15 March 2013 —
The United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs today released the electronic publication, The Impact of Poorly Regulated Arms Transfers on the Work of the United Nations, developed by the United Nations Coordinating Action on Small Arms (CASA). The publication is currently available as a downloadable PDF document.
The poorly regulated arms trade has devastating, multifaceted effects.These include fueling violence and armed conflict, hindering efforts to promote socioeconomic development and creating a permanent atmosphere of fear and instability in conflict settings.
While millions of civilians have paid the high price of the lack of legally binding rules in the area of arms trade, women and children are among the most vulnerable groups affected by this gap. Flows of arms into conflict and post-conflict situations not only impede the ability of the United Nations to discharge its mandates and assist the governments and populations that it is called to assist, but also pose a direct threat to United Nations personnel and assets.
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.
This paper is being released in conjunction with the beginning of the Final UN Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty, which is being held from 18-28 March 2013 at UN Headquarters in New York.
The United Nations Coordinating Action on Small Arms (CASA) is a mechanism created by the Secretary-General in 1998 aimed at formulating and implementing a coherent and cohesive UN approach to the issue of small arms. Currently CASA consists of 21 UN departments, offices, agencies, programmes and
funds within the United Nations system.