The Forum on the Arms Trade is a network of civil society experts and a point of contact for strengthening public efforts to address the humanitarian, economic and other implications of arms transfers, security assistance, and weapons use. Managed from Washington DC, the Forum provides a venue for bringing its community's wide-ranging expertise together to amplify and strengthen its work, while also offering government and media members a one-stop resource for the latest information, analysis, and best contacts. Forum-listed experts are located around the world and work on diverse topics including human rights, development, arms control, humanitarian disarmament, cybersecurity, arms and the environment, anti-corruption, and related fields.
Responding to Coronavirus
Resource page identifying countries that have mandated and/or seized control of defense industries to repurpose them in some way to address COVID-19 pandemic. To a lesser extent, page also identifies voluntary actions taken by defense industries. See resource.
Resource Page - Int'l Trade of Firearms & Ammunition: Move to Commerce Control
On January 17, the Federal Register put online final rules (Commerce, State), that were officially published on Jan. 23. Numerous states attorneys generals filed a case to block the rules.
On March 4, more than 20 organizations sent a letter to Congress opposing the policy. On March 6, a temporary injunction was issued barring the transfer of 3D printing plan regulation to Commerce (but not impacting the remainder of the rules). The broader rules have now come into effect (March 9).
See resource page for reactions and developments.
On February 4, 2019, Congress was notified of final rules to transfer of some items on US Munitions List (USML) categories I-III to the Commerce Control List (CCL), starting a 30-day review period. Legislation to block the change has now been introduced in both the Senate and the House and a hold placed delaying its implementation. A hearing on this topic is was held Tuesday, March 26, in the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations. On May 14, more than 100 organizations sent a letter to Congress opposing the changes.
On July 11, the House added an amendment (#10) to the NDAA, which would block these changes, by a vote of 225 to 205. On July 12, the House passed the full NDAA by a vote of 220 to 197, but the NDAA has since remained stalled in conference. The Senate version did not contain this provision. On October 24, 44 organizations delivered a letter calling for retention of this amendment in the NDAA, along with many others.
November 12, Congressional staff were briefed on Trump administration plans to move these rules forward.
The December 9 conference (and ultimately final) version of the National Defense Authorization Act did not retain the amendment that would prohibit changes to firearms export rules (see conference report). But on December 10, Senator Menendez again requested a hold be placed (see letter).
The proposed rule was published on May 24 and closed for public comment on July 9, 2018.
See resource for concerns expressed and more information.
U.S. Presidential Election 2020 - Candidate Positions
Quotes and other resources identifying positions of 3 candidates for U.S. President on four key arms trade issues: Arms Trade Treaty; arms to Saudi-led coalition; firearms export oversight, and the Mine Ban Treaty. Will be expanded and updated regularly. See resource.
Highlighting publications in which Forum-listed experts were involved. Inclusion on the Forum on the Arms Trade expert list does not indicate agreement with or endorsement of the opinions of others.
Cesar Jaramillo, "In a welcome shift, Canada makes banning killer robots a foreign policy priority," The Ploughshares Monitor, Project Ploughshares, March 2020.
Ray Acheson, "COVID-19: From Ceasefire to Divestment and Disarmament," Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, March 26, 2020.
Kate Kizer, "BuT hOw WiLl We PaY fOr It?, "Responsible Statecraft, March 25, 2020.
Wim Zwijnenburg+, "Signs of Progress: Environment and Conflict in the UN Security Council," Planetary Security Initiative/PAX briefing note, March 2020.
Shannon Dick+, "How Arms Proliferation Is Driving Herder-Farmer Conflict in the Sahel," World Politics Review, March 19, 2020.
Andrew Feinstein+, "Why is South Africa providing a haven for an arms dealer convicted of war crimes?" Daily Maverick, March 18, 2020.
Josh Ruebner, "Congress seeks to hold Israel accountable for demolishing Palestinian homes," Mondoweiss, March 17, 2020.
Dan Mahanty+, "Time to flip the script on congressional arms sales powers," The Hill, March 15, 2020
Colby Goodman, "Higher or Weaker Walls Over Sensitive U.S. Arms Exports?," The Export Practitioner, March 2020, also available here.
William Hartung, "We’re Number One: U.S. Dominates Global Arms Trade — Again," Forbes, March 12, 2020
Aude Fleurant+, "Trends in International Arms Transfers, 2019," SIPRI, March 9, 2020
Iain Overton (director)+, "Summary report from a joint AOAV-Chatham House round-table examining gender and explosive weapons," AOAV, March 2, 2020
Wim Zwijnenburg, "How do the Climate Crisis and Conflicts Bind Humanitarians and Environmentalists?," Environmental Emergencies Centre, March 2020
Jeff Abramson, "U.S. to Allow Expanded Landmine Use," Arms Control Today, March 2020
Jeff Abramson+, "Controversial Firearms Rules Published," Arms Control Today, March 2020
Waleed Alhariri +, The War Over Aid -The Yemen Review Jan/Feb 2020, Sana'a Center, February 29, 2020
Daniel Mack+, "VÅPENEKSPORT OG KRIGEN I JEMEN: Utilstrekkelige risikovurderinger og svakheter i norsk regelverk," Save the Children Norway and Changemaker, February 26, 2020
Dan Mahanty, "In Search of Answers: U.S. Military Investigations and Civilian Harm," War on the Rocks, February 20, 2020
Sam Perlo-Freeman, "Fighting the wrong battles: How obsession with military power diverts resources from the climate crisis," Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT), February 2020.
William Hartung, "Stop Arming Repressive Regimes," Forbes, February 19, 2020
Allison Pytlak+, “Correlates of state-sponsored cyber conflict” and Allison Pytlak, "In search of human rights in multilateral cybersecurity dialogues," Routledge Handbook of International Cybersecurity, edited by Eneken Tikk and Mika Kerttunen, London: Routledge, 2020
Alison Pytlak, "Cyber Security - A Team Sport" editorial, "News in Brief", and "A new 'Women in Cyber' fellowship has a big impact on the OEWG," Cyber Peace and Security Monitor, Vol. 1, No. 7, Reaching Critical Will, February 18, 2020.
Ray Acheson, "Impacts, not intentionality: the imperative of focusing on the effects of explosive weapons in a political declaration," Reaching Critical Will, February 14, 2020
Dan Mahanty+, “In Search of Answers: U.S. Military Investigations and Civilian Harm,” CIVIC and Columbia Law School Human Rights Institute, February 13, 2020
View the full list of recent and past publications featuring Forum on the Arms Trade-listed experts.
In this period of increased social distancing and isolation in an effort to lessen the impact of the coronavirus, we share information about events that can be attended remotely featuring Forum-listed experts.
Forum for Supporting the 2020 Group of Governmental Experts on Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems hosted by the Federal Foreign Office Berlin with Bonnie Docherty+, April 1-2, 2020
Feminist Alternatives: Challenge Militarism to Save Our Planet hosted by the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom with Ray Acheson+, April 1, 2020
Gun Violence in Mexico and Central America: The Challenges, the Paths to Solutions, details on virtual series forthcoming, co-hosted by the Forum and many others, slated to begin April 21, 2020. (See related video of "Webinar | Gun Violence in the Americas" hosted by the Consortium on Universities on Global Health (CUGH) with John Lindsay-Poland+, March 24, 2020.)
U.S. Landmine Policy
Changes to U.S. landmine policy to allow for greater use of the weapons were announced by the White House on Jan 31. Reaction and information available - resource page.
"U.S. Foreign Policy Moving Forward: Perspectives from the Middle East" Video
Missed the event? Check out the video.
2020 Annual Conference -
Missed the conference? Check out the video.
New FMS notifications: March 4 - Poland $100 million for 180 Javelin missiles March 3 - Israel $2.4 billion for KC-46A aerial refueling aircraft Morocco
$239.35 million for 25 HERCULES or similar February 25 - Tunisia $325.8 million for four light attack aircraft and munitions Jordan $300 million for command, control and communications equipment Netherlands $85 million for torpedo conversion kits February 7 - India $1.867 billion for Integrated Air Defense Weapon System (IADWS) Australia $990 million for long-range anti-ship mjssiles January 15 - Australia $1.5 billion for Future Surface Combatant program January 9 - Singapore $2.75 billion for up to 12 F-35B fighter aircraft (4 firm orders) see resource
High School Debate '19-20
Check our resource page designed to help U.S. high school debate participants in the current national series focused on the arms trade.
"Arms Trade FAQ" videos
See transcripts and more details here.
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other partners, listed experts, or resources produced by the Forum.
other partners, listed experts, or resources produced by the Forum.