Global Policy Forum

Small Arms and Light Weapons


(As of July 2011, this section is longer being actively updated.)

ungun Picture Credit: United Nations

Small arms and light weapons fuel civil wars and other conflicts, causing harm to millions of people, particularly in Africa. These small weapons are only part of a larger trade that includes heavier and more lethal weaponry, but light arms are often especially baneful because they are cheap, easy to transport and can be handled by ill-trained rebel soldiers and even children. Recent UN reports show how these weapons are illicitly exported, transported with the connivance of government officials in many countries and smuggled into war zones. In some areas, automatic weapons are so cheap they can be bought in exchange for a chicken or a few pounds of rice. This page links to information about the plague of small arms and efforts to block small arms flows.


General Analysis on Small Arms and Light Weapons

This section posts news articles, UN documents and other reports on the efforts to block the flows of small arms and light weapons.

Regional Initiatives and Action on Small Arms and Light Weapons

This page posts information on regional initiatives to stop the spread of small arms and light weapons.

UN Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) Conference

This page covers the first UN Conference on the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Their Aspects held July 9 - 20, 2001.

Links and Resources

This section provides links and resources to NGO and UN initiatives for further research on small arms and light weapons.



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