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Arms in the hands of peace-keepers
Embargoes still have relevance to bring global peace
Peace is not just a dream; it is hard work, and requires practical efforts to come to fruition...Humanity cannot wait. Now more than ever, the ratification of a set of universal rules on arms transfers is essential,” Dr. Oscar Arias Sanchez, Nobel Peace laureate has avowed once. Like many sanctions, the UN has been striving for peace, imposing arms embargoes to avert arms supply to countries in danger, to impede unending conflicts or government forces from becoming a threat to peace. Sadly, lack of legal framework, cooperation from governments, in governing illegal arms supply, is hindering its effectiveness. The UN has realised the need of having policies or sanctions to let International law and human rights, triumph, as early as 1946. Thus embargo was a comprehensive tool in Angola, Iraq, Liberia, Libya, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Afghanistan and Ethiopia etc. to stop violence. But researches found frequent major or small breaches. Illegal arms supply exceeded $104 billion and horrifyingly, increasing by $8 billion annually globally. A study, ever done of its kind by SIPRI, has affirmed the rampant nature of arms supply and in 75% of cases, embargoes remained ineffective.
However, such embargoes remained very relevant for global peace. While governments need to criminalise crossborderarms supply, nations like the US, Russia, China have to activate scrutinising their arms companies (Lockheed Martin, BAE System) and allies, before giving up leniency and reluctance. Without them can the UN succeed?
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