Action on Conflict

Oxfam's "Cut Conflict Campaign" is calling for tighter controls on the arms trade to prevent weapons being exported to sensitive destinations where they are likely to fuel civil war or humanitarian abuses. As one of the top 3 weapons exporters, the UK holds an important position in this trade. The laws that govern our arms exports have not been significantly updated since 1939. We urgently need tough new arms controls to prevent the fueling of atrocities that the majority of us only just glimpse sanitized effects of on our TV screens.

One of the best ways to support the Cut Conflict Campaign is to write to your local MP asking for tougher arms controls. Oxfam are concerned about 3 things in particular; licensed production, arms brokering and end-use monitoring.

Licensed production is when a UK company sells a foreign company the right to make its weapons or equipment. This dodges UK export controls and needs to be brought under UK arms export controls.

Arms brokers set up deals between buyers and sellers and arrange delivery. As long as the goods never touch UK soil, no license is required. This needs controlling.

End-use monitoring is a system to ensure that goods go to their authorized destination and not to where they may be misused. At present the system is lax and not enforced. We need to introduce a robust system for monitoring the end-use of UK arms exports.

Oxfam NW Campaigns Office (0161 861 9731,

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© Networking Newsletter (Sept 2000)