• Controlling Arms Brokering and Transport Agents: Time for International Action

      Clegg, E.; Crowley, Michael J.A. (British American Security Information Council (BASIC), International Alert and Saferworld., 2001)
      Evidence suggests that many of the arms transfers to the worst affected conflict regions and human rights crisis zones are organised and trafficked by arms brokering and transport agents. Targeting those states with weak national export controls and enforcement, unscrupulous brokers and transportation agents organise the transfer of arms and security equipment to a range of illegitimate end users such as criminals, terrorists and human rights abusers. Arms brokers can be defined as middlemen who organise arms transfers between two or more parties, often bringing together buyers, sellers, transporters, financiers and insurers to make a deal. They generally do so for financial gain, although political or religious motivation may also play a part in some deals. Often such brokers do not reside in the country from which the weapons originate, nor do they live in the countries through which the weapons pass or for which they are destined. As a result, such `third party¿ arms brokering is notoriously diff i c u l t to trace, monitor or control. Arms brokers work very closely with transport or shipping agents. These agents contract transport facilities, carriers and crews in order to move arms cargoes by sea, air, rail or road.
    • Enhancing traceability of small arms and light weapons flows: developing an international marking and tracing regime.

      Greene, Owen J. (British American Security Information Council (BASIC), International Alert and Saferworld., 2001)
      Efforts to combat and prevent illicit trafficking and proliferation of small arms and light weaponsEfforts to combat and prevent illicit trafficking and proliferation of small arms and light weapons (SALW) are obstructed by lack of capacity to trace sources and lines of supply for arms. Such efforts are necessary in order to identify points of diversion or loss of responsible control so that actions can be taken to tackle the problems. This hampers efforts to prevent future loss and diversion, for example, or to close down unauthorised or destabilising arms supply networks. Measures to enable tracing of sources and lines of supply of SALW are therefore a priority. Because of the international scope of the flows of SALW, such measures need to be taken by all states and all other relevant members of the international community. International standards and mechanisms to enable tracing need to be established and developed as a priority. An effective international system to enable tracing of sources and flows of SALW requires three essential elements: adequate marking to uniquely identify each weapon; detailed and accessible record-keeping; and mechanisms for international co-operation in tracing sources and lines of supply of SALW. At present there are substantial weaknesses and problems in each of these three areas. (SALW) are obstructed by lack of capacity to trace sources and lines of supply for arms. Such efforts are necessary in order to identify points of diversion or loss of responsible control so that actions can be taken to tackle the problems. This hampers efforts to prevent future loss and diversion, for example, or to close down unauthorised or destabilising arms supply networks. Measures to enable tracing of sources and lines of supply of SALW are therefore a priority. Because of the international scope of the flows of SALW, such measures need to be taken by all states and all other relevant members of the international community. International standards and mechanisms to enable tracing need to be established and developed as a priority. An effective international system to enable tracing of sources and flows of SALW requires three essential elements: adequate marking to uniquely identify each weapon; detailed and accessible record-keeping; and mechanisms for international co-operation in tracing sources and lines of supply of SALW. At present there are substantial weaknesses and problems in each of these three areas.
    • 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.
    • Stockpiling Security and Reducing Surplus Weapons.

      Greene, Owen J. (British American Security Information Council (BASIC), International Alert and Saferworld., 2001)
      Measures to enhance the security and management of legal stocks of small arms and to reduce `surplus¿ weapons are clearly essential components of an effective international action programme to combat illicit trafficking and prevent and reduce the proliferation of small arms. Many of the weapons of concern are lost from official stockpiles through theft, corruption or neglect. Moreover, the existence of large quantities of `surplus¿ small arms is a major factor in the excessive availability and flows of these weapons. The primary responsibility for measures to address these problems lies with governments. Regional and international organisations involved in any way with managing and disposing of small arms also have important responsibilities to take action. Nevertheless, this is a global issue, and the entire international community should play a role in developing policies on the management of stockpiles and the disposal or destruction of surplus weapons. This briefing outlines the dimensions of the issues, drawing on recent experience, and identifies ways in which an international action programme could usefully be developed to address them.
    • 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.