September 16, 2019
 In Articles

Disarmament and International Security Committee

Preventing the Illicit Arms Trade

The People’s Republic of China

Gaurang P. Vaidya

Forest Hills Eastern


With the rise of members of armed groups terrorizing, abusing, and killing the citizens of the world, guns in the hands of malicious people is a frightful sight. The illicit arms trade has fueled conflicts, terrorism, and organized crime across the globe by allowing criminals to acquire a cheap, easy to handle weapons that can cause endless casualties (“Small”). The Disarmament and International Security Committee (DISEC) must formulate a new solution that will protect the citizens at risk of these horrendous acts. DISEC mustn’t turn a blind eye to small arms and light weapons (SA/LW), with nearly 900 million in circulation and more in production, they are the root cause of large-scale human rights abuses and forced displacement of civilians (“Controlling”). The United Nations has tried to prevent and control the effects of the illicit arms trade by encouraging member states to participate in the UN Program of Action, UN Register of Conventional Arms, and the Arms Trade Treaty negotiations.


China has taken swift and thorough action to prevent and combat the Illicit Arms Trade. Our nation has pursued major provisions of the UN Programme of Action: implementing national coordination agencies, marking all SA/LWs at the time of production, and criminalizing the possession of SA/LWs (“A Decade”). Additionally, any illicit SA/LW found is registered and destroyed. As the 5th Largest global arms exporter, China ensures that each weapon produced is recorded in a detailed database that makes it easy to trace, de-incentivizing the sale and use in the black market. We have also instituted an inventory and registration system, where numbers of weapons, batch numbers, and models of weapons are checked weekly (“A Decade”). At the UN General Assembly on September 28th, 2019, the honorable Foreign Minister of China, Wang Yi, declared that China would join the Arms Trade Treaty as soon as possible, initiating domestic legal procedures to join the treaty (“At UN”). Our nation has reaped the benefits of legislation that limits the use of guns, reducing domestic abuse and trafficking within the country to a minimum (Xinhua).


China strives to ensure that weapons produced domestically are not found in the hands of terror organizations or international fugitives. The DISEC committee must first eradicate the causes of the illicit arms trade, such as power vacuums after civil/revolutionary wars, terrorist organizations funneling illegally obtained firearms to their armies, and UN member states exporting arms to vulnerable areas. Subsequently, resolving disputes through diplomatic means, enhancing post-conflict reconstruction efforts, and promoting the further implementation and ratification of the Arms Trade Treaty and other negotiations (“Security”). Our resolution must establish preventative, proactive, and reactive measures to combat this crisis. We can do this by creating arms UN checkpoints throughout trade routes to ensure that arms secured properly. China also recommends that member states enact initiatives to secure the production of arms facilities by increasing marking and registration laws. Finally, increasing border security will not only promote national security, but it will allow countries to seize illegal weapons reducing the total illicit arms. These efforts will contain the illicit arms trade, will prevent future attacks on the world’s citizens from resurfacing.

“At UN Assembly, China Says ‘It Will Not Ever Be Cowered by Threats’ | UN News.” United Nations, United Nations, 26 Sept. 2019,

“Controlling, Regulating Small Arms Requires Action Going Beyond National Security Institutions, Secretary-General Tells Programme of Action Review Conference | Meetings Coverage and Press Releases.” United Nations, United Nations, 18 June 2018,

“A Decade of Implementing the United Nations Programme of Action on Small Arms and Light Weapons: Analysis of National Reports.” United Nations Institute of Disarmament Research, 30 July 2012,

 “Security Council Adopts First-Ever Resolution Dedicated to Question of Small Arms, Light Weapons | Meetings Coverage and Press Releases.” United Nations, United Nations, 26 Sept. 2013,

“Small Arms and Light Weapons.” International Peace Bureau,

Xinhua. “Gun Crime in China Drops 81 Pct in Five Years.” New China, 10 Feb. 2019,


  • Gaurang P. Vaidya