September 16, 2019
 In Articles

Disarmament and International Security Committee

Preventing the Illicit Arms Trade


Elliot Baker

Forest Hills Northern


The illicit arms trade is an ongoing issue across the world, particularly the trade of small arms and light weapons (SA/LW). SA/LW are the weapons of choice in conflict zones and for many terrorist groups. DISEC’s previous efforts to address the arms trade were encapsulated by the 2006 resolution 61/89, the Arms Trade Treaty. This treaty’s aim was to provide a framework for the “import, export, and transfer of conventional arms” (such as SA/LW) and was signed by Israel.


In the last decade, Israel has risen to become one of the most prolific arms exporters in the world, but Israel strives to ensure that its exports are not aiding in the unjust violation of human rights. Israel’s policies on arms trade include thoroughly vetting recipients of trade agreements to prevent civilian deaths and human rights abuses. When Israeli weapons are involved in such illicit trades, it is after numerous transactions, thus circumventing the policies in place, and out of Israel’s jurisdiction.


While eliminating human rights violations and gun violence due to the illicit arms trade is important, this committee also needs to bear in mind the harmful effects that a unilateral arms trade resolution can have on countries’ economies and development. Restriction of global trade, including the trade of SA/LW, can have detrimental effects on the global economy, and imposing more limitations on trade could unjustly target countries that export arms. Israel would like to remind the committee that the DISEC has previously defined illicit arms trade as trade that violates existing national or international law, or when this trade is in furtherance of a serious violation of international law (i.e. selling arms to a group known to violate human rights). Israel further believes that the best way to address the issue of illicit arms trade is to the adoption of policies including the vetting of arms trade recipients for all countries involved in arms export and/or transfer.

  • Elliot Baker

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