The new study warns that global arms proliferation is fueling violence,
crime and insurgency. VOA's United Nations correspondent Margaret
Besheer voices the story by Maha Saad.
Keith Krause, program director of the Small Arms Survey, the independent research group that conducted the survey, says
approximately 650,000 civilian firearms move from lawful to illegal
possession every year. This is known as diversion of small arms, such
as pistols, revolvers, and rifles.
"It is worth underlining that
the widespread diversion of weapons fuels crime, fuels insurgency, and
fuels armed violence around the world," said Kraause. "It mostly stems
from weak systems of stockpile management and control or from
negligence on the part of authorities at all levels of the chain of
Krause says this can be prevented with low-cost
improvements, such as installing perimeter fences, locking weapons
stocks, and monitoring inventories.
to the Conference on Disarmament, Jurg Streuli, says the improper
disposal of excess military arms is also a big problem. There are at
least 76 million small arms in surplus of modern military requirements.
still tend to send their excess military weapons to other states
instead of destroying them. Incentives for destruction must be enhanced
if excess stocks are to be kept from the illicit market," said Streuli.
and other experts warn that light weapons, including anti-tank guns,
grenade launchers, improvised explosive devices, known as IEDs, and
rocket launchers, are widely used by non-state armed groups to carry
out insurgent acts.
"Non-state armed groups in Southeast Asia,
Middle East, Eastern Europe, and South America have been reported to
produce light weapons," he said. "They are often produced from
materials that are salvaged from stocks of ammunition and explosives,
so weapons stocks may be pillaged and then used, in particular the
explosives and other parts, to produce improvised explosive devices."
urges governments to secure and monitor their stockpiles of small arms
and light weapons and to pay attention to the risk of diversion.