Countering the illicit trade in small arms is not only an issue of defence, international security and law enforcement. It is deeply relevant in areas such as public health, human rights, investment climates and the forced displacement of civilians.
Critically, adequate small arms control has become a key development issue. In the globally agreed 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, governments agreed to significantly reduce illicit arms flows.
The central UN process is the Programme of Action on the illicit trade in small arms. In the coming years the main challenge for governments will be to reflect the paradigm shift of small arms control having become a development topic, in their domestic and international policy approaches.