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The UN General Assembly’s decision in 2003 to invite member states to provide information on transfers of small arms and light weapons (SALW) to the UN Register of Conventional Arms (UNROCA) has led to a notable increase in the level of transparency in transfers of SALW. This Policy Paper is the first study to document and analyse information on SALW transfers reported to UNROCA for 2003–2006. It finds that, while the level of reporting on light weapons to UNROCA was fairly steady for the years 2003–2006, a significant increase in submissions of background information followed the introduction of a standardized reporting form for 2006.
Despite this noteworthy increase, UNROCA still only captures a fraction of international SALW transfers and transparency in transfers of SALW continues to lag behind that of other conventional weapons. The findings and recommendations of this Policy Paper throw light on the continuing debate over how the coverage of UNROCA can be expanded.
2. Transparency in international transfers
3. UNROCA and international transfers of SALW
4. Reporting SALW transfers to UNROCA: Assessing participation
5. Reporting SALW transfers to UNROCA: Analysing the reports
Appendix A. Definitions
Appendix B. Intergovernmental transparency mechanisms for international transfers of SALW