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Contexto Internacional

Print version ISSN 0102-8529

Abstract

GARCIA, Denise. Norm contestation and threat to regional and international peace and security: excessive ease of access to arms. Contexto int. [online]. 2011, vol.33, n.2, pp.455-483. ISSN 0102-8529.  https://doi.org/10.1590/S0102-85292011000200008.

The ease of access to arms, by governments and non-government actors alike, exacerbates conflicts, destroys fragile peace agreements, and facilitates the perpetration of violations of human rights and egregious crimes against humanity. Compounding this, the arms trade is out of the purview of International Law; that is, there is no comprehensive legally binding international treaty regulating all aspects of arms transfers. The practice of transferring arms to non-state actors with no criteria regarding the end users is a recurrent feature of the global arms trade, and usually has deleterious consequences. These are perceived in the protracted conflicts in Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sudan, the Horn of Africa and the Middle East more recently in Syria and Libya, among many others. The present article looks at a contested attempt at international norm building to restrain a long-held international practice - that of transferring arms to non-state actors - and its implications for international security, international law and policymaking at the multilateral level. However, different from the constructivists, it examines a norm that, although diffusing in different regional contexts, has failed to find legal validity as an international normative reality.

Keywords : Arms Transfers; Arms Trade Treaty; International Norms; Libya; Syria; Horn of Africa.

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