tv [untitled] April 11, 2012 2:00pm-2:30pm EDT
>> thank you chantel and thank you for managing to secure excellent panelists to put me under all the pressure as the first person to speak. as chantel noted, the transfers program is one of the longest established projects. back in 1968 it was set up, and today we have really some three, i guess, called pillars of work. the first is monitoring international arms transfers. second, promote transparency and international arms transfers and the third sort of conduct research and prevent findings and recommendations to strengthen efforts to control international arms transfers and to combat illicit trafficking. in today's presentation i'll present some of the highlights of my newly released data you can find on the database online providing information on orders and deliveries of major weapons between the years 1950 and 2011.
providing this information, as noted, is useful for performing policy analysis, identifying destabilizing trends, but also i think it can be used as an indicator for the strength of interstate relations in certain cases, too. my attention today, appear to dragnet and just present the facts although i'm happy to discuss more details about the drivers behind the trends and go into some of the minor, perhaps concerning, transfers that we see. the general headline, we've seen an upwards trend in international arms transfers. our date-ta for the peshd repor an increase over the periods 2002 to 2006, and on the slides, on the side, we see how that breaks down by major regions. asia and oceana accounting for 44% of the volume of international arms transfers
importsi ports followed by europe, the middle east, indonesia and africa. i'll be happy to discuss later interesting subregional increases in particular with regard to east africa, north africa, southeast asia and the south caucuses. but before talking about imports in a bit more detail i'm going to switch to talk about the situation with regards to the suppliers. the headline here is really that it seems that not much has changed. the same five major suppliers continue to dominate nap is, the u.s., followed by russia, germany, france and the uk. but i think that one of the things we find freinteresting t he remain the same, the share of international trade is decli declining. i guess in caveats, we think israel is probably underestimated in our rankings and accountings and also interesting to note outside the top ten there's a number of non-european suppliers emerging as major competitors on the
international arms trade. noted increased deliveries and competing not just against each other, international tenders but against some of the more established players. for example, south korea, south africa and brazil. but i think that those of you who have hopefully seen some of the media this week covering the release of our new data, china has been mentioned quite often. that's what i'll focus on in the next couple of minutes. to the volume of chinese imports declining, the volume of exports increased 90% between the two periods we're talking about. risen to be the sixth largest importer and within touching distance of the uk. underneath that worth stressing one of the main reasons in chinese arms exports in the increase in volume of imports by pakistan. china accounts for around two-thirds of the volume -- pakistan accounts for two-thirds of the volume of chinese exports
and in particular, aircraft, naval vessels and tanks. i think it's worth stressing according to our data china has yet to make a major breakthrough in another major state. short of volumes, regional balances of power or internal conflict and ki r dynamics and a certain amount of member states depend on china. russia is taking concerns with regards to china emerging as potential rival in some of its established markets, and we've seen since 2010 significant efforts on the russian side to focus more upon china as a competitor in the median term. with regard to the pick color of the recipients, the headline we have this year was the top five recipients are all based in asia. but i think it's also worth noting in 2011 we saw major dealing concluded with states in the middle east. but when it comes to the top five we have india there as number one.
accounting for around 10% of the volume of international arms imports and believe it's slightly to become a major import in the comes years. delivery of aircraft, armored vehicles and artillery expected to continue at a significant rate and india modernizes and upgrades its own forces. the drivers for this are obviously with regards to the regional situation, pakistan its traditional rival, china emerging as a rival, internal conflicts and to some degree ejecting power over influence. acquisition of an aircraft carrier from russia, perhaps this year perhaps next. promises always seem to go back a year each time we try and cover it and also various submarines. although russia's enjoyed a dominant position as india's main supplier we've seen competition from european suppliers, israel emerging as a significant supplier and of course the u.s. seeking a greater share of the indian market. i think more generally with
regard to these top five importers a tendency we note with regards to them is a tendency for licensed production arrangements involving arms production facilities and these seem to account for significant shares of deliveries we record with regards to china, india, singapore and south korea. now, arguably, the record of using a residenced technology transfers to build up and develop an indigenous arms industry is limited. we see a number in this regard, china to some degree more successful in recent years and we've seen south korea and singapore also develop niches. i think it's also worth noting in many of these cases they're not just seeking to deliver indigenous arms for their own defense but notching up export sales as i mentioned earlier. although many of these products are still relied upon foreign --
intention with regards to asian recipients is worth highlighting in the middle east too. our data indicates the volume of deliveries during 2007 to 2011 declined by 8%'s the only region we've noted decline. this is not necessarily a result of the arab spring. most notable, the decline to united emirates, taken deliveries of major common aircraft in the previous period. there's been a steep dedplin these cases. also worth highlighting that just outside the top ten, saudi arabia, largest arms importers but one we expect to see soon. eurofighter and the mega deal, for the past two decades if not longer, 150 rebuilt systems within the u.s. amongst other systems procured. before moving on to concluding remarks i want to mention the rise in iraq, which has risen just into the top 20 for the period 2007 to 2011 as it seeks
to rebuild its arms forces and security forces. with international assistance, also going it alone and seeking its own suppliers, we've also noted similar regard afghanistan increasing significantly, too. my concluding remarks, and the plug for the database is that i think there's a lot more information, a lot more data that's probably more interesting than the top five participates i've presented today and recommend people to check it out and play with the total, and i think what you can find there is transfer, perhaps not between the largest suppliers and recipients chut which may be of concern for a variety of reasons. chantel mentioned arms acquisitions between algeria and morocco in south each asia and of particular concern for me. one could locate the information on who is supplying arms being used for internal repression in syria or other states in the middle east.
one could also identify transfer seeming excessive or questions whether they're appropriate. common aircraft supposedly with the lra seems secti s excessive view and perhaps this information used in a starting point. others could be mentioned, too. there are, of course, conflicts. kenya's use of weapons in somalia. we also identify the supplies of those and provide information in terms whf they were made, deliveries made and in some cases the value of those deals. but i think the important thing for us is that this information can be used for international and domestic discussions on procurement and export controls and i'll leave it there. >> thank you very much, paul. matt, let me turn it over to you and the small arms. >> right. >> i'd like to thank you for hosting today's event and they're invaluable contributions to the field.
i can't think of a project that i've worked on in the last two years in which i haven't used the arms transfer database and frankly think i would be lost without it. so keep up the good work. my presentation is based on insights we've clean ee ecleane gleaned over a four-year study on light weapons we're wrapping up now and sponsored by a small arms survey in geneva. the purpose of the study it twofold. first is to derive and annual estimated global dollar value for the trade in small arms, light weapons, parts, accessories and ammunition, but debatably as important if not more important is to do a comprehensive assessment of all major sources of data on small arms and light weapons and assess those. this is important, because it is very hard to have a meaningful
discussion about policy issues concerning small arms and light weapons, if you don't have good data on what's being exported, where and to whom. and what we've discovered is that this data is partial, at best. i think i'm going to skip this slide, actually. just in the interests of time. it just lists some of the sources that we assessed. obviously i don't have time to go through all of our findings today but i wanted to highlight a couple of key characteristics of our understanding of the small arms trade. the first being the huge difference in our knowledge about small arms transfers regionally. transfers to, within and from europe, north america and to a lesser extent south america and the pacific region is much better. it's much better documented. much more detailed than data to
most parts of the rest of the world. there are exceptions. there are countries, specific exceptions, such as south korea, but generally speaking, the data is much stronger on these regions than in others. the same applies to the categories of weapons that we've studied. for example, firearms is much more robust than data on light weapons ammunition. useful data. disaggregated detailed data on light weapons ammunition almost impossible to find for most countries. we approached dozens of governments, and scoured sources and found what we believe to be fairly comprehensive data on 10 or 11. so huge disparities in the data on that, and similarly for accessories. weapons sites, fire control system, laser range finders. aiming devices. these are all very important items on the modern battlefield and yet data on it is anemic, to say the least.
and then the, there's also -- big differences in terms of completeness and specificity of national reporting on the transfers. even to the same mechanism. so u.n. register of conventional arms, for example. some of the reporting is very, very good. very detailed, and other reporting is inconsistent and comparatively weak. and then, finally, our research identifies some trends, some improvements in transparency and to identify some ways, some simple ways that transparency could be increased. so one of the ways in which transparency is improving is more a by-product of the change in the way we communicate and communications technology than any dieliberate effort to improe state arms transfers. the proliferation of
smartphones, digital cameras, video cameras, when coupled with the increasing usage of online file sharing sites, such as youtube has yielded remarkably interesting and useful information. information we may not have acquired otherwise or certainly wouldn't have acquired as quickly. here's an example. this is a screen shot from a video that appeared on youtube in january of 2009. it's of a military base in venezuela featuring the leader, hugo chavez, discussing the country's recent acquisition of igla-s, surface to shoulder fired missiles, russia's latest generation of deployed system. we've heard rumors about the sale for months prior to this but nothing, couldn't confirm it through traditional sources. all of a sudden, voila. confirmation via youtube. all it took to find it, typing into their search engine. and this is not isolated
example. we've seen amazing footage coming out of libya. coming, of insurgents in iraq and afghanistan and i think the potential of these sources is great and untapped. then in regards to improving transparency, youtube alone is not going to fill in the gaps for us, regardless of how wonderful we think it is. but there are several other ways to improve transparency, many of which are fairly simple and not all that complicated. the first is more consistent and more detailed reporting by states to the u.n. register of conventional arms. that mechanism is becoming -- quickly becoming one of the best sources of data on small arms and light weapons. the weapons not covered by arms transfer database which is still king in regards to mechanisms for acquiring data.
and while it would be great to have more of the big producers and exporters to report, the other states, it's -- it's equally important that other states report. combined the data from minor importers, when analyzed together, can fill in gaps, left by non-reporting by the states that actually export their weapons, and then secondly, and this is to the journalists in the audience. when appropriate, and when safe, take pictures of the weapons you find. pictures of the markings. pictures of the markings of crates you find of wednesday and copy and upload shipping documents, because a few clicks of the camera in an upload and you can reveal the model of the weapon, the date of manufacture and the condition, which informs serviceability and the likely
threat posed by the weapon. sometimes the number of weapons exported in a given shipment. the country of manufacture. all incredibly important for assessing threats and arms buildups, and all it takes is just probably a greater awareness amongst journalists of the need and the value of doing it. they're not sexy shots. you're not going to win a pulitzer, but the right shot could really revolutionize probably too strong a word but significantly improve our understanding of the arms trade. and then finally, for the researchers, there are experiences through this project and other projects is that there is vast, untapped data potential sitting on government computers that some, possibly many governments, are willing to share. if prompted. and through -- through -- and, oh, sorry. not leaked. all above board.
redracted, prop redracted,, properly released. nobody pushing hacking here. picking up the phone and calling governments. we've gotten hundreds of records on small arms and light weapons transfers on information wouldn't otherwise r available. tens of thousands on the illicit arms trade. weapons seized from arms caches and here are examples of weapons, or photos we've acquired through this process. these are photos of rpg rounds seized in iraqi arms caches. those are iranian designations, and what we confirm is to the lot numbers recently manufactured, and the model, and that's from, those are weapons from the u.s. government and the british government, photos of weapons, and then one of my personal favorites i threw in because i think it's amusing is the head-mounted cak rocket
launcher they recovered in creak. i'll conclude there but take any questions that you have. >> okay. thank you very much, matt. researchers, be careful there, and don't do any kind of illicit activities. rachel, please. >> i, too, want to thank not only for this panel but as matt says, those of us who toil in the arms trade world know, if you didn't have the database you wouldn't be able to do a lot of the work that is necessary. and so, again, i look forward to delving into this year's database a bit more deeply. it may seem that the arms trade treaty is a little bit off topics, as we're talking about, you know, data trends and where things are in terms of major exporters and importers, but i think it gets people thinking about, well, this is a billion
dollar trade. multibillion dollar trade. it's occurring all over the world, and as paul was saying, some of the countries that are the major exporters, importers, raise concerns for various reasons. so it's only natural to think about the types of controls that must be in place to govern this trade. and what many people don't realize is that unlike many other major weapons categories, there really are very few global controls on the arms trade, and no common international standards governing the supply and transfer of conventional arms. so there are many national agreements which you have a whole panel on national agreements or regional agreements on the international arms trade, because there are no common global standards. for about the last 30 years, there have been a variety of piecemeal attempts to try and establish some controls over this global trade.
in particular, to close the dangerous loopholes that allowed arms to flow to human rights abusers. to terrorists. perpetuate conflicts and undermine development virtually with impunity. and so this idea of a global, a global standard or a global treaty to govern the arms trade is actually now being put to the test. really, for the first time. this july, states will meet in new york to negotiate a legally binding arms trade treaty. with the intent of developing the highest possible common international standards for the transfer of arms. i do want to stress this didn't just kind of appear out of nowhere. oh, let's meet in july. and i do want to give a little background, because i have found that as we get closer to july, people's interest in the arms trade treaty is increasing, but their knowledge base is very, very low. and so there's a lot of ms.
information about what the arms trade treatsy and isn't, and so i just kind of -- if you can give a little background on what this movement is about. so the arms trade treaty really originated from the nobel peace laureates international code of conduct on arms transfers which was launched in 1995. it was years in the making, but the big launch was in 1995. that treaty proposed global principles concerning the export of conventional arms. and over the next decade or so these ideas were further developed by ngos and supportive governments, taking into account a lot of regional initiatives that were developing at the same time. so years of discussion outside the u.n. led to the passage of a u.n. general assembly resolution in 2006 that was entitled towards an international arms trade treaty, establishing common international standards
for the import/export and transfer of conventional arms. this was the u.n., really, the first toe in the water, so to speak, on this issue, and the resolution called for the u.n. secretary-general to kind of seek views of member states and to establish a panel of governmental experts. to see if this idea was even feasible. that group concluded its work in august of 2008, and recommended that maybe the u.n. should dabble a little bit more. over 100 member states actually presented their views to the secretary-general, which is unheard of. to have that high of a level of participation, and so the u.n. then moved to the next phase, develop an open group that met in 2009. then that open-ended working group looked at the scope, parameters and, again, the feasibility of this idea and after one year, the general assembly again voted to begin
actual negotiations on an arms trade treaty. that will culminate in this conference in july of this year. but since 2010, the u.n. has engaged in preparatory committee meetings, and these preparatory committee meeting held in 2010, 2011 and most recently in february, really looked at the potential elements of a treaty. the scope of a treaty. what should be included in it? the criteria that stats could use to determine whether to transfer arms. the national measures that would be necessary to implement a treaty. the types of assistance that states might need to fulfill their obligations of the treaty, among many other topics. so just to give you kind of a flavor of what was discussed, to consolidate all of these meetings into a few sentences. the scope of the arms trade treaty might include all conventional weapons, which could include small and light weapon, could include ammunition
and even parts and components necessary to make all of those weapons. but the scope doesn't just include the types of weapons that are going to be covered. it also includes the types of transactions. because you say transfer, but transfer could mean a lot of things. so it could be import, export, reexport. transit, brokering, transshipment, you name it. any process along getting a weapons system from a to b might be included within the scope. the criteria of the treaty could include prohibitions of arm sales to countries if there's a substantial risk the arms could be used to commit serious violations of international law such as genocide or crimes against humanity or war crimes, or it may say that states shouldn't transfer weapons that are used to support terrorists organizations. or it may simply say, here's a list of things states should take into account when determining whether to authorize a transfer of arms.
such as socioeconomic or sustainable development. the att will be implemented by states at a national level. there's no super national body coming in saying to states, you can transfer this. or you can't transfer that. national sovereignty will remain paramount. the treaty will likely describe the "what" that states should include in their international systems but probably won't provide the precise details of how to do it. that's going to be left up to national governments to decide. clearly, this is a daunting task. the international arms trade, as we've heard, is quite complicated in trying to distill it into a comprehensive treaty will be quite a challenge. as part of the prep com work, the chairman of the process who is roberto garcia martin of argentina, did his best to try
to summarize the myriad views of member states. so he produced a -- a draft paper which some of of you might have seen. that will be a reference document for the treaty negotiations, but i want to stress, this is not a treaty text nor is it the basis for negotiations, and that's an important -- an important distinction. it includes many of the ideas for an arms trade treat they had been proposed by member states, and as a result, has a lot of contradictory, unclear, underdeveloped ideas, as well as things that are completely impractical or what i would say would be unnecessary. and i think that's been very frustrating for member states and for civil society, but i believe that the paper serve add useful purpose. it gave an idea of the structure of the treaty which saves us a lot of time in july. it allows states to present all their views on an arms trade
treaty, and it's an important confidence building measure. when you're working in the international system, particularly in the u.n., it's good for states to understand that no one's prejudging the outcome. that this hasn't developed -- that it wasn't developed in advance and it's going to be strung on stat sprung on states in july. where does that leave us? between now and the end of july, states are developing the -- ooh. okay. maybe we won't be meeting in july. i don't know. i don't know what that means. >> i wouldn't interpret that as a sign. >> that's not a sign? okay. i'm looking for a handful of half empty signs. >> random occurrence. >> so states are developing their national positions. the end goal, of course, is to end up in july with an arms trade treaty that's actually developing these standards and curbs the irresponsible and
illegal trade. with those comments about the att, i just want to make two points what has been raised already, because paul talked an about looking at potentially troubling trends of new exports to conflict areas or to particularly dispostic regimes. it's not a panacea. it's not going to stop arms sales that we would rather not see, but what it will do is make it more difficult for states that are exporting arms to those recipients to justify that. because there will be more scrutiny about international arm sales and will start to create norms about arm sales. so give states a tool in their foreign policy toolbox, and just, again, to plug the work and importance of transparency in arms transfers. the work would be -- matt's work as well, would be a lot