known to be abusing human rights. However, some technology companies have expressed concern that the scope of controls may be too broad, limiting the ability of security researchers to identify and correct security vulnerabilities. Google and Facebook have criticized the agreement for the restrictions they will set for activities such as penetration testing, information exchange on threats and bounty programs.   They argue that the restrictions will weaken the security of participating nations and will do little to contain the threats of non-participating nations.   The body was established in 1996 to succeed the Cold War Multilateral Export Controls Coordinating Committee.
The name comes from Wassenaar, on the outskirts of The Hague, where the agreement was reached in 1995 to initiate such multilateral cooperation. During a state visit to India in November 2010, U.S. President Barack Obama announced U.S. support for India`s bid to become a permanent member of the UN Security Council and India`s membership in the Nuclear Suppliers Group, Wassenaar Arrangement, Australia Group and Missile Technology Control Regime.  2. Wassenaar members agreed that all information exchanges, notifications and conversations of Wassenaar would remain confidential. India joined the 42nd participating state on December 7, 2017. “Wassenaar Arrangement participating states reviewed the status of a number of current membership applications and agreed at the plenary session to allow India to become the 42nd state participating in the arrangement as soon as the procedural arrangements necessary for ACCESSION to the VA have been finalized,” the group said in a statement.
  India`s request was supported by Russia, the United States, France and Germany.  The list of ammunition includes 22 unmarked categories. The information exchanged in the agreement may also include all other issues that are relevant to the VA`s objectives and which each participating state wishes to bring to the attention of other members. The convention`s specific information exchange requirements include semi-annual notifications of arms transfers, which currently cover seven categories derived from the UN register on conventional weapons. Members are also required to notify of transfers or refusals to transfer certain dual-use controlled assets. The refusal report helps to draw members` attention to transfers that could undermine the objectives of the convention. . During the years of operation of the Agreement, Wassenaar members reaffirmed their commitment to preventing terrorist groups and individuals from acquiring conventional weapons and dual-use goods and technologies, agreed to exercise “maximum restraint” on exports to the Great Lakes region of Africa, and gradually expand the types of arms exports through which information is exchanged. , to gradually expand the importance of a “responsible export policy” for small arms and light weapons.