Model United Nations topic
Trafficking in firearms and ammunition has been for long been a major concern for the international community and was fully recognized by the United Nations Firearms Protocol and the United Nations Programme of Action on Small Arms in 2001.
The Firearms Protocol provides the legal definition for trafficking in Art 3 (e) as the import, export, acquisition, sale, delivery, movement or transfer of firearms, their parts and components, and ammunition from or across the territory of one State to that of another State if any one of the States concerned does not authorize it in accordance with the terms of Protocol or if the firearms are not marked in accordance with article 8 of this Protocol.
Combating trafficking in firearms is a major goal of the international community as such trafficking has a profound impact on peace and security. It undermines good governance and disrupts trade, tourism and investment. It jeopardizes economic development and generally puts democracy and development at risk.
The Sustainable Development Goals and combating trafficking in firearms
The United Nations General Assembly recognized the need to enlarge the scope of 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and included next to the traditional development goals reference to issues, which influence underdevelopment, including violence and insecurity.
Member States strive to achieve it by focusing on one SDG target (16.4) that commits States to significantly reducing illicit arms flows by 2030. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime is the custodian of the achievement of that target. To achieve this target, countries need to put in place a comprehensive firearms control regime to prevent diversion and trafficking from happening, and effective criminal justice systems to detect, investigate and prosecute those crimes and their links to organized crime.
By addressing firearms trafficking, students will be able to comprehend the challenges in establishing the trafficking offence and gain understanding about the skills, knowledge and resources required to combat trafficking in firearms. In addition, the various positions of Member States will provide them with challenging opportunities to seek consensus in the midst of competing positions.
Suggested topics for a Model United Nations conference and related Sustainable Development Goals
|Armed conflict and small arms proliferation|
|Armed violence and security|
|Corruption and firearms flows|
|Diversion of arms|
|Civil society participation and oversight of firearms control|
|Destruction of confiscated and seized firearms|
|Investigation and prosecution of firearms-related crimes|
Resources on firearms