Speaking at a UN Security Council ministerial debate, the German academic urged States to adopt a more inclusive, participatory and gender-sensitive approach that can strengthen multilateral, regional and national policies on weapons and ammunition management.
Robin Geiss said that diversion and trafficking of arms destabilizes communities and exacerbates situations of insecurity, including by committing serious violations of international humanitarian law and human rights law, as well as violence against women and children in various contexts.
While direct effects include deaths, injuries, displacement, and psychological harm, there are also long-term socio-economic consequences, such as access to health and education, the delivery of humanitarian services, and the protection of civilians.
“When loopholes and gaps are closed in one domain, vulnerabilities are exploited in another”, he said. “States affected by patterns of recurring armed violence, therefore, face many challenges to prevent the diversion and misuse of arms”.
On the other hand, Mexico´s Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard, who chaired the Security Council meeting, asked the international community to implement and improve mechanisms to monitor and prevent illicit global arms transfers, diversion and cross-border trafficking.
If there were not a nearly unlimited availability of weapons, he stressed, most of the conflicts under the Security Council’s agenda would have more opportunities for peaceful solutions.
Mr. Ebrard described as alarming the number of civilians who die every day due to the use of small arms and light weapons, both in armed conflicts and in acts of violence other than wars.
According to estimates, around 500,000 people die and about 2,000 are injured worldwide.