The question of combating illegal arms trade in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region

Despite illegal arms trade being a global issue, this year’s committee will deal with the question of combating illegal arms trade in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. Illegal arms trade is a major factor in the several ongoing conflicts in the Middle East and North Africa, since the illicit arms trade, especially the trade of small arms, increases the violence and the chance of uprisings, conflicts, and escalations in currently stable parts of the Middle East and North Africa region. The best-known example for the impact of illicit arms trade is the situation with the ISIL, a Salafi jihadist terrorist organization with the goal of creating a Sunni Islamic State. There a different ways terrorist organizations receive their arms, the most common being theft of supplies from governments in the MENA region, sales by often corrupt officials of governments or the black market, an illegal network of traffickers selling arms. 

The international community has taken multiple actions in order to regulate the trade, for example the Arms Trade Treaty in 2013, which regulates the arms trade and establishes standards for the international trade. Its aim is to require countries to regulate the flow of weapons across their border and prohibits transfers that do not follow the requirements in the treaty.

Even though it does not show many improvements yet, since it did not enhance the situation in the MENA region. The main purpose is to combat the illegal arms trade to terrorist organizations in order to stabilize the MENA region and being able to prevent further conflicts.