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UNODA Occasional Papers No.23: The Impact of Poorly Regulated Arms Transfers on the Work of the United Nations

image of UNODA Occasional Papers No.23: The Impact of Poorly Regulated Arms Transfers on the Work of the United Nations

This paper aims to develop a coherent United Nations approach to support the international community’s efforts to improve the regulation of international transfers of conventional arms. It records the United Nations Organization’s advocacy over the past years of a robust and comprehensive Arms Trade Treaty that covers the full array of conventional weapons as well as ammunition and that includes provisions that arms not be transferred where there is a clear risk that they will be used to commit violations of international humanitarian law and human rights law or seriously undermine development.

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The impact of poorly regulated arms transfers on the work of the United Nations

Many areas of world trade are covered by regulations that bind countries into agreed conduct. At present, there is no global set of rules governing the trade in conventional weapons. An eclectic set of national and regional control measures and a few global instruments on arms transfers exist, but the absence of a global framework regulating the international trade in all conventional arms has obscured transparency, comparability and accountability. This may be one of the reasons why too many weapons are misused or are diverted to unlawful owners, and too often an arms export request denied by one country will be approved by another.

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