High School General Assembly 3


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Committee: General Assembly Committee Three

Topic: Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons

Country: Republic of Botswana

School: United Schools of Peru

Coat of Arms of Botswana

Since the late 1980’s, countries around the world have made efforts to curb the illicit trade of small arms and light weapons. Nonetheless, the universal prevalence of said weaponry for both civilian and military uses has made their control and regulation nearly impossible. It is estimated that around 25 percent of the 4-billion-dollar annual global trade in small arms is “illicit” or not recorded as required by law . Furthermore, as many as 1,000 people are killed by illegal small arms each day . These statistics reveal the severe humanitarian cost of the international community’s failure to eliminate the illicit trade of small arms and light weapons (SALW). Nonetheless, the issue at hand is an extremely complex one, with several elements and postures that must be considered in order to propose effective solutions. The small arms manufacture industry produces eight million new small arms each year, plus 10 to 15 billion rounds of ammunition – enough bullets to shoot every person in the world not once, but twice . Given that virtually all the SALW traded in the black market are produced through licensed manufacturing processes, it has been agreed that it is necessary to introduce measures to stop these weapons from being smuggled or sold illicitly. Countries with the largest SALW manufacturing industries – mainly China, United Kingdom, France, USA, and Russia – will support these measures as long as they do not intend to heavily regulate the SALW market. SALW are also prevalent in areas of conflict, where small arms kill 300,000 people every year, nearly 80 percent of them civilians . Countries in unstable regions – such as the Middle East and most of Africa - are most likely to support legislation to restrict access to SALW, as well as measures to avoid the SALW black market from providing weaponry to terrorist organizations or rebel militias. These countries may also support regional initiatives to protect vulnerable populations - mainly children, women, and refugees. Finally, it is also important to note t...