Committee: Disarmament and International Security Committee (DISEC)


Agenda Item: Preventing and Combating Illicit Arms Trafficking





1. Welcome Letter from the Committee Director


2. Welcome Letter from the Deputy-Committee Director


3. Introduction to the Committee


4. Introduction to the Topic

    a. Small and Light Weapons


5. Historical Background

     a. International Tracing Instrument

     b. Program of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit           Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Aspects

     c. The Arms Trade Treaty


6.Definition of Key Terms


7. Case Studies


8. Points a Resolution Should Cover


1.Welcome Letter from the Committee Director


Distinguished Participants,


First of all I would like to welcome you all to the first session of FBLMUN’20. My name is Zeynep Koldaş and I am 10th-grader at Sırrı Yırcalı Anatolian High School. This year it is my utmost honour to serve you as the  Committee Director for the Disarmament and International Security Committee.


In this session of Dısec the issue that you honorable delegates will debate about Preventing and Combating Illicit Arms Trafficking. Even though DISEC’s resolutions are advisory, I believe that you honorable delegates can create a resolution that can solve this issue in all aspects.


I would like to thank our honorable secretariat for giving me this opportunity and I wish all the delegates of DISEC productive researches.


Best Regards,




Committee Director of Disarmament and International Security Committee




2. Welcome Letter from the Deputy-Committee Director


Distinguished Participants,


It is my utmost pleasure to welcome you all to the FBLMUN as the co chair of DISEC. First of all, The Academic and The Organization team has really worked hard to accomplish their goal, so I would like to congratulate them. I would like to say that we will have a lot of good times in this committee during the sessions while we are debating academically. I hope that our committee will manage to

finalize topic and have great Resolutions.

Best Regards,




Deputy-Committee Director of Disarmament and International Security Committee



The United Nations was established right after the end of World War II. The United Nations General Assembly is one of the six main organs of the United Nations, being a chief deliberative, policymaking and representative organ of the United Nations. General Assembly was among the primarily established organs of the United Nations, holding its first meeting in 1945. The GA comprises of all 193 Members of the UN with equal representation principle, which means that each Member State has one vote. With this principle, the General Assembly is the only organ in which an equality of such is established. It focuses on topics of peace, security and disarmament.

The primary goal of the organization is to safeguard peace all over the world. Based on that idea, the General Assembly1 included in its corps the First Committee, also known as the Committee on Disarmament and International Security - (DISEC). The First Committee of the General Assembly is the one responsible for the maintenance of international peace and security, focusing among others on issues of global safety, nuclear proliferation, arms control etc. Although the resolutions of the committee are not binding they mostly become respected documents by the members of the UN. DISEC has an agenda spanning over a wide range of topics covering disarmament and international security2. Principles governing disarmament and the regulation of armaments; promotion of cooperative arrangements and measures aimed at strengthening the stability through lower levels of armaments is among its chief themes of discussion.

‘‘DISEC works in close cooperation with two bodies, namely Geneva based Conference on Disarmament (CD) and the UN Disarmament Commission (UNDC) which was established by the UN Special Session on Disarmament in 1978.




4. INTRODUCTION to the TOPIC : Preventing and Combating Illicit Arms Trafficking


The illicit trade in small arms and light weapons occurs in all parts of the globe but is concentrated in areas afflicted by armed conflict, violence, and organized crime, where the demand for illicit weapons is often highest. Arms trafficking fuels civil wars and regional conflicts; stocks the arsenals of terrorists, drug cartels, and other armed groups; and contributes to violent crime and the proliferation of sensitive technology.

Black market trafficking usually takes place on a regional or local level; publicly available data suggests that the multi-ton, inter-continental shipments organized by the ‘merchants of death’ account for only a small fraction of illicit transfers. Among the most important forms of illicit trafficking is the ‘ant trade’—numerous shipments of small numbers of weapons that, over time, result in the accumulation of large numbers of illicit weapons by unauthorized end users. Data analyzed in 2013 indicates that thousands of firearms seized in Mexico are traced to the United States annually. These weapons are often purchased from gun shops in small numbers and then smuggled over the border. While individual transactions occur on a small scale, the sum total of the weapons trafficked into Mexico is large. While most arms trafficking appears to be conducted by private entities, certain governments also contribute to the illicit trade by deliberately arming proxy groups involved in insurgencies against rival governments, terrorists with similar ideological agendas, or other non-state armed groups. These types of transfers, which are prevalent in Africa and other regions where armed conflict is common, are often conducted in contravention of UN arms embargoes and have the potential to destabilize neighboring countries. In recent years, governments have covertly delivered tens of thousands of small arms and light weapons to various armed groups in Somalia despite a long-standing UN arms embargo.


a. Small and Light Weapons:

One of the most respected military historians, John Keegan said that: “Nuclear weapons have, since 9 August 1945, killed no one. The 50,000,000 who have died in war since that date have, for the most part, been killed by cheap, mass-produced weapons and small-calibre ammunition, costing little more than the transistor radios and dry-cell batteries which have    flooded the world in the same period.

Both small arms and light weapons are weapons that can be conveyed due to their simple logistics. ''Little arms incorporate guns and self-stacking guns, rifles and carbines, ambush rifles, submachine firearms and light automatic weapons. Light weapons incorporate substantial assault rifles, hand-held explosive launchers, versatile hostile to airplane and against tank firearms, recoilless rifles, convenient launchers of against air ship and hostile to tank rocket frameworks, and mortars of gauges of under 100 mm.'' Together they contain the Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) protocol. According to the United Nations: "Since weapons in this class are equipped for being conveyed, if a little arm, by one individual or, if a light arm, by two or more individuals, a pack creature or a light vehicle, they take into account versatile operations where substantial automated and aviation based armed forces are not accessible or are confined in their abilities inferable from troublesome

14 mountain, wilderness or urban terrain .

There are many ways in which SALW can end up being misused in environments where the state is unable to fully control the illegal possession of arms. In general, political, economic and social transformations within countries tend to increase availability of arms. SALW, unlike heavy arms, circulate in both the military and civilian markets. While it is not always possible to accurately decide how SALW find their way into one country from another, and eventually into the hands of civilians, five possible ways can be identified:


-   Arms captured from enemies during conflict

-    Stolen or captured stockpiles from UN peacekeeping soldiers

-    Arms supplied by the armed forces

-     Supply from government stockpiles post conflict

-    Purchase through the open market through arms dealers and brokers


One of the most common ways for dealers and brokers to buy ‘’second hand’’ small weapons is by looting a post conflict stockpile. When an army leaves a conflict area like Afghanistan or Iraq it leaves behind each and every weapon including assault rifles, grenade launchers and anti-tank weapons because the cost of transferring them back to its country is considered much greater than just buying new ones. Only in the Iraqi War from 2003-2005 the US Army left behind 12.000 assault rifles.




‘‘Insurgents, armed gang members, pirates, terrorists - they can all multiply their force through the use of unlawfully acquired firepower. The illicit circulation of small arms, light weapons, and their  ammunition destabilizes communities, and impact s security and development in all regions of the world.”

The Cold War in the 1980s resulted in the largest arms trading in the history of the world. Moving forward and according to statistics dated in 2009, we have 15 major stakeholder states which design 80% percent of the world’s total expenditures on the arms trade. The United States of America holds the biggest percentage of the world's total arms trade expenditure followed by the People’s Republic of China, France, the UK, and the Russian Federation.

Arms control and disarmament agreements were traditionally designed to achieve two essential goals, which were mainly the stabilization of the military climate and the reduction of military violence in any subsequent enemies. The numerous arrangements, which reduced, limited, and regulated armaments, provided a safer international environment. However, they could not themselves resolve other threatening, contentious matters. Controlling armaments had to be combined with diplomatic resolve so that in an atmosphere temporarily cleared of insecurities inspired by unregulated weaponry, politicians might deal with critical political, social, and economic differences.

In a time of progressively warm relations between the superpowers, various real arms control settlements were made. On November 19, 1990,25 the United States, the USSR, and 20 different nations marked the Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty (CFE Treaty), which President George h. w. Shrub called "the most distant achieving arms understanding ever," an agreement that "flags the new world request that is developing." The arrangement became out of a 1989 proposition by Bush that the superpowers each be restricted to 275,000 troops in Europe. As occasions unfurled in Eastern Europe, in any case, and the nations of the previous Eastern Bloc got to be free from the USSR, that number of troops started to appear to be high. Under the CFE Treaty, every side was permitted to convey, in the region between the Atlantic Ocean and the Ural Mountains, close to 20,000 tanks, 30,000 reinforced troop transporters, 20,000 cannons pieces, 6,800 battle planes, and 2,000 assault helicopters. The settlement required the Soviet Union to incapacitate or wreck almost 20,000 tanks, cannons pieces, and different weapons, to give a 27 percent lessening in Soviet armaments. That diminishing was little, be that as it may, contrasted and the 59,000 weapons the USSR sent to focal Asia somewhere around 1989 and 1990 as it looked to realign its strengths in light of world occasions.


a. International Tracing Instrument (ITI):

- This agreement was accepted in 2005. It is part of the Programme of Action.

- States promised to make sure weapons are marked and that records are kept about

them. If weapons are used in a crime the police can find the source.

- In 2015, tracing weapons became one of the targets of Goal 16 of the Sustainable

Development Goals: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions.



b. Program of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Aspects (PoA):

The Program of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Aspects, marked a significant milestone in international efforts to stop the illicit trade in Arms. It establishes a normative framework and covers a broad spectrum of issue areas and activities. Agreed on July 2001 by the UN Member states and referring to measures that can be taken in national and international level, it stresses out the need of adopting a common mechanism to combat this phenomenon.

It consists of four action-categories. The first part includes the preamble clauses, the second part refers to a more general approach regarding the prevention of illicit trade of SAWL in all aspects, meaning in national, regional and global level. The third part is more practical and solution oriented and refers to the implementation, the international cooperation and assistance. Finally, the program concludes with a follow-up.

The main goal of PoA is to reduce the human suffering by the illicit trade of arms, largely by addressing the manufacture, transfer, and storage of small arms, as well as their excessive accumulation, which has wide-ranging humanitarian and socio-economic consequences.


c. The Arms Trade Treaty (ATT):

The ATT establishes legally binding commitments governing the international trade—comprising the export, import, transit, transhipment, and brokering—of conventional arms, including small arms and light weapons. Article 1 sets out the ‘object and purpose’ of the ATT:

The object of the Treaty is to:

Establish the highest possible common international standards for regulating or improving the regulation of the international trade in conventional arms; Prevent and eradicate the illicit trade in conventional arms and prevent their diversion;

Contributing to international and regional peace, security and stability; Reducing human suffering;
Promoting cooperation, transparency and responsible action by States Parties in the international trade in conventional arms, thereby building confidence among States Parties

Central to the ATT is the need to control the international transfer of arms, particularly the export of arms, to avoid misuse and diversion.

International Instruments The Arms Trade Treaty includes:

1. battle tanks;

2. armored combat vehicles;

3. large-caliber artillery systems;

4. combat aircraft;

5. attack helicopters;

6. warships;

7. missiles and missile launchers; and

8. small arms and light weapons





a.Arms Broker:

A person that is acting as an intermediary to bring together relevant parties and arranges or facilitates a potential transaction of arms or weapons in return for a form of benefit, whether financial or otherwise.




b. Arms Control:

It generally refers to mutually agreed upon restrains or state controls on the research, manufacture, or the levels of locales of deployment troops and weapons systems. Plans, treaties or agreements that are discussing about limiting the size, number or type of weapons and arms forces of the participating nations are usually referring to arms control.



c. Disarmament:

Any act taken by States to eliminate or abolish weapons. The term is usually used as a synonym for arms control.

Gunrunning: Also known as arms trafficking, is actually the illegal trafficking or smuggling of contraband weapons.


d. Light Weapons:

Any hand-held under-barrel and mounted grenade launchers, heavy machine guns, portable anti-tank guns, portable anti-aircraft guns, portable launchers of anti-tank missile and rocket systems, recoilless rifles and mortars of calibers of less than 100 mm .


e. Small Arms:

Weapons designed for personal use, including: light machine guns, sub-machine guns, including machine pistols, fully automatic rifles and assault rifles, and semi-automatic rifles.


f. Small Arms Trade:

It includes both authorized transfers of small arms and light weapons, as well as their parts, accessories, and also illicit transfers of such weapons. A trade market like this, is usually occurs globally, but is concentrated in areas of armed conflict, violence and organized crime.


g. Illicit Αrms Trade:

Unlawful arms exchange alludes to illicit activities in which weapons are trafficked. It is otherwise called the worldwide weapons blacks market. Hand firearms, guns, sub-automatic rifles, mortars, landmines, projectiles, light rockets and such little weapons are unlawfully sold to unintended and unlicensed recipients. Insurgents, outfitted posse individuaLs, privateers, terrorists and other illicit types of equipped gatherings rehearse illegal arms trade. The unlawful directing of little arms/light weapons and their ammo to beneficiaries debilitates groups with congesting security and formative problems.










1. What possible measures should be taken in order to achieve an international behavior for the disarmament of the civilians and militias in post-conflict regions?


2. How can national governments prevent the illegal trade, production and usage of SALW?

3. Is the ratification of the ATT enough to battle the issue?


4. How can the UN achieve the outmost transparency on the weapons trade?


5. Find solutions to enhance the past action plans and reconsideration of the position of the United Nations towards the illicit trade of conventional arms


6. Can we achieve common international arms control standards?