Combating the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons: Enhancing Controls on Legal Transfers.
KeywordSmall arms and light weapons (SALW) trade.
Weapons proliferation reduction
UN Conference on the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects
Legal weapons trade -- Control of
Illegal arms trade
Rights© 2001 British American Security Information Council (BASIC), International Alert and Saferworld. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share-Alike License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/uk).
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AbstractA prerequisite for effective international action to prevent and combat the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons (SALW) is that states develop a common understanding of what constitutes the ¿legal¿ trade and therefore what is ¿illicit¿. At the same time, failure to exert e ffective control over the legal trade in SALW opens up possibilities for diversion to illicit markets and end-users and blurs the lines between the legal and illicit trade. All governments are potential suppliers of SALW, since even those with no manufacturing capacity will have the potential to export surplus weapons once owned by their police and/or armed forces. A major concern for the UN Conference on the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects should thus be to define clear parameters for and to agree on a comprehensive mechanism for controlling the legal trade in these weapons.
Versionpublished version paper
CitationBritish American Security Information Council (BASIC), International Alert and Saferworld (2001). Combating the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons: Enhancing Controls on Legal Transfers. London: British American Security Information Council (BASIC), International Alert and Saferworld. Biting the Bullet Briefing Papers. Briefing 6.
Link to publisher’s versionhttp://www.brad.ac.uk/acad/cics/publications/bullet/briefing/
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Combating the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons: Strengthening Domestic RegulationsCukier, W.; Bandeira, A. (British American Security Information Council (BASIC), International Alert and Saferworld., 2001)Small arms and light weapons have become the weapons of choice in conflicts around the world and figure prominently in crime. Recently, considerable attention has been focused on the proliferation of SALW at the national, regional and international level. The recognition that m o s t illicit SALW began as legal weapons is, however, fundamental to efforts to reduce the proliferation and misuse of SALW and the diversion of civilian weapons is one source of supply. Indeed, it is estimated that there are as many SALW in the hands of civilians worldwide as there are in the possession of states, and that in many parts of the world diversion from civilian stocks is the principal source of the illicit supply. Consequently, strengthening domestic regulation, which reduces the diversion of legal weapons to illegal markets, is a critical part of any strategy to address illicit trafficking. It is also consistent with resolutions from the United Nations Security Council and other Commissions as well as regional initiatives. This briefing reviews the ways in which SALW are diverted from legal to illegal markets and the measures which can be used to reduce this diversion. In addressing illicit trafficking in all its aspects, it is imperative that the UN Conference not does neglect this significant problem.
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.
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.