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JIIT Youth Conference 2016

UN General Assembly: DISEC (The First Committee)


STUDY GUIDE
Agenda: Countering the Illicit Trade of Small Arms and Light Weapons

Agenda: The Illicit Trade of Small Arms and Light Weapons

For your Convenience, the Agenda Guide has been divided into 5 parts namely A, B, C, D & E.
Please note, the following content is provided by the Executive Board and not the secretariat.

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PART A
LETTER FROM THE EXECUTIVE BOARD
Dear Delegates,
It is an honor to be serving as a part of the Executive Board at the JIIT MUN 2016, General Assembly.
Please consider that the following guide, as the name suggests, is merely to provide you with the background
of the agenda and cannot serve as the credible source of information. Your real research lies beyond this
guide and we hope to see some strong content and debate come our way.
The agenda at hand is vast and complex, and a successful discussion on it would entail the collective
participation of all of you. It shall be your prerogative to decide the direction in which you want to take this
committee.
The nature of the committee and the topic under discussion, which is, Illicit Trade of Small Arms and Light
Weapons requires that we first understand the basic terminologies that are used. Since, we would be talking
about Illicit trade, we must understand how the concept of it has changed over the years and how is this
trade in small arms has affected more since the advent of the Arab Spring and conflicts in Africa. Then, we
shall be able to understand how various countries opine their views on conflicts and light weapons. The
background guide is designed to help everyone to understand the basic things about the agenda and we
strongly recommend that you research on various things on your own. We also suggest to understand how
various rights (legally) get affected.
If you are doing an MUN for the very first time, we expect you to read the UNA USA rules of procedure or
watch videos online on YouTube about conduct at MUNs. Rest, the same aspect for research applies to you
too. Do not feel taken aback on the research, foreign policy and other details of the allotted country. Take
the initiative to research properly. However, this guide might mention words and phrases like rogue, Cold
war, Third world countries, superpower nations, the committee and you as a delegate shall refrain from
using such terminology.
While it is a clear agenda, it still is open to interpretations and there shall be no direction of debate that shall
be provided by the Executive Board. Delegates are required to direct the council at all stages, unless
stagnation occurs. The agenda or an MUN is a beautiful experience and is not as difficult as it may seem. We
hope to see a great level of effort and enthusiasm from you all, so that we all can take back a great experience.
This Background has been created a month prior to the conference and it is in best interest to stick to
Reuters/CNN/BBC/UN News and documents to find more after you have researched. Do research the updated
information on various news agencies.
Happy Researching.
Regards,
Angad Singh Madan
President

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PART B
PART B.I: Best Practices for Research BEFORE AN MUN.
(You can take these best practices into account, not only for the General Assembly at JIIT MUN but for other
MUNs as well.)

Read the Agenda Guide, least 20 days prior to the conference and make a note of everything that
needs to be understood. Do read the Background guide.
In case of a crisis situation always read and look for the analysis and plausible rationale on the
updates that may be issued a week before the MUN.

Google/Search everything and find relating documents (UN, News articles, Scholarly articles) for
whatever was not really understood.

After wholly understanding (subject to how in depth you wish to go for the research), try
understanding your allotted countrys perspective on the agenda.

Make the stance in accordance with the countrys perspective on the agenda which shall also define
your foreign policy (history, past actions etc.)

Understand the cues and hints that are given minutely in the Background Guide that may come
handy while presentation of contentions in committee.

Take a good look at the mandate of council as to what you can discuss and what you can do in this
council. This point is placed here, just because your knowledge base shouldnt be limited to the
mandate of the council. Know everything, speak whatever the mandate allows.

Follow the links given alongside and understand why they were given. Read the footnotes and the
links and hyperlinked text.

Predict the kind of discussions and on what subtopics can they take place, thereby analyzing the
subtopic research you have done and prepare yourself accordingly.
Make a word/pages document and put your arguments there for better presentation in council.

Ask the Executive Board your doubts, if you have any, least 10 days before the conference by means
of the given email ID and make sure to not disclose your allotted country, until you want to
understand the policy of your country.

Download the United Nations Charter, the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and additional protocols
there to and other relative treaties and documents given.

Ask questions regarding procedure to speak something etc., if you have any, ON the day of the
conference.

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PART B.II: NATURE OF PROOF AND EVIDENCE


Documents from the following sources will be considered as credible proof for any allegations made in
committee or statements that require verification:

Reuters: Appropriate Documents and articles from the Reuters News agency will be used to
corroborate or refute controversial statements made in committee.

UN Document: Documents by all UN agencies will be considered as sufficient proof. Reports from all
UN bodies including treaty-based bodies will also be accepted.

Government Reports: Government Reports of a given country used to corroborate an allegation on


the same aforementioned country will be accepted as proof.

Under no circumstances will sources like Wikipedia, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch or
newspapers like the Guardian, Times of India, etc. be accepted as credible proof; but may be used for better
understanding of any issue and even be brought up in debate, if the information given in such sources is in line
with the beliefs of a government or a delegate (who is a representative of a government, usually).
They may be used to allege/make a point in committee.

PART B.III: ABOUT THE COMMITTEE: General Assembly (1st Committee DISEC)1

The General Assembly is the main deliberative organ of the United Nations. Chapter IV, Articles 9-22, of the
UN Charter concern the General Assembly. All Member States participate in the General Assembly and each
state has one vote.The First Committee, one of the six Main Committees of the General Assembly, is
allocated agenda items related to disarmament and international security.
The First Committee submits a separate report to the plenary on every agenda item allocated to it. Each
report:

indicates the meetings at which the item was considered


summarizes the committee's consideration of the item
identifies the sponsors of draft resolutions

reports the vote, if any, of Member States on draft texts

transmits the final version of draft resolutions and/or decisions recommended to the plenary for

adoption
symbol patternThe plenary considers each report and votes on the draft resolutions or decisions it
contains. For example, the General Assembly adopted resolutions 66/53, 66/54, 66/55, 66/56, 66/57
and 66/58 based on the report of the First Committee (A/66/413).

DISEC covers a variety of different topics ranging from the illegal trade in weapons to conflicts dealing with
non-proliferation of biological and chemical weapons. Like the other committees of the United Nations

www.un.org/en/ga

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General Assembly, DISEC is unable to impose sanctions, authorize armed intervention or pass binding
resolutions. That being said, DISEC has submitted recommendations to the United Nations Security Council
and to the UN Secretariat on several occasions. DISEC has assisted in the production of several important
treaties and conventions, including the Chemical Weapons Convention (1992), which outlaws the production,
stockpiling and use of chemical weapons, and the Non-Proliferation Treaty (1968), which aims to prevent the
spread of nuclear weapons and to promote peaceful cooperation in the field of nuclear energy amongst other
things. Although DISEC was not directly responsible for the creation of these two documents, it certainly
played an important role in laying the foundations thereof.

PART C
PART C.I. IMPORTANT DOCUMENTS
Following is the list of documents that need to be perused by all delegates before they come to the council,
without which you may find yourself standing on shore, while the council will sail away. Please understand
that you need to know the following aspects regarding each of the mentioned documents:

The reason why this document exists (for e.g. the Geneva Conventions were enacted to lay down the
rules of war and for the treatment of all parties concerned in the wars.)

The nature of the document and the force it carries, i.e. whether it is a treaty, a convention, a
doctrine, a declaration or a universally accepted custom or norm.

The areas where the document can be applied or has jurisdiction on (for e.g. international
humanitarian law applies only to situations of armed conflict, whereas the human rights laws applies
at all times of war and peace alike.)

The contents of the document at hand. You need not memorize any articles or rules of any
convention or treaty, but should know what the document has to say in various situations that may
arise in the council.

The delegates must have the understanding of the following:


1.

UN Charter -The Charter of the United Nations was signed on 26 June 1945 at San Francisco by the
nations represented at the United Nations Conference on International Organisation, most of them
earlier allies in the Second World War. The allies began being referred to as the 'United Nations'
towards the end of that war. The Charter came into force on October 24 1945. Since that time all
members joining have had to declare themselves bound by both documents - though practice has
demonstrated on too many occasions that that declaration has not been taken too seriously.
http://www.un.org/en/documents/charter/
http://research.un.org/en/docs/charter

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2.

International Bill of Human Rights - The International Bill of Human Rights consists of the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural
Rights (ICESCR) , and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and its two
Optional Protocols.
http://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Publications/FactSheet2Rev.1en.pdf

3.

Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light
Weapons in All Its Aspects (A/CONF.192/15)

4.

International Instrument to Enable States to Identify and Trace, in a Timely and Reliable Manner, Illicit
Small Arms and Light Weapons

5.

Firearms Protocol :

Protocol against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Their

Parts and Components and Ammunition, supplementing the United Nations Convention against
Transnational Organized Crime (A/RES/55/255)

6.

The Arms Trade Treaty : http://www.un.org/disarmament/ATT/

All documents from 3-5and more can be found at :


http://www.un.org/disarmament/HomePage/ODAPublications/AdhocPublications/PDF/Small_Arms_2008.pdf

KINDLY NOTE: This list is non exhaustive and delegates should research about anything that comes their way
during reading.

PART D

PART D.I. INTRODUCTION

SMALL ARMS:
Guns are classified by use, size and tradition. Small Arms (also known as light arms or firearms) are a category
of arms that encompasses guns below a 20- millimetre bore size. These weapons are abbreviated as SALWs
or Small Arms/Light Weapons. A simpler way to classify them is as weapons that can be held by just a single
person. Small arms include weapons such as hand guns, pistols, sub-machine guns, mortars, land-mines,
grenades, light missiles, etc.

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CIRCULATION OF SMALL ARMS:


The Small Arms Survey reported in 2013 that they are an approximate 875 million small arms in the world, 675
million of which are in civilian hands (more than 75%). Out of the 675 million many of these firearms have
not been accounted or registered under corresponding governmental systems for civilian use of firearms.
Furthermore, in some nations, civilian ownership small arms are unrestricted meaning that systems to
measure firearm ownership are not in place, causing a higher number of unaccounted small arms. This means
there is a large amount of missing data as to the magnitude of small arm trade activity throughout the world.
Modern conflicts claim millions of lives every year. A large percentage of these deaths are caused due to war
and other such crises and a large proportion of the remaining deaths are due to homicides and suicide. Over
80 percent of all these casualties have been civilian out of which a large percentage are firearm inflicted. This
is far higher than the casualty count from conventional weapons of war like tanks, bomber jets or warships.
Out of the total number of small arms in the world currently, only 59% are legally held by civilians. This
means that it is increasingly easier for people to find means of homicide. In fact, recent reports suggest that a
person is killed every minute by a gun of a small arm classification.
The growing problem of illegal arms trafficking has led to global responses from various authorities and
organizations. The UN reports that the small arms trafficking is fuelling various conflicts in the North African
and Middle Eastern regions. Estimates of the black market trade in small arms range from US$2-10 billion a
year. The Small Arms Survey in a 2003 report stated that at least 1,134 companies in 98 countries worldwide
are involved in some aspect of the production of small arms and/or ammunition. The major exporters of small
arms include the European Union and the United States. The list of major exporters also includes Italy,
Germany, Brazil, Austria, Switzerland, Israel, Russia, South Korea, Belgium, China, Turkey, Spain and the Czech
Republic. The illegal arms trafficking in small arms is a transnational phenomenon. This trade arms terrorists
and terrorist groups operating around the world and is central to the U.S. global war on terror. The line
between the legal and illegal trades in small arms is often blurred, fuelled by the lack of strict international
criteria and controls. Around the world, the illegal income generated by exploiting resources such as timber,
drugs, diamonds, and other minerals perpetuates conflicts and corruption. Arms brokers can operate because
they are able to circumvent national arms controls and international arms embargoes or obtain official
protection.

PART D. II. CONFLICTS FUELED BY SMALL ARMS


1.

Central African Republic conflicts


The Central African Republic Conflict is a civil war being fought between the Slka rebel group and
the CAR government forces. It began in Late 2012 after the President Franois Boziz allegedly failed
to abide by the Peace Terms between 2007 and 2011. The UN has said that illicit arms trade has
increased inter-communal violence, increasing cross-border crime and has been threatening ongoing
peace process and national reconciliation efforts in the state.

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2.

Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant


The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant is a Sunni extremist jihad group based primarily in Iraq and
Syria. ISIL has become one of the most notorious terrorist organizations and is currently one of the
UNs largest concerns in terms of international security. A major reason for this is that ISIL has de
facto control over large parts of Iraq and Syria. ISIL is among the best armed terrorist groups in the
world and possesses enough weapons to go on fighting at its current level for a minimum of 6 months
up to a full 2 years. The growing threat of ISIL has raised many concerns over controlling the influx of
arms into the controlled regions given the ongoing conflicts ISIL is involved in.

PART D.III. ARMS TRADE TREATY: THE LEGALITY OF WEAPONRY


The Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in April 2013 in light of the
human suffering, political repression, crime and terror among civilian populations due to the large
availability of weapons. The ATT came into force meaning to:

reduce the violence against millions of civilians in conflict-ridden regions;


help create a conducive environment for the United Nations to carry out its mandates in the areas of
humanitarian assistance, peacekeeping, peace-making and post-conflict peacebuilding and the
promotion of the Millennium Development Goals;
foster a safer environment for humanitarian actors operating in volatile areas across the globe.
The treaty has been a highly debated issue, however, with two major exporters, Russia and China, not
signing the treaty. This has caused a major drawback in the effectiveness of the treaty and raising
concerns among member states

PART E

PART E. I. QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER

1. What should be done about the growing market for small arms?
2. What can be done to prevent further escalation of conflicts in North Africa and the Middle East due to the
accessibility of weapons?
3. What measures should be taken up by major exporting nations to reduce illicit small arms trade?
4. What should be done by nations in the North African and Middle Eastern regions to prevent an influx of
small arms into the areas?
5. What should be done about the concerns raised over the Arms Trade Treaty?

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