September 16, 2019
 In Articles


SUBMITTED TO: Disarmament and International Security Committee

TOPIC: Prevent the Illicit Arms Trade

DELEGATE: Pratham Patel

SCHOOL: Saginaw Arts & Sciences Academy 


According to the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear war, nearly 500,000 people die due to wounds caused by small arms. 300,000 deaths occur due to armed conflict while 200,000 deaths are caused by homicide, suicide, or accidents resulting in a death per minute caused by small arms. In an effort to stop this global threat, Libya has become the 78th country and the first North African country to sign the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), a treaty put into effect by the United Nations as of December 24, 2014, and encourages other countries to do the same. 


Due to the fall of Mouammar Kadhafi’s regime in 2011, the civilian population has been able to easily access the weapons used by Kadhafi’s forces. This has resulted in large amounts of illicit arms. This can be seen in Tripoli, where about four illicit arms deals are made a day. This dispersion of illicit arms has found its way to neighboring countries such as Mali, where these weapons are used by insurgent groups to harm civilians. If more funding is provided to International Action Network on Small Arms (IANSA) then Libya can efficiently combat this problem. 


Due to the ATT, the Government of the National Accord (GNA) of Libya has to look over and permit every arms deal. The treaty ensures that arms deals cannot lead to violations of international human rights and also cannot be used to facilitate terrorist attacks, a pattern of gender-based violence, violent crime, or organized crime. To minimize loopholes, this treaty covers all types of weapons, transfers, and transactions. The GNA must make sure that the arms are not sent to recipients with UN arms embargoes or anyone else besides the stated recipient. Libya is in a civil war and according to a UN Report countries like Turkey, Sudan, Jordan have broken the arms embargo against Libya and supplied the Libyan National Army (LNA) with weapons. This has fueled the fight for Libya between the GNA and LNA to a new level. The GNA is backed by the UN while the LNA is backed by other countries such as the UAE and tribal militias. This leads to the death of countless innocent lives. In efforts to stop illicit arms trade Handicap International has been teaching the public about risks posed by small arms and how to handle these weapons properly. Examples of such lessons are to keep weapons out of children’s hands and not to shoot into the air during celebrations. Additionally, 15,000 weapon risk awareness packets have been distributed to schools and hospitals across Tripoli.


Seeing the ineffectiveness of the ATT, Libya suggests that the committee devise a new solution to this global problem. Libya proposes that the UN provides more funding to set up more stops at the border to discourage the proliferation of illicit weapons. We also suggest to dispose of the UN arms embargo on Libya for it is only weakening the GNA while making the LNA stronger. We look forward to working with other countries and eradicating this problem.

  • Pratham Patel