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Archived Documents





Shattered Lives: The Case for Tough International Arms Control (2003)
This report demonstrates that the uncontrolled proliferation and use of small arms "takes a massive human toll in lost lives, lost livelihoods, and lost opportunities to escape poverty." Amnesty International and Oxfam find that some Western countries, aiming to arm new-found allies against the threat of "terrorism," recently eased restrictions on arms exports without regard to those allies' records on human rights. .

Iraqis in Tune with the Way of the Gun (December 5, 2003)
AK-47's, shoulder-fired missiles and other artillery stockpiles grew under Saddam Hussein's regime and contribute to an unstable security atmosphere in post-war Iraq. Reuters reports that civilians used to buy hunting rifles, but now they buy pistols for protection.

Iraq Small Arms are a Big Threat (November 5, 2003)
The US estimates that there are over 650,000 tons of small arms in post-war Iraq. This article from the Christian Science Monitor criticizes the US weapons buyback program, claiming that it feeds a flourishing black market weapons trade and perpetuates a climate of insecurity in the country.

Cheap and Lethal, It Fits in a Golf Bag (October 26, 2003)
Security experts worry about the prevalence of shoulder-fired antiaircraft missiles for sale on the black market. Costing $10,000 and up, these weapons add a relatively cheap but extremely damaging tool to the arsenal of insurgent forces and other aggressors. (New York Times)

Kosovo Gun Amnesty Setback (October 16, 2003)
"We were unable to make a dent on the numbers of illegal weapons still in circulation," says the manager of the UN-backed Illicit Small Arms Control Project. The Institute for War and Peace Reporting speculates that distrust of the security forces and uncertainty about the future status of Kosovo has prevented residents from handing over their guns.

War On Terror Fuels Small Arms Trade (October 10, 2003)
Irene Khan, Secretary General of Amnesty International, emphasizes that the "war on terror" contributes to small arms proliferation. The US and other countries have loosened controls on arms sales to allies with alarming human rights records. (Guardian)

The Shoulder-Held Threat (August 13, 2003)
Surface-to-air missiles produced by the US and Russia move freely around the world through a thriving black market. A leading defense monitoring agency reports that such weapons can cost as little as $5,000. (Economist)

The World's Deadliest Arms (August 11, 2003)
Acknowledging that many illegal arms transfers start as legal transactions, this New York Times editorial calls for international standardization of import licenses and tightened controls on arms exporters such as the US, China, Israel and former Soviet bloc states.

World's Trigger-Happy Population Keeps Growing (July 29, 2003)
The Geneva-based Small Arms Survey released its annual yearbook of key findings in the global production and trade of small arms. Despite low regional production of small arms, Southeast Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa remain worst affected by small arms violence. (Asia Times)

US Plays Key Role in Small Arms Proliferation (July 10, 2003)
Small Arms Survey 2003 reveals that the US and EU contribute substantially to a legal arms trade worth eight billion dollars per year. The administrator of the UN Development Program remarked that this profitable trade "contributes to the reversal of hard-won development gains." (Inter Press Service)

Small Arms Pose a Peril That Must Not Be Forgotten (July 7, 2003)
Small arms kill more people per year than conventional weapons of war such as tanks and gunships. However, the war on terrorism marginalized the issue of small arms proliferation. In corrupt and poorly-regulated states, any group can easily arm themselves. (Los Angeles Times)

Small Arms and Human Rights: The Need for Global Action (July 7, 2003)
The UN Conference on the Illicit Trade in Small Arms has a Program of Action that does not mention human rights and that only fleetingly mentions international law. This Human Rights Watch report insists that these criteria must play a part in the framework for action.

Proliferation of Small Arms: A Menace That Must Be Controlled (June 30, 2003)
Abundant and cheap small arms lead to violence. Nonetheless, many states still have not taken crucial steps to stop the problem of small arms proliferation. (International Herald Tribune)

UN Opens Regional Seminar in Bid to Prevent Small Arms Trade in Central Africa (May 12, 2003)
Preventing illegal trade of small arms is the focus of this central African seminar. Eleven states discuss the plan to implement a UN Program of Action over a two-year period. (AllAfrica)

UN Security Council Takes Aim at Illegal Arms Proliferation in Africa (March 19, 2003)
The UN Security Council adopted a resolution calling on West African governments to enforce a moratorium on the illicit trade of small arms. The document also appeals to the international community to assist the region. (VOA News)

Worrying Problem of Small Arms Proliferation (February 18, 2003)
As arms proliferation in Nigeria soars, fueling ethnic and religious conflicts, a national workshop attempts to promote a culture of peace and find lasting solutions. (This Day)

US Gun Culture Is an Export Nobody Wants (January 3, 2003)
The UN and anti-gun organizations try to raise the level of concern over an explosion of small arms trafficking that followed the end of the Cold War and the dismantling of Soviet bloc countries. (Scotman)


Biggest Terror Threat Is from Small Arms (December 4, 2002)
Although the world focuses on weapons of mass destruction, the increase in small arms and light weapons has serious consequences, according to the UN. Estimates of small arms around the world range from 500 million to one billion, and over the years, shoulder-fired missiles have shot down 24 civilian airplanes. (Christian Science Monitor)

The Merchant of Death (November 20, 2002)
"Arms are not a good commodity to trade," remarks a notorious gun runner. "You'll lose your client." This report from the Center for Public Integrity explores the path of war and destruction left in the wake of gun runners who take the aforementioned "risk."

Drugs, Diamonds and Deadly Cargoes (November 18, 2002)
An investigative journalism piece released by the Center for Public Integrity exposes the web of connections between weapons smugglers and rebel factions in Liberia and Sierra Leone.

Weapons Of Mass Destruction (October 28, 2002)
Small arms are the real weapons of mass destruction, which kill some 300,000 people every year. The UN recently identified the widespread availability of small arms as a major problem throughout the world. (International Herald-Tribune)

Arms Trade, Human Rights, and European Union Enlargement (October 8, 2002)
A number of Central and Eastern European countries have recently recognized the need to tighten controls over arms trade. The EU enlargement process provides a unique opportunity for current member states to reshape arms trading practices in these countries. (Human Rights Watch)

Shining a Light on Small Arms Exports: The Record of State Transparency (January 2002)
The trade in small arms fuels conflicts around the world and poses a grave threat to the stability and development of many countries and UN peace operations. This report assesses "the case for, and arguments against, transparency by states in their small arms exports." (Norwegian Initiative on Small Arms Transfers)

Arms For The Poor (March 2002)
To arms-control advocates, the US arms-export trade represents a destabilizing waste of resources in the already impoverished developing world; to Pentagon and State Department planners, the arms trade is the prerequisite of a domestic industry they rely upon to maintain America's military dominance. (US Catholic)

2001 - 2000

Small Arms in Africa: Counting the Cost of Gun Violence (December 2001)
Africa Recovery provides a comprehensive analysis on the costs of violence attributed to small arms. Reducing the availability of small arms is important to improve Africa's prospects for development.

SALW: A Global Humanitarian Challenge (June 2001)
Ernie Regehr of Ploughshares Canada looks at restricting use and reducing demand of small arms and light weapons. He hopes that the UN conference in July will put in place a follow-up mechanism to hold member states accountable to promises of action on the problem of small arms.

Curbing the Illicit Trade in Small Arms: A Practical Route (June 2001)
Illicit trade is only one part of the global problem of small arms proliferation. Legal arms are also a problem, with post-conflict arms surplus turning fragile peace into persistant banditry. Michael Klare argues that the UN conference on illicit trade can play a crucial part by helping to closing loopholes in current arms regulations.

Rearmament in Sierra-Leone: One Year After the Lomé Peace Agreement (December 2000)
This report by Eric Berman from Small Arms Survey examines the supply chain of small arms and light weapons into Sierra Leone - from Burkina Faso and Liberia for the RUF and from the UK for the Sierra Leonean government.



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