Continuing CHAPTER III Conventional weapons issues


Transparency in conventional arms transfers and military expenditures

The UN Register of Conventional Arms

DDA continued its efforts to raise extra-budgetary funds to organize workshops in cooperation with interested States to enhance familiarity with and promote participation in the two United Nations reporting instruments: the UN Register of Conventional Arms and the UN standardized instrument for reporting military expenditures. As a result, subregional workshops to discuss the Register were held in Nairobi, (May) and in Nadi, Fiji, (August). A presentation on the Register was also made at a plenary meeting of the Hemispheric Committee of the Organization of American States, (Washington D.C., March). In addition, DDA published its "Information Booklet 2004",1 which contains frequently asked questions regarding the standardized reporting forms as well as documents related to the Register.
The United Nations continued to gather official data from Member States through its standardized instrument for reporting military expenditures. In 2004, 79 States reported to the instrument, registering a slight increase over the previous year. Although the progress made so far falls far short of the goal of universal participation, the replies submitted by Member States have increased significantly over the past four years when compared to earlier years, indicating a positive trend towards greater transparency of military expenditures.

Annual report on the Register for the calendar year 2003

The twelfth consolidated report issued by the Secretary-General for the calendar year 2003 contained data and information provided by 115 governments on imports and exports in the seven categories of conventional arms covered by the Register. A composite table for 2003 listing all the replies received by the Secretary-General and indicating whether each one contained data on imports and exports or both, and whether relevant explanations and background information were included, is annexed to this chapter (see page 34).
Regional participation is reflected in the following table:
Regional participation of Member States in the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms: 1998-2003
(excluding Cook Island and Niue submissions)
1998
1999
2000
2001
2002
2003
African States (53 members)
3
6
11
17
17
9
Asian States (54 members)
21
21
32
31
30
34
Eastern European States (22 members)
15
18
21
20
22
20
Latin American and Caribbean States (33members)
12
20
23
26
24
21
Western European and Other States (29 members)
28
28
27
29
28
29

In addition, on the basis of paragraph 7 of resolution 58/54, the Secretary-General received views from Sweden and the European Union.

Objective information on military matters, including transparency of military expenditures

The Secretary-General's report on "Objective information on military matters, including transparency of military expenditures" contained replies from 79 Governments.2
By its biennial resolution 58/28 of 8 December 2003, the General Assembly requested the Secretary-General to promote international and regional symposia and training seminars to explain the purposes of the United Nations system for the standardized reporting of military expenditures and to give relevant technical instructions. Pursuant to this request, DDA continued to cooperate with interested Governments in holding workshops on transparency in armaments, including the UN standardized instrument for reporting military expenditures (For details, see the aforementioned section on the Register).

1See DDA's web site http://disarmament.un.org.
2A/59/192 and Add. 1.