Accountability and Oversight: The Role of Parliament in Arms Transfers

arms transfers – control measures – parliamentary involvement – SALWs

There is a need to regulate arms transfers, especially in the developing world. As more countries implement unilateral control measures to regulate the flow of arms, they set standards according to which others will be measured. Regarding conventional arms transfers, the major problem seems to be with small arms since they are easy to conceal and therefore difficult to identify or verify independently – especially when compared to exports of major conventional weapons such as warships, tanks or aircraft. Moreover, the transfers of small arms usually consist of minor consignments and may sometimes only involve ammunition, which makes it easier to ignore even registering these exports. This article discusses the challenges involved in regulating arms transfers, focusing in particular on the role and potential of parliament.

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