Information exchange and transparency: Biting the Bullet - Briefing 9

This briefing in the Biting the Bullet series looks at key elements of an international action programme on small arms.

Efforts to combat and prevent illicit trafficking in, and proliferation and misuse of, small arms and light weapons (SALW) are hampered by lack of relevant information-exchange and transparency.

International information exchange and transparency arrangements are key elements of each of the main elements of the international action programme on SALW to be launched at the UN 2001 Conference.

There is great scope to develop information management and distribution arrangements to disseminate and exchange of relevant information on SALW without seriously compromising national security, necessary commercial secrecy, or law enforcement. Indeed, national security, commerce, crime prevention and law enforcement are generally enhanced by appropriate transparency and information exchange.

International Alert, in collaboration with BASIC and Saferworld, is working to facilitate the dialogue between government and civil society in order that an effective programme of action follows from the 2001 UN Conference on the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All its Aspects. The Biting the Bullet series provides governments and NGOs with information and policy recommendations on issues addressed at the conference.