• Building Comprehensive Controls on Small Arms Manufacturing, Transfer and End-use.

      Crowley, Michael J.A.; Isbister, R.; Meek, S. (British American Security Information Council (BASIC), International Alert and Saferworld., 2001)
      Small arms and light weapons can enter the illicit market at many stages in their lifecycle. From manufacture, to sale/export, to import, and then to final end use, States must establish and enforce stringent and comprehensive licensing and monitoring systems to ensure that small arms and light weapons (SALW) remain under legal control. The UN Conference on the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects and ensuing follow-up process provide States with important opportunities to analyse and compare how existing systems governing the manufacture and trade in SALW are working. They further provide the context in which best practice can be agreed and implemented internationally, and for the discussion of how future trends and developments in SALW manufacture and transfer can be more effectively brought within State control. To this end, this briefing paper covers two separate but closely related issues. The first section of the report will analyse existing State and regional controls on SALW manufacture and examine how international measures, including the UN Conference, can reinforce such controls. In this regard, the growth of licensed production and co-production agreements is highlighted, together with implications for the development of adequate regulations. The second section examines those systems that are currently in place for the authorisation of SALW transfers and for the certification and monitoring of their ultimate end-use. Recommendations for best practice and implications for the UN Conference process are also discussed.
    • Implementing the UN Action Programme for Combating the Illicit Trafficking in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects.

      Clegg, E.; Crowley, Michael J.A.; Greene, Owen J.; Meek, S.; Powell, S. (British American Security Information Council (BASIC), International Alert and Saferworld., 2001)
      Historically, UN conferences have been criticised for resulting more in compromises than in commitments to real change, which is also a charge that has been levelled against the UN Conference on the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects (UN Small Arms Conference). The consensus-based approach adopted throughout the negotiations had the advantage of binding all participating States to all aspects of the agreed Programme of Action (PoA), but it also ensured that it would be difficult to achieve a sufficiently rigorous and comprehensive agreement on all of the measures required to tackle the trafficking, proliferation and misuse of small arms and light weapons (SALW). Therefore, in spite of the efforts of many governments and NGOs, the UN Small Arms Conference did not agree sufficiently robust agreements in several areas. Nonetheless, it was a valuable and productive process. The resulting PoA includes a reasonably comprehensive set of key principles and commitments, which provide a basis for taking forward action at national, regional and global levels. The PoAwas agreed by all of the participating States, amounting to more than 100, and each are politically bound to adopt and implement it. Given that the UN Small Arms Conference was the first of its kind, its achievement in generating political will and momentum for efforts to control SALW is important. Although many of the commitments are weaker and less comprehensive than hoped for by many governments and organisations, it is significant that the PoAcontains at least some important commitments in all but two of the `core¿ issue areas raised by States. The two exceptions relate to transfers to non-State actors and to civilian trade, possession and use of SALW, restrictions which were strongly opposed by the USA. Equally, human rights related issues were noteworthy by their absence in the PoA. Whilst the process of reaching agreement began with a far-reaching draft PoA in December 2000 (A/Conf.192/L.4), most of the comments that were tabled on this text during the second Preparatory Committee in January 2001 came from countries that sought to weaken its commitments. The subsequent draft (A/Conf.192/L.4/Rev.1) was therefore weaker, with the result that progressive States faced an uphill task in seeking to strengthen its provisions. The next draft PoA emerged at the UN Small Arms Conference itself in the form of a third draft (A/Conf.192/L.5). Although still limited in a number of key areas ¿ such as export criteria and transparency ¿ this document went further than L.4/Rev.1 in a number of respects and included specific international commitments, including on brokering and tracing lines of supply. This, however, proved too ambitious an agenda for a small group of States and in the end the document that was adopted by consensus (A/Conf.192/L.5/Rev.1) represented a lower-level compromise. Despite the difficulties of agreeing the consensus-based PoA, the process culminating in the agreement was perhaps as important as the agreement itself. UN Small Arms Conference represented the first time that all UN Member States had met to discuss the illicit trade in SALW in all its aspects with a view to agreeing a comprehensive set of measures to address the problem. Although many of the commitments contained in the PoAare couched in equivocal language that will allow States to do as much or as little as they like, it is clear that the UN Small Arms Conference has contributed to a much better understanding, amongst all stakeholders, of the nature of the illicit trade in SALW and of the particular concerns and priorities of different countries and sub-regions. It is also clear that although the Programme of Action provides a set of minimum standards and commitments which all states should adopt, it also encourages further action from all States willing to adopt more stringent commitments and stronger programmes. There is a willingness among a number of States to build upon the PoAand take more concrete and far-reaching measures at national, sub-regional, regional and international levels, such as specific arrangements for tracing co-operation, or mechanisms to co-ordinate e fforts to improve stockpile security or weapons destruction. This briefing provides a critical assessment of key provisions in the UN Small Arms Conference PoA. Section 1 measures the overall outcomes of the conference against those that the Biting the Bullet (BtB) project proposed as optimal conclusions, and suggests ways to put the commitments contained in the PoA into practice. Section 2 assesses the implementation and follow-up commitments contained in the PoA, and identifies ways of promoting the implementation of Sections III and IV, as well as options for making the most of the Biennial Meetings of States and the Review Conference in 2006. Section 3 examines funding and resourcing possibilities for the PoA including identifying needs, mobilising resources and matching needs with resources. The final section of the briefing focuses on the way forward, and in particular on how implementation of the PoA could build on existing regional initiatives and develop common international approaches to controlling SALW proliferation, availability and misuse. It also examines how action to prevent and combat the illicit trade in SALW in all its aspects can be taken forward at sub-regional and regional levels in conjunction with all major stakeholders, including civil society, in the period leading up to the first Review Conference.
    • Private Military Companies and the Proliferation of Small Arms: Regulating the Actors.

      Makki, S.; Meek, S.; Musah, A.; Crowley, Michael J.A.; Lilly, D. (British American Security Information Council (BASIC), International Alert and Saferworld., 2001)
      The 1990s witnessed a change in the way wars were fought as the amount of available weaponry increased and the types of actors engaged in warfare multiplied. The opening up of the international arms trade, in particular with new buyers and more channels of supply, has raised concerns about who purchases weapons and for what use. Afeature of this changing nature of conflict has been the continuing, if not growing, presence of mercenaries and the emergence of private companies contracted to provide military and security services. These range from logistical support and training to advice and procurement of arms and on-the-ground intervention. This briefing highlights how the activities of mercenaries and private military and security companies can contribute to small arms proliferation and misuse and examines steps the international community can take at the UN Small Arms Conference and elsewhere to effectively combat mercenarism and regulate the activities of private military and security companies. The role played by these companies relates not only to provisions contained in the contracts they sign with their clients to provide large amounts of weaponry, but also how the military and security services and training that they provide contributes to the demand for weapons in the regions where they operate. There are a number of ways in which mercenaries and private military and security companies are involved in small arms proliferation. These include: l Arms brokering and transportation activities l Violations of UN arms embargoes l Impact on human rights and humanitarian law l Driving demand for small arms Various measures already exist to ban the activities of mercenaries and regulate some of the activities of private military and security companies either through national legislation or international agreements. However, there is concern these efforts are neither comprehensive nor accepted widely enough to effectively control the activities of mercenaries and private military and security companies.
    • Regional initiatives and the UN 2001 Conference: Building Mutual Support and Complementarity.

      Clegg, E.; Greene, Owen J.; Meek, S.; O'Callaghan, G. (British American Security Information Council (BASIC), International Alert and Saferworld, 2001)
      As the agenda for the United Nations (UN) 2001 Conference on The Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects takes shape, governments should begin to identify a set of standards, mechanisms and specific agreements that will help consolidate, reinforce and co-ordinate regional and national measures to address the problem of the proliferation and misuse of small arms. An important element of this approach will be to build upon the wealth of regional and national experiences and perspectives that illustrate the different contexts in which efforts to combat the proliferation and misuse of small arms and light weapons have occurred. At the same time, agreements reached at the UN 2001 Conference should be substantial, establishing an agreed comprehensive `international action programme¿ f o r sustained global effort on this complex problem. However there remain issues and concerns that are common to all regions: these should be identified and addressed internationally within the context of the UN 2001 Conference. This briefing, the second in the Biting the Bullet series, reviews some of the current regional e fforts on small arms and light weapons. It identifies common approaches that have been used in different regions to counter the proliferation and misuse of small arms and light weapons, these include: law enforcement and crime control; supplier restraint and transparency; national legislation and regulation of arms; and arms reduction and control. The briefing analyses initiatives using these approaches that are moving forward in West Africa, Eastern and Southern Africa, the European Union (EU), and the development of cooperation between EU Member States and other countries and regional organizations, including Cambodia and the Southern African Development Community. The briefing identifies the impact and priorities of these initiatives, suggesting ways in which the UN 2001 Conference is both relevant to the region and what the region can contribute to the outcomes of the Conference. The briefing concludes with recommendations on the ways in which regional processes can be reinforced and further developed by the international community, focusing especially on the contribution of the UN 2001 Conference. Experience is showing that much of what happens nationally and regionally needs reinforcement and further development with assistance from the international community. The UN 2001 Conference comes at an important time for providing the framework ¿ through the international action programme ¿ to develop, reinforce and c o-ordinate these national and regional processes, through developing appropriate international norms, standards, programmes and mechanisms. Using the illustration of combating illicit arms trafficking, this briefing outlines some of the processes that could be taken forward through the UN 2001 Conference which would build upon and strengthen national and regional eff o r t s . The briefing contains an annex, which provides background information on many current regional and international initiatives, including those in Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe and inter-regionally, such as the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe and the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.
    • The UN 2001 Conference: Setting the Agenda: Framework Briefing.

      Greene, Owen J.; Clegg, E.; Meek, S.; O'Callaghan, G. (British American Security Information Council (BASIC); International Alert; Saferworld., 2001)
      The United Nations will convene the `UN Conference on the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects¿ in June/July 2001. The `2001 Conference¿ is now the primary focus for international efforts to strengthen and develop co-ordinated and comprehensive global action to prevent and reduce the proliferation and misuse of small arms and light weapons. A powerful international coalition of States, international organisations and civil society groups is uniting to promote effective global action. Expectations for the 2001 Conference are high and public awareness of the opportunities it offers is growing. It is critical that the 2001 Conference is a success. The 2001 Conference must achieve agreement on an effective International Action Programme to prevent and reduce small arms and light weapons proliferation and combat illicit trafficking in such weapons. This International Action Programme should reinforce, co-ordinate and extend measures being taken at local, national and regional levels. In addition to establishing an appropriate set of international norms and standards, the 2001 Conference should achieve agreement on specific international action on the problems associated with small arms and light weapons. The specific objectives of the 2001 Conference are currently undecided. This paper, the first in a series of briefings, outlines a proposed scope for the Conference. It further proposes concrete objectives and practical agreements which could be achieved during the Conference. It is hoped that the proposals and recommendations presented will contribute to efforts to secure a comprehensive and progressive framework for the Conference.
    • The UN firearms protocol: considerations for the UN 2001 conference.

      O'Callaghan, G.; Meek, S. (British American Security Information Council (BASIC), International Alert and Saferworld., 2001)
      Since April 1998, the Vienna-based UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice has been negotiating the draft Protocol Against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Their Parts and Components and Ammunition (hereafter referred to as the Firearms Protocol). This Protocol will be the first global measure regulating international transfers of small arms and light weapons, and should have a tremendous impact on both the legal and the illicit manufacture and trade in firearms. The draft agreement seeks to combat and criminalise trafficking in firearms, through the development of harmonised international standards governing the manufacture, possession and transfer of commercial shipments of these weapons. While the final outcome of the Protocol relies on the outcome of negotiations in February 2001, the draft agreement contains provisions which commit states, among other things, to: l Adopt legislative measures to criminalise the illicit manufacture, trafficking, possession and use of firearms; l Maintain detailed records on the import, export and in-transit movements of firearms; l Adopt an international system for marking firearms at the time of manufacture and each time they are imported; l Establish a harmonised licensing system governing the import, export, in-transit movement and re-export of firearms; l Exchange information regarding authorised producers, dealers, importers and exporters, the routes used by illicit traffickers, best practice in combating trafficking in order to enhance states ability to prevent, detect and investigate illicit trafficking; l Co-operate at the bilateral, regional and international level to prevent, combat and eradicate the illicit manufacturing of and trafficking in firearms; and l Consider developing systems to require arms brokers, traders and forwarders to register and obtain licences for their transactions. The Protocol places a premium on international co-operation, information exchange and transparency. The provisions in the Firearms Protocol are an important complement to those being developed for the UN 2001 Conference. Issues such as improving the ability to trace small arms and light weapons through effective marking systems, regulating the activities of arms brokers and building international norms on the responsible disposal of surplus small arms are common to both initiatives.