New experts and resources, and U.S. election coming soon
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Arms Trade News

July 2016

Featured in this mid-year edition:
  • Rapid response/ongoing resources: Brexit, Arming Saudi Arabia, Arming Libya
  • Blog series on transparency
  • Journalist page launched
  • Presidential race resources coming (U.S.)
  • Recent Reports
  • Expert spotlight: Natalie Goldring
  • Journalist spotlight: Bryan Schatz
  • Experts in Action
  • Newly listed experts
  • Intern with us - Apply by July 15
The Forum on the Arms Trade is an information clearing-house, forum, and point of contact for strengthening efforts to address the economic, humanitarian and security implications of legal, illicit, and illegal arms transfers, as well as related topics of security assistance and weapons use.
Brexit resources
Rapid Response and Ongoing Resources

Beginning this year, the Forum has sought to create resources that would quickly bring experts' knowledge to developing issues as well as create new enduring resources, where meritied. Along those lines, we have begun developing a Brexit resource page.
Arming Saudi Arabia icon
In February, the European Parliament adopted a nonbinding resolution that concluded that arms transfers to Saudi Arabia by EU members violated regional arms export policy as the humanitarian crisis in Yemen continued to worsen. Five Forum-listed experts quickly responded with their thoughts on the decision. Since that point, we have been updating related EU and U.S. arms regulation developments via a new resource page.

Separately, two experts quickly offered insight on arming Libya after a May 16 joint-communique indicating many countries sought to begin arming the Government of National Accord there.
Transparency Reporting blog icon
Experts examine transparency challenges

In a series of six blog posts from late April to early June, Forum-listed experts examined official transparency reporting, where it struggles, and the important role civil society often plays in monitoring and improving global understanding of the trade and use of conventional weapons.
Journalist page launched

In order to assist the expert community in reaching media audiences, the Forum on the Arms Trade has begun maintaining a list of journalists who have historically or are now regularly reporting on Forum topics.The page is frequently updated, listing journalists alphabetically as well as by topical areas, providing links to bios and Twitter pages, when available. The resource also contains a Spotlight section that asks leading journalists about why they believe reporting on these issues is important.
Presidential race resources coming

The 2016 U.S. presidential election promises to have a dramatic impact on the U.S. approach to arms trade, security assistance, and other issues at the core of the Forum's efforts. To better inform audiences, we are creating a new resource that details the positions of presumptive Democratic and Republican U.S. presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump on a number of topics. Issues currently being researched are the Arms Trade Treaty, the Mine Ban Treaty, drones, global security assistance, the Middle East, Latin America, and harm to civilians. Once launched, by end of August if not sooner, the resource will be updated until the time of the election, with additional topics also added as positions become more defined. 
Recent reports*

U.S. Arms and Security Assistance to the Middle East

William Hartung asked June 29 via
LobeLog why the United States continues to back Saudi Arabia, after authoring an April op-ed in the New York Times arguing that Washington should not promise new arms deal for Riyadh's friendship. Colby Goodman examined failed U.S. military assistance to Yemen, highlighting resources from the Security Assistance Monitor.

UN Program of Action on Small Arms and Light Weapons

A number of Forum-listed experts attended and/or analyzed the June 6-10 biennial meeting 
of states on the UN Program of Action on Illicit Trafficking of SALW, including Mark Bromley who concluded that the meeting took (a very small) step forward. Jeff Abramson reviewed the meeting and its linkages to the upcoming Arms Trade Treaty conference of states parties as well as the new Sustainable Development Goals. See also the efforts of Natalie Golding in the "Expert Spotlight" below. 

Latin America

In late May, Foreign Affairs published Robert Muggah's "Latin America's Fatal Gun Addiction," examining decades of arms flows into the region.   


In June, the Flemish Peace Institute published Nils Duquet's exploratory analysis of guns used in public mass shootings in Europe, focused on 8 cases, which discussed issues related to both legally and illegally obtained weapons, among other topics.

A number of essential annual reports on topics such as explosive weapons, arms trade and military expenditures, budget requests, and more have been authored this year already. The above information focuses on June and July 2016. Additional publications are listed on the Forum's home page, as well as in an archive dating back to January 2016.

* Reports and articles were typically authored or co-authored by Forum on the Arms Trade-listed experts, unless detailed otherwise. Inclusion here does not indicate endorsement of or by the Forum nor the institutions cited. See more details.
Natalie Goldring
Expert spotlight: Natalie Goldring

Natalie Goldring (link) is a senior fellow in the Center for Security Studies and an Adjunct Full Professor in the Security Studies Program in the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, as well as UN consultant for the Acronym Institute for Disarmament Diplomacy. In June, she attended the 6th Biennial Meeting of States on the UN Program of Action on the Illicit Trafficking of Small Arms and Light Weapons, where she spoke at a side event focused on synergies between that instrument, the Arms Trade Treaty, and other efforts. She previewed the meeting in a transparency blog for the Forum, and reviewed its results and suggested next steps in the Small Arms Monitor.
Bryan Schatz
Journalist spotlight: Bryan Schatz

Bryan Schatz is a reporter at Mother Jones magazine, covering guns, the arms trade, and foreign affairs. Recently he has looked at corruption in the arms trade, as well as Saudi Arabia and U.S. cluster munitions sales. His work previously appeared in outlets including Men’s JournalOutsidePacific Standard, and others. 
When asked  why he thinks it important to report on corruption and profit in the arms trade, as well as challenges to regulating the trade, Schatz said, "The global arms trade has real-life consequences. The weapons get sent to militaries and rebel groups; the bombs get dropped. Sometimes the material is intended for legitimate defense purposes, but often it gets diverted or is used inappropriately. When an industry’s bottom line depends on selling more weapons, and because so much of it operates in the shadows, I think it deserves all the scrutiny it can get."
Experts in Action

"Experts in Action" details recent and upcoming events, as well as select writings and media citations that feature individuals listed as experts* by the Forum on the Arms Trade.

Jasmin Nario-Galace is participating in and speaking at the July 11-13 Asia-Pacific Regional Symposium on National Action Plans on Women, Peace and Security in Bangkok organized by UN Women and the government of Japan. 

On July 6, Rachel Stohl organized and moderated a panel on
drone data and transparency (video available) shortly after a July 1 release of new information and an executive order looking at U.S. drone strikes outside of Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria since 2009. On July 12 she outlined additional steps that could be taken for Breaking Defense. In mid-June she had written on the need for greater transparency in an analysis for the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

Andrew Feinstein's documentary
Shadow World, based on his book of same name, won Best Documentary Feature at the Edinburgh International Film Festival in June. After premiering in Tribeca (New York) and the San Francisco International Film Festival in April, Feinstein spent June on the road with the film in South Africa at the Encounters Film Festival in Cape Town and Johannesburg and the Durban International Film Festival. It was also screened it in East London and at township venues in Langa, Khayelitsha, Alexandria. It is scheduled to appear in cinemas in the United States in October and air on PBS in January 2017. It is also expected to air for broadcast and cinema release in additional countries, after which it will become available for streaming/download.

In late June, Matthew Bolton led a successful 
Arms Trade Treaty Academy training course in Kenya in order to familiarize participants from East and the Horn of Africa with details of the treaty and related topics. More trainings are expected in the near future.

The American Friends Service Committee’s John Lindsay-Poland co-led a two-week fact-finding delegation to Mexico June 12-26, which explored the impacts of U.S. arms transfers and other militarization on violence and human rights violations, for both Mexicans and Central American migrants in Mexico. The group participated in a forum in Cuernavaca on legal and illegal arms trafficking to Mexico, visited the Mexico-Guatemala border, and met with groups of human rights defenders, migrants, family members of disappeared persons, and Mexican and U.S. officials in Mexico City and Guerrero. See Spanish-language stories related to the delegation's work in
Fox News-Latino and La Jornada.

* Inclusion on the Forum on the Arms Trade expert list does not indicate agreement with or endorsement of the opinions of others. Institutional affiliation is indicated for identification purposes only. To learn more about being listed as an expert, see this FAQ.
Newly listed experts

The Forum on the Arms Trade now lists 34 experts, 16 based in Washington DC, 4 more located elsewhere in the United States, and 14 internationally based experts located in Belgium, Brazil, Nepal, Norway, the Philippines, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. The three most recent experts to be listed are:

Robert Muggah is co-founder and research director of both Igarapé Institute and the SecDev Foundation. A specialist in security and development. he has overseen large-scale research projects in more than 50 countries and has worked closely with dozens of multilateral and bilateral agencies on humanitarian action, development assistance, security and defense policy. He is a senior adviser to the Inter-American Development Bank, the United Nations and the World Bank on issues of public security and aid policy, especially in fragile settings.

Jasmin Nario-Galace is a peace educator and advocate. In the Philippines, she serves as the Executive Director of the Center for Peace Education at Miriam College and Professor at the Department of International Studies at Miriam College. She was active in work that led the formulation of the UN Security Council Resolution 1325 National Action Plan and also serves as co-convener of a civil society network - the Women Engaged in Action on 1325 (WE Act 1325) – that works to implement the national plan. 

Leah Wawro manages the Conflict and Insecurity team within Transparency International UK’s International Defence and Security Programme. She first joined Transparency International (TI) in 2011 as the civil society officer leading on work with the TI chapters and other NGOs worldwide. She has since led on advocacy and communications, and has contributed to the Government Defence Anti-Corruption Index (GI), the GI Middle East and North Africa report“the Transparency of National Defence Budgets: an initial review,” and “A New Generation of Public Control.”

Intern with us - apply by July 15

The Forum on the Arms Trade, Landmine and Cluster Munition Monitor, and the Arms Control Association are currently looking for an intern to provide support on a range of topics across institutions.

This internship position offers an exciting opportunity to develop research, fact-checking, operational, coordination and networking skills. The intern will be exposed to a wide range of researchers, organizations and individuals – including an international network of campaigners, as well as representatives of governments and international organizations.

The length of the internship is flexible, but must be at least three months, to start in early September and go through the end of November as a minimum. The internship will be focused on tracking presidential candidate positions and media, population of multiple websites, factchecking research, and preparing for the Meeting of States Parties for the Mine Ban Treaty to be held in Chile in late November.

here for more information. To apply, please e-mail your CV, maximum one-page cover letter, and short writing sample (3-12 pages) to Jeff Abramson at jeff [at] armscontrol [dot] org.
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