Next MUNA conference:
February 6, 7 & 8, 2019

The question of deterring global illicit arms trafficking

Issue in GA 1: Disarmament and International Security


According to the UN there are two different types of arms.

-Small arms, generally defined as any gun below a 20-milimeter bore size (for personal use and personal defence). 

- Light weapons, a mortar less than 100-millimeter. 

The issue at hand:

The illegal trade of weapons worldwide is a major problem because it supplies organisations and groups with arms. Stocks of arms could be sold to militants, mafia, lone wolves and many other groups resulting in violent conflicts and wars. “More than half a million people die every year as a result of armed violence” and as many as 2,000 people die each day in conflicts fuelled by illegally traded arms. (Joseph Ryan- Assistance United Nations Development Assistance)

Currently, the trade is worth at least 60 billion per year on the black market. Most of the suppliers are private entities. However, some governments also supply certain proxy groups with arms, or their weapons are stolen only to appear on the black market.

Previous attempts:

In 2001 the UN introduced the “Programme of Action”, whereby all nations adopted this set of measures at national and international level. Giving priority to countering illicit trafficking. Nevertheless, after multiple conferences (in 2006, 2008, 2011, 2012, and 2014) and many new SALW resolutions (abbreviation for Small Arms Light Weapons), many violent conflicts and civil wars are still mainly fought with illicit arms. As a result, many countries are interested in establishing new tactics in order to deter global illicit arms trafficking.

Useful sources:

(Extended introductions, first two sources contain examples of violent conflict caused by illicit arms trafficking)

(The Programme of Action, the actual agreements)

(The Programme of Action, general information)

(SALW Security Council resolution, 2013)

(SALW General Assembly resolutions written in the years 2006, 2008 and 2015. The documents are only visible when downloaded)

(Criticism on SALW resolutions)



  • There are no questions for this issue.

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