UN Register of Conventional Arms

If States behave in a predictable and transparent way, including being open about arms transfers, this could build confidence among them and help prevent conflict. For this purpose, governments can report to the UN Register of Conventional Arms. The Register is an important tool, giving practical significance to the concept of ‘transparency in armaments’.

Submit national reports (Government only)

  1. Albania
  2. Argentine
  3. Australia
  4. Austria
  5. Belarus
  6. Bhutan
  7. Bosnia and Herzegovina
  8. Brazil
  9. Bulgaria
  10. Canada
  11. Chile
  12. China
  13. Comoros
  14. Croatia
  15. Cyprus
  16. Czech Republic
  17. Denmark
  18. El Salvador
  19. Estonia
  20. Finland
  21. Germany
  22. Greece
  23. Hungary
  24. Ireland
  25. Jamaica
  26. Japan
  27. Kazakhstan
  28. Latvia
  29. Liechtenstein
  30. Lithuania
  31. Luxembourg
  32. Malaysia
  33. Malta
  34. Mexico
  35. Monaco
  36. Nauru
  37. Netherlands
  38. Norway
  39. Pakistan
  40. Poland
  41. Portugal
  42. Republic of Korea
  43. Romania
  44. Russian Federation
  45. San Marino
  46. Serbia
  47. Singapore
  48. Slovakia
  49. Slovenia
  50. South Africa
  51. Spain
  52. Sweden
  53. Switzerland
  54. The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
  55. Trinidad and Tobago
  56. Turkey
  57. Ukraine
  58. United Kingdom
  59. United States of America
  60. Uruguay
  61. Viet Nam

(As of 25 September 2013)

Transparency in armaments

Transparency in armaments can help determine if excessive or destabilizing accumulations of arms is taking place. Being open about armaments may encourage restraint in the transfer or production of arms, and can contribute to preventive diplomacy. Since its inception in 1991, the UN Register has received reports from more than 170 States. The vast majority of official transfers are captured in the Register. Reports include data provided by countries on arms transfers as well as information on holdings, domestic purchases and relevant policies. Upon its establishment, States decided to continue working on expanding the Register’s scope. They have done so through Groups of Governmental Experts (GGE) that convene every three years and report to the General Assembly, which may adopt a resolution incorporating the GGE recommendations. The last triennial review by a GGE was done in 2013.

Annual Consolidated Reports of the Secretary-General
(Compilation of yearly national submissions)

Report of the Group of Governmental Experts

Not all arms covered

UNROCA covers seven categories of arms, which are deemed the most lethal ones. In 2003, countries decided that small arms could be added to the Register. Many countries now include small arms in their yearly reports.

Governments may buy arms domestically

If countries without a domestic industry dutifully report their imports, it would be fair if countries who produce arms themselves report on their domestic purchases. In that way, all purchases are covered. Therefore the Register includes a provision for reporting on procurement through national production.

Defence policies, military holdings

Reporting on a transfer is even more transparent if the context for the purchase is given. This is why countries can report on their national defence policies, and on the total amount of weapons they have available.

Related Links

UNODA Occasional Paper No. 16: Assessing the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms (PDF) SIPRI Arms Transfer Database IISS Military Balance