Small Arms Survey 2013: Everyday Dangers UN Headquarters Launch
By Mel Fabrikant Monday, October 21, 2013, 06:23 PM EDT
The findings of the Small Arms Survey 2013: Everyday Dangers were presented in New York today at the Permanent Mission of Switzerland to the United Nations, during the 68th session of the United Nations First Committee. The Small Arms Survey 2013, launched in July at the UN in Geneva, focuses on small arms and armed violence outside war zones, with chapters on organized crime and gang violence, the use of firearms in intimate partner violence, and violent land disputes.
Understanding the diverse forms and expressions of non-conflict armed violence, which dwarfs conflict violence worldwide, is crucial to national and multilateral violence prevention and reduction efforts.
A chapter on organized crime and violence in Italy finds that mafia homicides dropped 43 per cent over the period 2007 to 2010. Analysts link the steep reduction to the mafia groups’ increasing interest in legal markets, where murder attracts law enforcement attention, and such attention hinders legitimate business operations. Despite a reduction in lethal violence, mafia groups continue to maintain extensive firearm arsenals.
‘It appears that for most Italian mafia groups the risks of using extreme violence now outweigh the perceived benefits,’ said Small Arms Survey Programme Director Keith Krause. ‘If we are to improve our understanding of this decline, and of the varying patterns of violence among different groups, it is important that researchers gain access to official data on mafia weapons use.’
In addition to the chapters on non-conflict armed violence, the Small Arms Survey 2013 relays new findings on illicit weapons recovered in Mexico and the Philippines; the prices of arms and ammunition at illicit markets in Lebanon, Pakistan, and Somalia; and the impacts of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) on civilians worldwide.
Other findings of the 2013 Survey include:
• In 2010 the top exporters of small arms and light weapons (those with annual exports of at least USD 100 million), according to available customs data, were (in descending order) the United States, Germany, Italy, Brazil, Switzerland, Israel, Austria, the Russian Federation, South Korea, Sweden, Belgium, and Spain.
• The top importers (those with annual imports of at least USD 100 million) were (in descending order) the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, Australia, South Korea, France, and Thailand.
• The 2013 edition of the Small Arms Trade Transparency Barometer identifies Switzerland, Romania, and Serbia as the most transparent of the major exporters, and Iran, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates as the least transparent.
• IEDs killed and injured at least 13,000 civilians in 44 countries in 2011. Militant Sunni Islamist groups are responsible for the overwhelming majority of civilian casualties inflicted in IED attacks, primarily because of their indiscriminate tactics and use of large IEDs.
• An in-depth analysis of recovered illicit arms reveals that, despite their vast wealth, Mexican cartels do not possess the full array of light weapons available to governments and some state-sponsored armed groups.
Three full chapters—on mafia violence in Italy, on the UN Programme of Action's 2012 Review Conference, and on IEDs—are available for download, along with chapter summaries of all chapters in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish. For all previous editions of the Small Arms Survey (2001–12), all chapters are available to download in full.
An audio podcast and a short video presenting the findings of the Small Arms Survey 2013 are available on the Small Arms Survey website.
• Download summaries and selected chapters from Small Arms Survey 2013: Everyday Dangers: www.smallarmssurvey.org/?small-arms-survey-2013
• Listen to the podcast: www.smallarmssurvey.org/podcasts
• Watch the video: www.smallarmssurvey.org/?video-everyday-dangers
• More information on previous editions of the Small Arms Survey: www.smallarmssurvey.org/?yearbook
• Contact the Small Arms Survey for more information: firstname.lastname@example.org
• Follow the Small Arms Survey on Facebook: www.facebook.com/SmallArmsSurvey
• Follow the Small Arms Survey on Twitter: www.twitter.com/SmallArmsSurvey
Published by Cambridge University Press, the Small Arms Survey 2013: Everyday Dangers is the Survey’s 13th annual global analysis of small arms and armed violence issues. An independent research project located at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (Geneva), the Small Arms Survey is the principal source of public information and analysis on all aspects of small arms and armed violence.