SIPRI and the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean (UNLIREC) have joined efforts to map ATT-relevant cooperation and assistance activities carried out in Latin America and the Caribbean during 2012–2016.
The information collected will be entered in to the online database mapping ATT-relevant cooperation and assistance activities. This database was developed in 2015 by SIPRI and the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Africa (UNREC) and populated with information on ATT-relevant cooperation and assistance activities in sub-Saharan Africa. The SIPRI–UNLIREC project will expand the coverage of the database to include ATT-relevant cooperation and activities in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Information will be gathered through voluntary contributions from states and stakeholders through informal consultations with SIPRI and UNLIREC. The project will run from July 2016 to February 2017 and is funded by the UN Trust Facility Supporting Cooperation on Arms Regulation (UNSCAR).
Focus on Latin America and the Caribbean
Latin America and the Caribbean are home to around 9 per cent of the world’s population, but account for 27 per cent of the world’s recorded homicides. Such elevated levels of armed violence hinder states’ socio-economic development and the sustainable prosperity of its citizens. The unregulated trade and proliferation of small arms and light weapons (SALW) exacerbate the levels of armed violence and continue to be a major threat to human security and development.
States in Latin American and the Caribbean have long understood the nexus between the security of their communities and the illicit arms trade and, as a result, have been at the forefront of international efforts to create appropriate arms control and disarmament instruments. States have made the implementation of international SALW instruments—such as United Nations Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects (UN POA) and, most recently, the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT)—a priority.
The Arms Trade Treaty and the Sustainable Develepment Goals
Robust implementation of the ATT and related instruments will also act an important conduit for achieving the effective implementation of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 16: ‘securing access to justice for all, building effective and accountable institutions and promoting peaceful and inclusive societies’ and—particularly—SDG Target 16.4: ‘significantly reducing illicit financial and arms flows, strengthening the recovery and return of stolen assets, and combatting all forms of organized crime’. Thus, Target 16.4 offers a conceptual framework to link development with arms control and disarmament instruments.
Expanding the coverage of the database will enable states, NGOs and regional organizations to reduce overlaps and promote synergies in the provision of ATT-relevant cooperation and assistance activities in Latin America and the Caribbean. It is also hoped that the expanded database will help the ATT Secretariat to perform the ‘matching of offers of and requests for assistance for Treaty implementation’ called for in in the ATT. Lastly, given the strong connections between the goals outlined the ATT, POA and SDG16.4, the expanded database will also help to shed light on efforts to improve implementation of the POA in Latin America and the Caribbean and to effectively achieve SDG Target 16.4.