Under Goal 16 of the Sustainable Development Goals adopted by the UN last September, UN member states have agreed to significantly reduce illicit arms trade flows by 2030. “The Sustainable Development Agenda puts a clear emphasis on arms as one of the elements that will need to be taken into account for durable development.” said Anna Alvazzi del Frate, Director of Programmes at Small Arms Survey.
But from 2012 to 2013, the global small arms trade jumped to a total of USD 6 billion worth of small arms, an increase of 17 per cent/ $1 billion in only one year, according to the report titled “Trade Update 2016: Transfers and Transparency” And although this is the most comprehensive data set on small arms transfers, these numbers are most likely much higher, since 40% of information on imports and exports were concealed by states, said Senior Researcher for the Small Arms Survey, Nicolas Florquin
he United States was, by far, both the largest exporter and importer. It exported $1.1 billion, while only two other countries – Italy and Germany – surpassed the $500 million mark in exports. Transfers of small arms to the U.S. accounted for 42 per cent of all imports. Sixteen exporters surpassed $100 million in 2013, the largest number since the survey began in 2001.
The UAE became the world’s fourth-most prolific importer of small arms, its purchases jumping nearly 150 percent in 2013 over the previous year – from $71 million to $168 million. Saudi Arabia more than tripled its small arms imports during the same period, going from $54 million in 2012 to $168 million the following year.
Large amounts of ammunition found in Libya were traced back to Qatar, where small arms transfers multiplied by eight. Similarly, pistols produced by UAE were sent to Libya without following the proper procedures of the sanctions regime.