International trade controls

Many of the small arms which are legally sold or transferred later find their way onto the illegal market and into the hands of abusers or criminals. Both the state-sanctioned trade and the illicit trade in arms must be tackled, in order to prevent irresponsible use of arms and the terrible human cost that follows.

Measures to improve regulation of the international export, transit and import of weapons include:

- an effective global Arms Trade Treaty, the goal of the Control Arms Campaign

- strong national regulation on arms brokering activities, including transport and finance

- greater transparency in the reporting of international transfers (eg including small arms transfers in reports to the UN Register of Conventional Arms)

Latest news


IANSA has a presence at UN Headquarters these two weeks to ensure that civil society is strong and visible at the 2012 Review Conference on the UN Programme of Action on Small Arms and Light Weapons (UNPoA), taking place from the 27th August to 7th September.
The summaries below provide some highlights of the work of the Review Conference.

IANSA's presence at the Second Review Conference of the UN Programme of Action on Small Arms and Light Weapons (PoA) was launched as three members, Jasmine Nario-Galace (Director, Center for Peace Education, Philippines), Hector Guerra (Network Coordinator, IANSA, Mexico), and Marie-Thérèse Ngandji (Executive Director, Caritas, Gabon) delivered speeches addressing IANSA's review of PoA Implementation so far, and hopes for further progress in the future.

Transcripts of the three speeches are available below.

The Second Review Conference of the UN Programme of Action (PoA) to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects, is due to run from 27th August to 7th September at UN Headquarters in New York.

More than a decade has passed since the adoption of the PoA in 2001, which has laid the foundation for action at the national, regional and global levels.

The Second Review Conference for the UN Programme of Action on Small Arms and Light Weapons (UNPoA), is about to commence at the UN Headquarters in New York, 27th - 7th August, 2012.

This month, UN member states are gathering in New York to negotiate an Arms Trade Treaty (ATT).

Latest resources

The Africa Europe Faith & Justice Network (AEFJN) has released three new resources: a list of organisations working on arms control in Africa; a report on arms exports and transfers from Europe to Africa; and a report outlining trends in arms exports and transfers between African countries. More

On 3 March, members of the Control Arms Campaign addressed the UN, as part of the second session of the Preparatory Committee on the Arms Trade Tready (ATT).

A new 2 page brief on how the inclusion of small arms and light weapons (SALW) and Ammunition is currently being treated in ATT discussions.

This short article by IANSA women participating in the Arms Trade Treaty Preparatory Committee (ATT PrepCom) was published in the ‘Arms Trade Treaty Monitor’, a joint initiative of Reaching Critical Will of WILPF, Global Action to Prevent War, Oxfam International, and IANSA.

The Control Arms Campaign for a global Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) has produced a number of resources since it was launched in 2003.

National and international regulations on arms transporters are often inadequate to prevent abuses. Information on the website of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).

A new publication by the Small Arms Survey reveals the realities of transparency and opaqueness in the ammunition market.

Amnesty International launched its new report ‘Deadly Movements: Arms Transportation Controls in the Arms Trade Treaty’ (ATT) on 19 July. <--break->

On 30 June in Geneva, Switzerland UNIDIR hosted a panel discussion on illicit brokering with experts Anne Charlotte Wetterwik, Kathleen van Heuverswyn, Brian Johnson Thomas and Brian Wood.

IANSA member APP presented its new book “International Arms Transfers Control” on 3 June at a Mercosur government meeting in Buenos Aires (Argentina).

Two research reports on arms brokering have been presented by the Flemish Peace Institute.

According to the SIPRI Yearbook 2010 the volume of international transfers of major conventional weapons continued to increase in the last five years. is a new web-based information clearinghouse which aims to reduce the involvement of arms traffickers in humanitarian aid and peace-keeping operations.

Details on export control systems of key states are presented in the new book ‘The International Arms Trade’ by IANSA member Rachel Stohl and Suzette Grilliot.

A UN Group of Governmental Experts produced recommendations for strengthening national and international controls and cooperation, to prevent illicit arms brokering and related activities. Their report was subsequently endorsed by the UN General Assembly in December 2008.

This report by the UN Secretary General came as response to a statement from the UN Security Council in 2007, requesting that they receive a report on small arms every two years