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.
Experts release new reports*
On June 1, the Small Arms Survey releasedSmall Arms Survey 2015: Weapons and the World, featuring two chapters co-authored by Paul Holtom (Coventry University): "Trade Update: After the Arab Spring" and "Stockpiles at Sea: Floating armouries in the Indian Ocean."
On June 3, Andrew Feinsten (Corruption Watch) attended the launch of Advocacy in Conflict: Critical Perspectives on Transnational Activism in which he co-authored a chapter on "Activism and the Arms Trade: Exposing the Shadow World.”
Nicholas Marsh (PRIO) was a principal author of the UNODC Study on Firearms, which drew on data from 48 countries. His June 17 blog post "The Reality of Firearms Trafficking" provided context for this important report.
Jeff Abramson (Landmine and Cluster Munition Monitor) was in Geneva June 22-26 for the launch of new issue briefs on victims assistance in relation to World Refugee Day (June 20), International Widows' Day (June 23) and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, as well as fact sheets on transparency in the Mine Ban Treaty and Convention on Cluster Munitions.
See "Expert Spotlight" on Nils Duquet (below) for additional report releases.
* Reports were typically authored or co-authored by Forum on the Arms Trade-listed experts. Inclusion here does not indicate endorsement of or by the Forum nor the institutions cited. See more details.
Expert Spotlight: Nils Duquet
Nils Duquet has worked with the Flemish Peace Institute for nearly a decade, researching the arms trade, export control and domestic gun issues. On July 13, he will give a presentation on the acquisition and use of firearms by terrorists within the European Union at the Fourth Consultative Meeting of the EU Non-Proliferation Consortium. His co-authored reportFirearms and Violent Deaths in Europe: An Exploratory Analysis on the Linkages Between Gun Possession, Firearms Legislation and Violent Death was released on June 25 inBrussels.
He also co-organized a related side event June 3 at the Program of Action (PoA) Meeting of Governmental Experts at the United Nations in New York City. Participating via video link, on June 12 he led a review of the PoA meeting for the Forum's "conventional brown bag" discussion--a monthly informal gathering of experts to discuss conventional weapons issues.
When asked about the importance of reporting on the international arms trade, Bender said, "If we are going to cover the many fires - the numerous conflicts that are blazing in so many parts of the world - I think we have a responsibility to pay attention to what helps fuel them and why, including the proliferation of deadly weapons. The fact that they just as often get turned on civilians as combatants is not merely a humanitarian concern. In the process the weaponry that is primarily secured from outside sources feeds the vicious internal cycle of revenge and recriminations and prolongs the fighting. The international arms trade, whether legal or undertaken out of the bounds of legal structures, is all too often an afterthought when policy makers seek ways to stabilize world conflicts."
The "Media Spotlight" highlights journalists who are thoughtfully reporting on topics addressed by the Forum on the Arms Trade. Selection does not indicate agreement with or endorsement of the journalist's views, the Forum, or Forum-listed experts.
Rooftop Reception - June 10
On June 10, the Forum hosted an informal rooftop reception for nearly 40 experts drawn from civil society, the media, and government. The gathering featured brief remarks by Forum-listed experts Lora Lumpe and Jeff Abramson, as well as comments by The New York Times' CJ Chivers, last month's spotlighted media member (pictured right). Great conversation ensued in a fantastic setting. Photos from the event are available on the Forum's Flickr page,
Experts in Action
"Experts in Action" features recent writings and media citations, as well as upcoming public presentations, by individuals listed as experts* by the Forum on the Arms Trade.
Rachel Stohl (Stimson Center) will be in Geneva July 6-8 for the final preparatory committee meeting for the first Conference of States Parties to the Arms Trade Treaty, which will take place in August. OnJune 10, she moderated an event on the illicit proliferation of man-portable air defense systems (MANPADS) in the Middle East and North Africa, featuring C.J. Chivers (New York Times) and Matt Schroeder (Small Arms Survey).
Andrew Feinstein (Corruption Watch) was in Berlin June 30 to discuss two major German-Greek arms deals that were tainted by high level corruption.
Cole Bockenfeld (Project on Middle East Democracy) commented on lifting of U.S. aid restrictions on Egypt (Al-Monitor, June 2) and arms restrictions on Bahrain (Bloomberg View, June 15). He also appeared on CCTV to discuss the Morsi verdict (June 16) and attacks in Tunisia (June 26).
Colby Goodman (Security Assistance Monitor) authored a review of Guy Lawson's new book Arms and the Dudes, which portrays the lives of young arms dealers and lack of Pentagon oversight in arming U.S. forces during the war in Afghanistan. He also blogged about the contribution of illegally trafficked German firearms to violence in Mexico.
William Hartung (Center for International Policy) authored analyses--one a letter to the New York Times (June 2) and another for LobeLog (June 11)--that argued for rethinking U.S. security assistance to Nigeria.
Alejandro Sanchez (Council on Hemispheric Affairs) authored a Looking Ahead commentary on Latin American leadership and the Arms Trade Treaty (June 8). He was asked about U.S.-Brazilian relations by Brazilian news website Opera Mundi, in which he included commentary on weapons trade (June 27). Among a number of presentations in June, he discussed the future of drones in Latin America via skype with the Escuela de Postgrados de la Policia - Policia Nacional de Colombia.
Theo Sitther (Friends Committee on National Legislation) contributed to the publication of FNCL's June newsletter, which focuses on security assistance. In it, he offers lessons on U.S. policy based on his recent trip to Kenya.
Cédric Poitevin (Groupe de Recherche et d'Information sur la Paix et la Sécurité, GRIP) joined other Forum-listed experts at the United Nations in New York City for the June 1-5 Meeting of Governmental Experts to the Program of Action (PoA) to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects.
* 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.
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