Source: IPS - TerraViva
The five largest arms purchasers during 2005-2009 were China, India, South Korea, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Greece, according to the latest figures released by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). March 2010. [see more]
Every day, millions of men, women and children are living in fear of armed violence. Every minute, one of them is killed. There are 640 million weapons in circulation globally and 8 million more are produced every year along with 16 billion bullets. Small arms are produced by 1,249 companies in more than 90 countries. In some of these countries trade controls are almost non-existent.

The lack of control on the arms trade means that they travel too easily and get into the hands of groups and people who use them to violate Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law. In this way, the abuse of arms is perpetrated both by armies during armed conflicts and security forces making an inappropriate use of force, as well as by private security companies and organized crime groups.

However, armed violence is not reduced to wars or delinquency, but is becoming widespread in thousands of family households. At the present time, more than half of conventional arms are in the hands of civilians.

In fact, the arms trade is one of the world’s most lucrative businesses apart from being a field for widespread corruption and bribes. The five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council –United States, United Kingdom, France, Russia and China– account for 88 per cent of the world’s conventional arms exports registered. From 1998 to 2001, the US, UK and France earned more income from arms sales to developing countries than what they gave in Official Development Aid.

States defend their right of individual or collective self-defense as set forth in Article 51 of the UN Charter, and the legitimate security interests that are asserted by all countries. And while international regulations have been adopted in the areas of nuclear non-proliferation and chemical and biological weapons as well as anti-personal landmines have been outlawed, there is still neither a compulsory regulatory framework nor standards for the elimination of the illicit trade in small and light arms.

In addition to this, there is a constant threat of weapons of mass destruction and nuclear energy used for war purposes, in spite of the existence of a Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), which entered into force in 1970.

Does this mean that we are condemned to live in an unsafe and dangerous world? Is it by chance “idealistic” to think of a world without arms?

On April 2002, the UN Department for Disarmament Affairs and the Foreign Ministry of the People’s Republic of China jointly hosted an international conference on “A Disarmament Agenda for the 21st Century”, held in Beijing, China. The participants included government officials from nineteen countries, along with fifteen representatives from non-governmental groups and academia, as well as a number of observers from China and diplomatic missions in Beijing. Featured speakers included Nobel Peace Laureate Jody Williams, Coordinator of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines.

During her speech Williams said: “If we want to live in a world with a meaningful agenda for disarmament in this century, civil society, like-minded governments, international agencies and the United Nations must forge a partnership to ensure that our ‘idealistic’ vision becomes the new reality.”
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Thursday, March 18 2010
Despite recession, global arms race spirals
(Source: IPS - TerraViva)
Monday, June 29 2009
The elephant in the room: Israel's nuclear weapons
(Source: The Electronic Intifada)
Thursday, December 18 2008
U.S. weapons at war 2008: beyond the Bush legacy
(Source: New America Foundation)


UN Charter Article 26 and Disarmament (Political Affairs Magazine)

Reflections on guns, fighters and armed violence in peace processes (Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue)

NGO Committee on Disarmament, Peace and Security

United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR) (UNIDIR)

Small arms: the world's favourite weapons of mass destruction (AfricaFiles)

NGO letter on the Secretary General's proposal to make DDA an Office (Global Policy Forum)

UN and disarmament

Department for Disarmament Affairs (DDA)

Disarmament & international security - First Committee (United Nations General Assembly)

A disarmament agenda for the 21st century (United Nations)

Arms Trade Treaty (ATT)

Govern global arms trade (The Australian)

Arms without borders: Why a globalised trade needs global controls (Control Arms campaign)

Arms Trade Treaty – A Nobel Peace Laureates' Initiative (Arias Foundation for Peace and Human Progress)

Towards an Arms Trade Treaty: Next steps for the UN Programme of Action (Control Arms Campaign)

Arms Trade Treaty resolution (IANSA)

Small arms at the UN (IANSA)


Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI)

Coalition for Nuclear Disarmament and Peace (CNDP)

International Action Network on Small Arms (IANSA)

Control Arms

Human Rights Watch

Greenpeace: Abolish nuclear weapons

No Guns Please, we are Children (UNICEF)

Reaching Critical Will

Peruvian Institute of Polemology

Gun Control Alliance - South Africa

Information resources

Shooting down the MDGs: how irresponsible arms transfers undermine development goals (Oxfam)

U.S. weapons at war 2008: beyond the Bush legacy (New America Foundation)

Compilation of Global Principles for Arms Transfers (Control Arms)

Missing Pieces: A guide to reduce gun violence through parliamentary action (Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue)

The Russian arms merchant raps on Latin America's door (Council on Hemispheric Affairs)

Identifying synergies between Mine Action and Small Arms and Light Weapons (Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining)

Organising civil society campaigns for small arms action: a manual for NGOs (Bonn International Center for Conversion (BICC))

Small Arms Survey

Small Arms Net

Arms Trade: a major cause of suffering (Global Issues)

Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue

Arms trade and traffic

Shooting down the MDGs: how irresponsible arms transfers undermine development goals (Oxfam)

Third Biennial Meeting of States on Small Arms and Light Weapons - Draft report (UN Office for Disarmament Affairs)

Security Council Report update: small arms (Global Policy Forum)

Beyond 'shadow-boxing' and 'lip service': the enforcement of arms embargoes in Africa (Institute for Security Studies)

Africa's missing billions: international arms flows and the cost of conflict (Oxfam)

US is top purveyor on weapons sales list: shipments grow to unstable areas (Global Policy Forum - Boston Globe)

We arm the world (TomPaine.com)

The role of small arms in African civil wars (Pambazuka)

Reviewing Action on Small Arms 2006: Assessing the first five years of the UN Programme of Action (International Alert)

The AK-47: the world's favourite killing machine (Control Arms campaign)

Dead on Time – arms transportation, brokering and the threat to human rights (Amnesty International)

Guns Out of Control: the continuing threat of small arms (Irin News)

Bringing the global gun crisis under control (IANSA)

Strengthening compliance with UN arms embargoes: key challenges for monitoring and verification (Amnesty International)

Global Arms Trade: Africa and the Curse of the AK-47 (Global Policy Forum - Independent)

Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspect (United Nations)

2006 Small Arms Review Conference (United Nations)

Guns or growth? Assessing the impact of arms sales on sustainable development (Control Arms (Amnesty International, IANSA, Oxfam GB))

Buying arms, selling lives: critical roles in arms control (Id21)

Small Arms & Demobilization (United Nations Development Programme)

Nuclear weapons

The elephant in the room: Israel's nuclear weapons (The Electronic Intifada)

Denuclearization of the DPRK—a role for the United Nations? (Global Policy Forum - Korea Economic Institute)

The politics of non-proliferation (CounterCurrents)

US: the most dangerous nuclear state (The News - Pakistan)

Project Butter Factory: Henk Slebos and the A.Q. Khan nuclear network (Transnational Institute)

The U.N.'s unfinished nuclear business (The Daily Princetonian)

And what about global denuclearization? (Counter Currents)

New proposals to reduce threats by weapons of mass destruction (United Nations)

No clear reason (Transnational Institute)

New War Dangers: Iran, the U.S. and Nukes in the Middle East (Institute for Policy Studies)

Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) (IAEA)

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)

NATO and Nuclear Disarmament (Institute for Energy and Environmental Research)

Iran’s Nuclear Posture and the scars of war (Middle East Report Online)

Closing the Global Nuclear Bazaar (Transnational Institute)

Militarization of the world

Despite recession, global arms race spirals (IPS - TerraViva)

Hemispheric Conference against militarization says no to Merida Initiative, U.S. military bases (Americas Program - Center for International Policy (CIP))

The militarization of the world's urban peripheries (Americas Program - Center for International Policy (CIP))

Introduction to "Selling US Wars" (Transnational Institute)

Say no to Africom (The Nation)

Mercenaries and the new configuration of world violence (OpenDemocracy)

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