Country: Equatorial Guinea
Topic: Preventing The Illicit Arms Trade
Delegate: Samhith Ginjupalli
School: Saginaw Arts And Sciences Academy
Illicit arms trafficking fuels civil wars contribute which to skyrocketing crime rates and feeds the arsenals of the world’s worst terrorists. Particularly troubling is the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons (SA/LW). SA/LW account for an estimated 60-90% of the 100,000+ conflict deaths each year (Small Arms Survey 2005) and tens of thousands of additional deaths outside of war zones. They are also the weapons of choice for many terrorists. Of the roughly 175 terrorist attacks identified in last year’s State Department report on Patterns of Global Terrorism, approximately half were committed with small arms or light weapons. In the hands of terrorists and other criminals, these weapons have the capacity to kill dozens, even hundreds, of innocent civilians. A shoulder-fired surface-to-air missile – available on the black market for as little as a few thousand dollars – can bring down a commercial airliner. Even a couple of $100 assault rifles can inflict horrendous casualties, as evidenced by the November 1997 terrorist attack in Luxor, Egypt, during which 6 terrorists armed only with assault rifles, pistols and knives systematically slaughtered 58 tourists.
In the country of Equatorial Guinea, the annual value of small arms and ammunition exports from Equatorial Guinea is reported by Customs to be US$39512 (2005) and The annual value of small arms and ammunition imports to Equatorial Guinea is reported by Customs to be US$376,18712 (2011). These numbers include both licit and illicit arms trade between countries. Equatorial Guinea has taken a stance in limiting these numbers by signing many UN treaties regarding the reduction of trade of arms. But the problem has been hard to fight due to the lack of funding available.
The illicit arms trade is a serious issue and needs to be dealt with as soon as possible before it turns into a situation that could lead to the loss of many lives and maybe a global conflict. Illicit arms trading benefits terrorist organizations such as ISIS or Al-Qaeda and, as stated earlier, could lead to the deaths of many.
- Samhith Ginjupalli