Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Killing globally: the untold story of globalization

Gold arches. I-tunes. Mickey Mouse. Yes, you have guessed correctly, McDonalds, I-pod and Disney are all typical examples of the pervasiveness -for better or worse- of globalization. And yet the globalization extends beyond common services and goods; guns can get global too. How? In just about the same way that the average toy of your son travels around the world before it settles in your home, a gun that was produced thousand miles away may kill a little girl in Uganda.

"Weapons and ammunition supplied to the governments of the DRC, Rwanda and Uganda were subsequently distributed to armed groups and militia in the eastern DRC involved in war crimes and crimes against humanity. In addition to committing other crimes, these armed groups systematically and brutally raped and sexually abused tens of thousands of women. Arms dealers, brokers and transporters from many countries including Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Israel, Russia, Serbia, South Africa, the UK and the USA were involved in these arms transfers, highlighting once again the key importance of regulating the operations of arms brokers and dealers. By the end of 2005 only about 30 states had laws regulating such brokers."
(Source: Amnesty International 2006 Report on Arms Control)

Ever wondered how global conflicts are fought? How genocide is committed? How on earth do people that have no food to feed themselves find modern technology weapons and bullets? Well, we provide them with. Or sort of. The question of arms trade is a large one and truly global; Whether as producers of weapons (G8 countries, the Balkans) or recipients (Africa and pretty much wherever conflict takes place) or as in-between agents/smugglers, a good number of countries are involved in arms trade and a better number of people make a living by (enabling the) killing (of) others.

Years of campaigning and raising awareness bore fruits today when the United Nations passed a resolution that paves the way for a treaty on arms control; such a treaty would restrict the scope of this lucrative business and the chance that such weapons fell on the hands of guerrillas or terrorists. We would be talking of a milestone day today, had there not been one country, the United States, opposing such an effort: of the 192 countries members of the world, 153 voted in favor of the resolution, 24 countries abstained -mostly gun trading countries- and yes, the United States opposed it.

Fighting the war against terrorism while providing terrorists with weapons: Are we missing something here or is it just me?


On the UN resolution:

In english:
UN seeks new treaty restricting global arms
En français:
L'ONU ouvre la voie à un traité réglementant le commerce des armes


alzap said...

There is nothing you are missing,
and it is you,
and your dreams for arms control,
and your innocence.

Λίγο σκληρή η διαπίστωση.
Μείνε όμως όπως είσαι, σε παρακαλώ.

Odysseas said...

A few years ago I visited the UN building in New York and during the tour they explained that small weapons (handguns etc.) are probably the most dangerous weapons in the world, exactly because they are so easily available to pretty much everyone. They also told us about the UN's efforts to ban them or reduce their number and the resistance, mainly from the US government...

Pixie said...

Its the reason of a hypocritical society!
I don't know if you have seen Babel but I urge you to see it, its the route that a gun can take and the impact that it can have upon reaching innocent or no innocent hands.

Anastasia said...

Thank you all for your comments.

@ odysseas: this is all very true. And it took huge amounts of efforts to reach this resolution. And yes it is very problematic that the US appears to oppose it again.

@ pixie: the question is: do I want to see more? When I know that Greek bullets killed people in DR Congo because they were smuggled from nearby countries I am disgusted already.

MindBlog Network

Subscribe to  this blog"s feed via FeedBurner Subscribe to  this blog"s feed" feed via Google Reader or Google Pages Subscribe to  this blog"s feed via NewsGator Subscribe to  this blog"s feed via Yahoo Subscribe to  this blog"s feed via Bloglines Subscribe to  this blog"s feed via NetVibes

Enter your email address to get updates: