Guns or Growth?: Assessing the impact of arms sales on sustainable development | Millennium Development Goals | Sustainability

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Every state has a right to self-defence, under Article 51 of the UN Charter. However, the UN Charter also requires all member states to 'promote universal respect for, and observance of, human rights and freedoms' in order to achieve 'economic and social progress and development' (Articles 1, 55 and 56) and 'to promote the establishment and maintenance of international peace and security with the least diversion for armaments of the world's human and economic resources' (Article 26). The countries of Africa, Latin America, Asia, and the Middle East hold 51 per cent of the world's heavy weapons. Excessive or inappropriate arms purchases are a drain on social and economic resources which developing countries simply cannot afford. The Millennium Development Goals will not be achieved without addressing the issue of sustainable development in all aspects of policy, including arms transfers. Both arms importers and exporters must ensure that arms transfers do not undermine sustainable development. For arms exporters, various export-control regimes already include this requirement, as does the proposed Arms Trade Treaty, but few governments fully respect these commitments. Lip service leads to arms falling into the wrong hands and the diversion of scarce resources from fighting poverty. To protect the social and economic rights of poor people, exporting governments must apply an effective and systematic methodology to assess whether proposed arms transfers will affect sustainable development. This report proposes such a methodology, and explains why, excepting legitimate security needs, arms transfers with an adverse impact on sustainable development must not go ahead.
  Guns or Growth? Assessing the impact ofarms sales on sustainable development Published in association with  Guns or Growth? Control Arms Campaign,June 20041 Guns or Growth?  Assessing the impact ofarms sales on sustainable development Summary31 Weighing the costs6  Arms transfers to developing countries:a costly business6Sustainable development:strong foundations9The Millennium Development Goals:promises into practice?10Voicing concern13The need for engagement16 2 Causes for concern:the impacts ofarms transfers on sustainable development18 Opportunity Costs18Economic growth24The misuse ofarms25The risk ofarms races:the cumulative impact ofarms transfers29The priorities and realities ofimporter-government spending30Identifying the positive impact ofarms transfers30 3 Promises in pieces:sustainable development and arms exports36 Respecting regional and multilateral arrangements36The absence ofa strong,standard,or accessible methodology39Lack oftransparency45The importance of‘joined-up government’45 4 Context is critical:investigating the relationship betweensecurity,governance,arms imports,and sustainabledevelopment46 Government decision making46Budgeting processes and development ofeconomic goals48Budgeting practices49Government justifications ofarms import decisions51 5 Towards the development ofan assessment methodology55 Triggers:identifying transfers ofpossible concern56Indicators:information gathering60Factors:arriving at a judgement64 A holistic strategy70  Appendices73  Appendix 1:Selected foundations for sustainable development73 Appendix 2:Summary ofprinciples ofthe proposed Arms TradeTreaty75 Appendix 3:Graphic presentation ofproposed methodology for assessing the impact ofarms transfers on sustainabledevelopment78 Appendix 4:Summary ofproposed methodology for assessing theimpact ofarms transfers on sustainable development80 Notes84 2 Guns or Growth? Control Arms Campaign,June 2004
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