21 November 2019
SUBMITTED TO: Disarmament and International Security Committee (DISEC)
SUBJECT: Preventing the Illicit Arms Trade
DELEGATE: Jyothika Vijay, Troy High School
The rise of small arms trafficking along with the “dark web” connections formed with internet use has escalated the availability of the weapons. Document S/2017/1025, the report from the Secretary-General acknowledges and articulates on this aspect. Colombia has a direct involvement in small arms weapon trading, and acknowledges that it has devastating effects on the general population. A growing problem that is not limited to the border protection issue, though is definitely one of international boundaries, disparaging the region as a whole rather than individual countries. Areas with ongoing violence such as Colombia itself have a more immediate need of relief. Terror is only heightened when arms are brought into the equation, especially the small arms which enter borders easily and are surreptitiously traded within borders.
Within Colombia, it’s noted that citizens purchase guns in order to protect themselves from the Guerilla groups that terrorize them, along with the Militias that reflect instability in the government. While solving political crises such as the Colombia one would certainly help the reduction of illicit arms trades, this solution would be far too out of reach and the likelihood of success is limited. Colombia runs a program with the 13th Brigade of the Colombian army to help confiscate illicit weapons with the help of the police. However, success was limited due to 30-40 percent of the weapons being sold back to the public. This will be important to keep mind of when drafting resolutions involving buying back and confiscating weapons. Strictly regulated UN confiscation of the weapons should entail stronger focus on not just the collection of weapons, but the complete removal from the area.
Colombia is greatly looking forward to collaborating and finding further solutions to this complex issue.
Cragin, Kim and Bruce Hoffman, Arms Trafficking and Colombia. Santa Monica, CA: RAND Corporation, 2003. https://www.rand.org/pubs/monograph_reports/MR1468.html.
- Jyothika Vijay