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Arms Trade

Volume 684: debated on Tuesday 4 July 2006

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What action the European Union has already taken, or is proposing to take, to combat the worldwide proliferation of small arms and light weapons; and what are the current European Union priorities in this area.[HL6459]

In December 2005 the European Council adopted a strategy to combat illicit accumulation and trafficking of small arms and light weapons (SALW) and their ammunition. The EU's priorities include agreeing common international guidelines for SALW transfer controls, stronger regulation of brokering activities, stricter stockpile management and the destruction of surplus SALW. Since 2003, the EU has allocated €88 million for action undertaken by affected countries in Africa, south-east Asia and south-eastern Europe to deal with the excessive and destabilising accumulation of small arms and light weapons. This amount is in addition to member states' contributions and is drawn from the non-proliferation project line of the common foreign and security policy budget.