UN Security Council a Global Arms Bazaar

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Courtesy: Steve Sack

By Ann-Marie de Veer
Saturday 9 August 2014

On the 20 May 2014 the online Communities Digital News (CDN) organisation ran a report about five of the largest arms dealers in the World: China, France, Russia, UK and the US. Their focus on this group of nations was intentional: they are also the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) whose primary responsibility in this role is the maintenance of international peace and security.

CDN's report, based on data from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), particularly focused on the duplicity of the five permanent members of the UNSC who are behaving in a manner completely contrary to the United Nations Charter Chapter 1, Article 1, Purposes and Principles, namely:

1. To maintain international peace and security, and to that end: to take effective collective measures for the prevention and removal of threats to the peace, and for the suppression of acts of aggression or other breaches of the peace, and to bring about by peaceful means, and in conformity with the principles of justice and international law, adjustment or settlement of international disputes or situations which might lead to a breach of the peace;

Nonetheless, SIPRI's data is clear and irrefutable. The five permanent members of the UNSC are among the most successful arms dealers in the world; selling weapons and providing military services and training to regimes with a known history of internal suppression and human rights violations. As the chart below indicates, on the issue of conventional weapons exports alone, the permanent members of UNSC were responsible for 67% of all exports in the 2004-2008 period and 66% from 2009-2013:


UN Security Council a Global Arms Bazaar 1.png


That these five nations are upholding their responsibility of maintaining international peace and security is clearly false. Furthermore, that two of them in particular, the UK and the US, are not involved in egregious acts is also patently false as reported recently in the media:

In a report posted by the online Truthout organisation on the 23 July 2014 they set out the scale of US arms transfers to Israel. (Transfers here denotes not just sales but also military aid.) The report offered a detailed view of arms transfers, grounded in data from the US Census Bureau, that included F16 fighter aircraft, Apache attack helicopters and a vast array of ammunition. It went on to say that the official figures were in fact an underestimate of the true scale of arms transfers.

More recently, on the 1 August 2014, the UK's Independent posted a report about Britain’s 'role' in arming Israel. The post, akin to the Truthout report, listed the transfers of armaments: from weapons control and targeting systems to ammunition, drones and armoured vehicles. What was interesting about this later report, unlike the US who remained silent on the issue, the UK regime offered the following response when questioned on their arms transfers policy:

We are currently reviewing all existing export licences to Israel. All applications for export licences are assessed on a case by case basis against strict criteria. We will not issue a licence if there is a clear risk that the equipment might be used for internal repression, or if there is a clear risk that it would provoke or prolong conflict.

Of course this was the standard boilerplate 'politically correct' response that is offered on such occasions, completely ignoring and failing to acknowledge the Palestinians are an 'internal' ethnic group within Israel and that their body count, at the time of writing, was over 1800 compared to 60 Israeli's. Moreover, given the relative silence of the US regime and the soothing platitudes of the UK's authority's, their responses clearly demonstrate a flagrant disregard for Article 1 of the UN Charter.

So much for peace and security.

Naturally, duplicity is the de facto modus operandi of both the UK and US regimes who have recently succeeded in overthrowing the pro-Russian Yanukovych government in Ukraine, installed their pro-European puppet Poroshenko and now hope to reassert their authority over their NATO buffer state. Similarly, they are also known to be supporting the rebels in Syria in an attempt to subvert the al-Assad regime as they did Gadaffi in Libya.

The notion that great power bears great responsibility is lost on the UK and the US.

In other words, the UN is a wonderful organisation and doing a great job but don't expect us to take it seriously or help at all. We, the US, plan to grow our economic and military empire with the help of our UK partners and will subvert or overthrow whoever gets in our way. Of course, there may be some folks who end up being tortured or even killed but this is a small price to pay for US world supremacy.

Those who seek to create an empire will makes slaves of us all.
Ann-Marie de Veer