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The end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet bloc had a profound impact on the international conventional arms trade. The nature of global demand altered, moving from rivalry between the two superpowers to new regional security issues. Although these changes led to a big drop in global arms sales (in 2007, they were at barely half the 1982 level), many countries, particularly in the developing world, have continued to buy large quantities of new weapons.
Instruments adopted over the past twenty years (strengthening national legislation, the United Nations 1992 Arms Register, the 1993 Wassenaar Arrangement, the European Union 1998 Code of Conduct, etc.) have made considerable progress in controlling arms exports. GRIP’s work is a determined part of this dynamic to constantly reinforce the control of and restrictions on the arms trade.
UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe
Art Exhibition "Crush the Illicit Trade in Small Arms"
Location: United Nations, New York
Date: 29 June 2006
An art exhibition, by Almaparlantes, a musical group from Colombia, entitled "Crush the Illicit Trade in Small Arms" opened at UN Headquarters in New York. The musician (left) is playing an "escopetarra," a guitar made from an AK-47.
Note : l'histograme représente les totaux annuels, en milliards USD, aux prix de 1990. La courbe représente un indicateur de tendance basé sur des moyennes mobiles de cinq ans ; La moyenne est pointée à l'année correspondant à la dernière année de la période de cinq ans (exemple : l'abcisse 1980 correspond à la moyenne de la période 1976-1980, l'abcisse 2007 correspond à la moyenne 2003-2007, etc.).
Is there really a EU Strategy against small arms proliferation?(Cédric Poitevin)

The adoption of a strategy against the proliferation of SALW (small arms and light weapons) has allowed the EU to better structure its many initiatives to assist areas affected by the proliferation of SALW and the promotion of multilateralism in fight against this scourge. Still its Member States are struggling to harmonise their practices in the SALW trade and thus to act preventively against diversion and proliferation. This lack of coordination could be filled through practical initiatives such as the introduction of a "New for Old" clause and a better exchange of information between the 27 on diversion. Failing to do so, the EU policy in this area will be forever limited to repair the damage caused by SALW (including those coming from the EU) in post-conflict countries.

Other Analyses:

Ammunition controls, the ATT, and Africa: Challenges, requirements, and scope for action (Holger Anders)

There is no consensus on whether ammunition should be included in the scope of the international Arms Trade Treaty (ATT). Most states support its inclusion and point towards the negative impact of irresponsible and poorly controlled transfers of ammunition. The insecurity and tremendous human suffering associated with such transfers in the context of armed violence in Africa are a case in point.

A few states, however, oppose the inclusion of ammunition in the ATT and argue that controlling international ammunition transfers would be unfeasible and highly cost-intensive. This report discusses the challenges of ammunition controls in Africa against the background of the international discussions on the ATT. It demonstrates that concerns regarding ammunition-inclusion in the ATT are unfounded. It also argues that complementary action will be required by African stakeholders and their international partners to strengthen ammunition controls in the region.

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Update: 16/02/2012

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