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Recent Publications

  • Global Burden of Armed Violence 2015: Every Body Counts, by the Geneva Declaration Secretariat. Published by Cambridge University Press. May 2015.

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  • Reducing Illicit Arms Flows and the New Development Agenda, March 2015. Research Note No. 50, Armed Violence.

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Geneva Declaration on Armed Violence and Development

The Geneva Declaration on Armed Violence and Development is a diplomatic initiative aimed at addressing the interrelations between armed violence and development. The Geneva Declaration strives to achieve measurable reductions in the global burden of armed violence and improvements in human security by 2015. The Small Arms Survey hosts the Secretariat of the Declaration.

Although the incidence of armed conflict has declined in recent years, the number of people killed by armed violence has not. More than 740,000 men, women, and children die each year as a result of armed violence. The majority of these deaths—490,000—occur in countries that are not affected by armed conflicts.

The economic impacts of armed violence are vast and far-reaching. The cost of lost productivity from criminal violence alone is roughly USD 95 billion and could reach as high as USD 163 billion per year. Violence due to armed conflict can decrease the annual growth of a typical economy by approximately two per cent.

The negative effects of armed violence extend well beyond these human and economic costs. Armed violence can trigger forced displacement, erode social capital, and destroy infrastructure. It can impede investment in reconstruction and reconciliation. Armed violence can undermine public institutions, facilitate corruption, and be conducive to a climate of impunity. It contributes to and is sustained by transnational crime, including the trafficking of persons, drugs, and arms. When associated with interpersonal and gender-based violence, it unravels the fabric of families and communities and leaves lasting psychological and physical scars on survivors.

The UN Secretary-General and the UN General Assembly have acknowledged the destructive impacts of armed violence on development. The problem of armed violence is today recognized as one of the biggest obstacles to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals.

The Geneva Declaration on Armed Violence and Development is a high-level diplomatic initiative that recognizes that armed violence is cause and consequence of underdevelopment. It aims at effectively addressing the interrelations between armed violence and development and generating innovative solutions to prevent and reduce insecurity worldwide. To date, the Geneva Declaration is the strongest political statement that addresses the impact of armed violence within a development context.

» Visit the Geneva Declaration website

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