Monday, June 17, 2013

UN Assignment

Regardless of efforts by the United Nations to regulate the trend, international spending on the armed forces has increased in the 21st century. The monetary resources required to ensure sustainable and effective armed forces globally have increased to an estimated $ 1.7 trillion. For the larger nations such as the US and China military spending comprises an estimated 20-30% of their military budgets. The funds are injected into ensuring that the military is well trained and equipped with the latest war technology. When one nation does so, others are compelled to follow suit so as to keep up with the pace. One such nation that injects increased funds to its military and is amongst the largest consumers of arms in the global arena is Turkmenistan which also a member of the Arctic Council. With a current population estimated at 5.1 million, Turkmenistan was once a part of the Soviet Union; it received independence from the Soviet Union on the 27th of October the year 1991. Since then the nation has been a nominal democratic republic with the Democratic Party of Turkmenistan being the only legally recognized political association. The main groups in Turkmenistan include the Turkmen (61%), Uzbeks (16%), Iranians (14%) and Russians (4%). In 1996-2006 Turkmenistan were amongst the nations in the Asia with the worst human rights records. NATO describes military budgets as “All current and capital expenditures on the armed forces, including peacekeeping forces; defense ministries and other government agencies engaged in defense projects; paramilitary forces, if these are judged to be trained and equipped for military operations; and military space activities” . In the UN meeting held on July 2012 the UN was unable to finalize on the Arms Trade Treaty. It is interesting that the largest suppliers of arms in the international arena are the 5 permanent members of the United Nations Security Council- China, Russia, France, UK and the US. The largest market for most of the arms transferred globally-an estimated 83.9%- is the developing countries such as India and Saudi Arabia. The increased development of attack and counter attack mechanisms is feared to have the propensity to undermine diplomacy and negotiation tactics of complicit resolution and replace them with military confrontation. In addition to this, in Turkmenistan, Syria and many other nations of the world the proliferation of arms trade leads to procurement of armaments to utilize in criminal acts such as torture, contravening of human rights, unlawful killings and other vindictive war crimes . This situation is made worse by the absence of an international agreement to regulate the global commerce of conventional weapons. Moreover, firms that manufacture weapons are accused of giving false reports on the navy and military activities of nations globally so as to create market for their armaments. Conclusively, the UN has contributed greatly in the regulation of international arms trade. The current draft however, makes it unlawful for nations to violate Chapter seven of the Charter of the United Nations or transfer arms with the intention of perpetrating wrongs against humanity. It is however imperative that the different nations of the world reach a compromise which will bring about a sustainable decline in military spending so as to mitigate the adverse effects associated with such spending. References Soma XLI: Topic 001: Militarization of the Arctic, Southern Ontario Model United Nations Assembly XLI Soma XLI: Topic 002: Increasing Military Expenditure, Southern Ontario Model United Nations Assembly XLI Soma XLI: Topic 003: Regulation of the Global Arms Trade, Southern Ontario Model United Nations Assembly XLI