ACCORDING to media reports, US arms sales to other countries nearly tripled last year to $66.3 billion. The Congressional Research Service has recently released a report about American arms sales that hit a record high in 2011.
US small arms trade also grows to $8.5 billion a year, and Israel is one of the top importers of US weapons with sales worth $12.9 billion. Now unmanned drones, fighter jets, missiles and bombs are killing more people every year than natural disasters.
The reality is that several billion dollars’ worth of legal and illegal weapons trade has become a big threat to peace and security of the world.
Use of legal and illegal weapons is very common these days not only in developing countries but also in modern countries like the US, France and Germany. All types of weapons through arms trade are being used in several bloody conflicts from Asia to Africa.
According to an estimate, 74,000 women and children lose their lives every year because of illegal weapons trade.
Despite killing of a large number of people every year, the world community is sitting silent and doing nothing to minimise the illegal and legal arms trade, for illegal arms trade is providing enough support to ailing economy of several countries, including the US.
The media reports say UN member-states have failed to agree on a common draft for regulating the multibillion-dollar arms trade.
However, they agreed to hold more talks on the matter in the future but things are going from bad to worse after a lack of interest shown by big powers.
Many member-nations accused the US of blocking the agreement after month-long negotiations. Now Washington is asking more time to review its strategy.
The recently-failed negotiations also show that big powers have established their monopoly in the UN. The world body can do nothing without the approval of big powers which is very unfortunate.
Some big powers have also not yet signed a landmines banning treaty because of their interest. Thousands of people lost their lives every year in war-affected countries because of landmines.
Use of cluster bombs and banned weapons against the civilian population is very common these days.
Owing to lack of interest shown by big countries, civilian casualties have increased dramatically in war-torn countries.
K. UMER FAROOQ Jeddah