After decline, arms sales on the rise again, UN report.

Arms sales, which had dropped off at the end of the Cold War, have been rising lately - despite being ineffective in fighting terrorism and having a "negative impact on overall global security," according to a new United Nations.

The Advisory Board on Disarmament Matters "noted with concern that global military expenditures had been rising since 1998, after an observable general decline immediately after the end of the Cold War," Secretary-General Kofi Annan writes.

He says the "the Board agreed that the rise in military expenditures in general had a negative impact on overall global security and diverted precious resources from social and economic development needs, especially in developing countries."

The group also observed that "military means were in general not the most effective options in resolving conflicts or in combating international terrorism," he adds.

Among the Board's recommendations was the need for greater efforts to prevent and halt the circulation of weapons, including small arms and light weapons, particularly in local communities. Other suggestions include enhanced disarmament education, the inclusion of human security perspectives in the design of future disarmament programmes and preventing the recurrence of conflicts in peace-making and peace-building pacts.

[Sourece: UN News Service, NY, 25sep03]

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This document has been published on 02oct03 by the Equipo Nizkor and Derechos Human Rights.