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Transparency: UN Register

The United Nations Register of Conventional Arms (UNROCA) was established in 1991 and is managed by the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA). UNROCA was established to 'enhance confidence, promote stability, help States to exercise restraint, ease tensions and strengthen regional and international peace and security” and “to prevent the excessive and destabilizing accumulation of arms . . . in order to promote stability and strengthen regional or international peace and security'. It is the key international mechanism of official transparency on arms transfers. 

All UN member states are requested to provide to UNROCA information on exporting and importing state, number of units transferred, and intermediate state or state of origin for all imports and exports of: battle tanks, armoured combat vehicles, large-calibre artillery systems, combat aircraft, attack helicopters, warships, and missiles or missile launchers. States are also invited to submit information on their holdings and procurement from domestic production of major conventional weapons, as well as imports and exports of small arms and light weapons.

SIPRI Arms Transfers Programme researchers describe developments in reporting to UNROCA in the SIPRI Yearbook. They also conduct research projects on the functioning and further development of UNROCA and publish their findings. Since 2008 particular attention has been paid towards the issue of reporting international transfers of SALW to UNROCA.

Dr. Paul Holtom, a former Director of the SIPRI Arms Transfers Programme, served as a consultant to the 2013 UN Group of Governmental Experts on the continuing operation of the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms and its further development.

For a summary of recent developments in UNROCA reporting see information from the most recent full calendar year: 2014.