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Give it a Go - Arms Trade

Secretary Tue, 02/27/2018 - 17:41

Give it A Go - Arms Trade

Give it a Go


What's that? You wanted to try MUN, but you were a bit intimidated? Here is your chance to show your skills off, and get familiar with Model United Nations. You don't have to prepare anything, as we've prepared over 30 country briefs for you to choose from. The event will take place this Thursday at 6pm in Parkinson B.08. The ticket is just £1 and you can purchase it online in advance by clicking the link below.

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Study Guide

Arms trading is a very important industry globally with about $30 billion spent in the international arms trade annually. This includes a wide range of weapons and military technologies from “small arms,” which include handheld firearms, to tanks, missiles and entire military systems. Arms trade is usually very closely linked to the domestic defence industries which have a high political significance described as military-industrial complex. For that reason, multilateral regulation and transparency of international arms trade usually meets resistance from states. The five biggest arms exporters in the world include 4 permanent Security Council members (USA, Russia, China, France) and Germany and altogether account for 75% of all global arms exports.
The UN has attempted to address the issue of the arms trade through the Arms Trade Treaty of 2014 which prohibits the sale of weapons if it is known that they would be used to commit genocide, other crimes against humanity or war crimes. The effectiveness of this treaty is highly questionable as evidenced by the fact that crimes against humanity are still very much happening around the world. The problem is often the lack of transparency that surrounds arms trade in line with other issues that are deemed to fall within national security purview.
However, in some cases the effects of arms trade are biting back at the exporter nations either through terrorism, which often manages to obtain weapons in a semi-legal way due to the shroud of secrecy, or through the domestic proliferation of firearms like in the USA. In spite of that, very little is being done by the major arms exporters to bring about a more transparent system where weapons would not be able to get into the wrong hands so easily. Politicians are often worried about jobs and economic benefits the industry brings and believe that if one country implements a more ethical framework, the rest will simply take advantage and steal more of the business.