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11.4.2021 : 18:44 : +0200

The New Global Partnership on Small Arms Website

The Small Arms Survey is pleased to announce the launch of the new Global Partnership on Small Arms website—an online platform where stakeholders engaged in reducing or preventing illicit arms trafficking can interact and exchange information, experience, and knowledge. The site is being launched this weekend to coincide with International Small Arms Destruction Day. This day, initiated by the UN in 2001, serves to remind us all of the threat to everyday safety and security posed by illicit or uncontrolled weapons, including poorly secured weapons stocks.

Small arms play a pivotal role in violence and insecurity worldwide. Around 44 per cent of all violent deaths involve the use of firearms. This means that 223,000 people lose their lives in violent events involving a firearm every year. And many more die in firearm-related suicides or are injured in non-lethal firearm-related violence.

Small arms pose a problem beyond their use to inflict death and injury. The uncontrolled proliferation of arms and ammunition undermines stability, safety, and human security in many countries throughout the world, often driving modern armed conflict and prolonging its effects. This is true even in countries that are supposedly ‘at peace’, but where the presence of illicit arms contributes to high levels of violence. 

Since 2001, international efforts to strengthen controls on the illicit trafficking of small arms have been coordinated by the UN Programme of Action on Small Arms. More recently, the Arms Trade Treaty was developed to regulate all aspects of the international arms trade. And in September 2015, UN member states adopted the ‘2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development', underlining the mutually reinforcing links between sustainable development and peace and security. The world now clearly recognizes the fundamental linkages between a ‘significant reduction of illicit arms flows' (Target 16.4) and peaceful and inclusive societies; equal access to justice for all; and effective, accountable, and inclusive institutions (Sustainable Development Goal 16).

The increasing attention of global policy agendas to enhanced small arms control makes it especially important that states coordinate strategies and collaborate in regulating small arms in ways that ultimately lead to a measurable reduction in armed violence.

The new Global Partnership on Small Arms website—developed with the support of the German Federal Foreign Office—is an online platform providing access to information and tools, a place to share information, and a space where the communities engaged in tackling the ‘small arms problem’ can pool their energies and ideas. The Global Partnership’s goal is to help build and strengthen these communities and networks so as to reinforce engagement and action in reducing or preventing illicit trafficking of small arms.


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