September 16, 2019
 In Articles

Alexander Garcia, Royal Oak High School


Disarmament and International Security Committee, Preventing the Illicit Arms Trade


Modern conflicts are often fuelled by the illicit arms trade. Take, for instance, Lebanon, where there has been documented a correlation between illicit arms market prices and reported killings. Or Africa, where it has been found that illicit arms shipments from sympathetic governments are a primary source of materiel for violent non-state actors as well as a method of circumventing UN arms embargoes. The illicit arms trade is a major obstacle in the way of a more peaceful world. If it ever wishes to secure world peace, the international community must eliminate it.

How, exactly, is the Disarmament and International Security Committee to go about aiding those ends? It has been well established that the majority of illicit small arms trades come in the form of diversion or misuse of official arms transfers, and the current framework for regulating official international arms trade, including preventative actions against diversion of materiel to the illicit market, is the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty. While the treaty is admirable in its goals and its spirit of international cooperation, its lack of universal adoption as well as its underwhelming implementation significantly weaken it. 

Therefore, it is the position of this delegation that the resolution passed by this committee should serve to address these flaws. While the Committee lacks the power of coercion and cannot amend the treaty, it can encourage more nations to become State-Parties to the ATT and establish a subcommittee to independently review the implementation of the ATT annually. The aforementioned subcommittee could also review the arms-trading practices of states not party to the ATT, and how those practices either abet or combat the illicit arms market. Implementing these practices would be a realistic and effective step in combating the illicit arms trade.



Geneva, Small Arms Survey. “Small Arms Survey 2013.” Small Arms Survey, 2013, doi:10./cbo9781107323612.

Geneva, Small Arms Survey. “Small Arms Survey 2012.” Small Arms Survey, 2012

Edited by Greene and Marsh. “Small Arms, Crime and Conflict: Global governance and the threat of armed violence.” London: Routledge Studies in Peace and Conflict Resolution.

  • Alexander Garcia

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