Illegal Arm Trade
This paper is examining the key points and statistics regarding the illegal arm trade between the United Kingdom and Saudi Arabia. Such trade occurs with serious law violations and causes thousands of human casualties and destruction in the conflict between Saudi Arabia and Yemen. Despite strict laws, such institutions as British defense, security and aerospace system (BAE) and defense Sales Organization (DSO) tend to ignore the discussed crime. To raise people’s awareness on the issue, the Campaign Against Arm Trade has been created (CAAT). Its main goal is to stop the illegal international weapon trade by means of different demilitarization projects. Apart from other references, the main source for the provided research is CAAT’s website (https://www.caat.org.uk/), which contains all the necessary information regarding the campaign in the site’s articles, names of which are indicated in parentheses when cited.
Key words: the UK, Saudi Arabia, CAAT, demilitarization, arm trade
Nowadays, arms trade has become one of the most significant problems of the modern world, and, as a result has already influenced a great number of people from different parts of the planet. Many years have passed since the government of the UK refused to support Yemen, which permanently attacks Saudi Arabia. Nonetheless, United Kingdom continued their illegal and immoral selling of arms to Saudi Arabia, rejecting all the pieces of evidence that the arms produced and sold by UK are used for international law’s violation in Yemen. Unfortunately, a plethora of innocent civilians have been killed and the important units of infrastructure in Yemen have been destroyed because of Saudi Arabia’s constant bombings. Besides, there are forecasts that the conflict will continue damaging the region and will cause even more terrible effects of this humanitarian disaster.
As a result, the Campaign Against Arm Trade (CAAT) was funded – the organization based in the UK and aimed on the end of arms trade between countries. The main credo of the organization claims that arm trade violates the rights and security of people in different parts of the world and blocks the development of economics. Furthermore, the authorities of this organization are seriously concerned about the present relationships between Yemen and Saudi Arabia and the destructive influence of the UK on this issue. Although yet the CAAT cannot demonstrate major successful results in their struggle against the arm trading of the UK with Saudi Arabian, they have a great number of permanent achievements, which should be highlighted.
The Organization of CAAT
To begin with, the company has created its own website, where all the latest news about the dangerous situation in the region are regularly posted and refreshed. Moreover, the representatives of this organization share all the information on the issue with all the people and provide them with free access to all of the researched data. Additionally, there are a few surveys and posts, which ask to sign different petitions, the major goals of which is to ask the UK’s government to stop their illegal actions and the violence of Saudi Arabia (Campaign Against Arms Trade, “About CAAT”). Besides, there is all the information regarding the laws neglected by the UK and its Court, which has approved permanent contribution to arm trading with Saudi Arabia (Gladston, 2017). Therefore, the situation is very complicated now and it is difficult to predict anything about this issue; yet, it is obvious that government should take immediate actions against illegal trade, and CAAT can help the humanity to overcome this problem.
The CAAT was funded in the UK and is aimed on the end of international trading of arms, because such trade has a destructive impact on the security and rights of people and damages economic development. Moreover, the permanent export of arms and military procurement contribute to the development of militaristic approach to international-level issues. As a result, the most important roles of the organization are intendance to stop the export of arms, to eliminate all the tries of governments to support the export financially or politically, and to contribute to demilitarization. The arms trading permanently increases tension, supports aggression, exacerbates conflict, undermines democracy or supports an oppressive regime, and threatens social welfare, financing militarization instead of spending money for social issues (Campaign Against Arms Trade, “About CAAT”). Furthermore, CAAT claims that security should not consist of military companies, but has to spend resources according to the real needs and only in case of some real emergencies such as climate changing. More by token, one of the most major principles of this organization is non-violence, which should be the basis of participation in CAAT’s actions (Campaign Against Arms Trade, “About CAAT”). Moreover, the represented organization is one of many of the anti-arms organizations of the worldwide network. It must be said that most of the workers of the CAAT are volunteers, who are executing various job duties such as sites’ administration, governing of different units of the CAAT, and even organization of meetings. The organization conducts a great work regarding stop of arms trading in different parts of the world.
Agreements between the UK and Saudi Arabia
In March of 2015 the coalition led by Saudi Arabia began a military campaign in Yemen against all of the supporters of ex-president of the country, Ali Abdullah Saleh (Riu et al., 2016). Since the beginning of the campaign Saudi Arabian government has conducted a great number of air bombings aimed on different targets. The main reason why CAAT struggles against the government of the UK is its permanent trade of weapon with Saudi Arabia, which helps the country to violate an international humanitarian law in Yemen. There have been sealed a great number of deals between the UK and Saudi Arabia since 1960s, which contributed to the development of close relationships of these countries about arms export (Campaign Against Arms Trade, “Saudi Arabia”). More by token, since 1960s Saudi Arabia is the primary buyer of the weapons from the UK’s government (Wearing, 2016). Furthermore, countries have sealed many Al Yamamah’s agreements between them since 1980s conducted by Thatcher’s authorities (Watts, 2016).
For example, Hawk and Tornado jets were the military technique provided by the institution known now as BAE Systems, which included different agreements such as full service of the equipment. Moreover, the Salam Project conducted by the government of the UK was the sale of 72 Eurofighter Typhoons of the BAE to Saudi Arabia, which brought the company almost £4.4 billion in 2007(Campaign Against Arms Trade, “Saudi Arabia”). As a result, since that year there have been developed a great number of agreements regarding this question between the governments of the countries. Furthermore, the reports say that by the end of 2016 it had been exported approximately 68 from 72 Typhoons, and now the BAE is dealing with Saudi Arabia about the export of 48 aircrafts (Tovey, 2016). Moreover, from April to June 2017 the UK sold to Saudi Arabia Arms for £841m (Elgot, 2017). It must be said that the total sum of the Saudi Arabia’s military orders since 2015 from the UK is £3.75bn (Doward, 2017). Besides, it is stated in the newest report that the corruption was observed during the application of the agreements beginning from the end of 1960s; even until now Government’s Defense Sales Organization (DSO) is ignoring this problem (Campaign Against Arms Trade, “Saudi Arabia”). Additionally, BAE is committed for export of their weapons to different parts of the world such as the Middle East and South and East Asia, which contributes to affectations of myriad of people’s lives (Campaign Against Arms Trade, “Introduction to the Arms Trade”). Moreover, the DSO is one of the few organizations in the world sponsored by the government officially, which is dealing with arms fair in order to expand the sales market for the exported UK’s weapons (Campaign Against Arms Trade, “Arms Fairs”). Nevertheless, most of the countries such as France and New Zealand have already taken various measures against arms trade such as the annual seminar in Paris applied since 2012 aimed on arming control (DICOD, 2016).
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Projects of the CAAT
In addition to raising people’s awareness about the issue, CAAT are guiding a great number of projects aimed on end of the arms trade with Saudi Arabia. One of these campaigns is called Stop Arming Saudi Arabia and is aimed on presentation of undeniable evidence of the arms trade, which have already been denied by the UK’s government for 2 years (Jarman, 2017). Furthermore, the representatives of the organization suggest measures to be taken in order to stop the arming of Saudi Arabia, asking how much of violations of international law have to be committed that the government starts its actions (Campaign Against Arms Trade, “Stop Arming Saudi Arabia”). Furthermore, there are no doubts that Saudi Arabia has one of the most authoritarian regimes in the world, which conducts constant oppressions inside and outside the country, and is the biggest buyer of arms of the UK. Moreover, the aircrafts of the Great Britain play the major role of the attacks of Saudi Arabia in Yemen, being used for oppression of its citizens (Campaign Against Arms Trade, “Saudi Arabia.”). Therefore, the main goal of the project is to show that the actions of the Great Britain stand in great contrast with their proclaimed policies regarding arms trade and international humanitarian laws.
Arms to Renewables is another campaign of the CAAT, which suggests to dispose of all the savings of arms in order to establish peace all around the world. Moreover, the organization says that the realization of this project will help to create sufficient amount of job vacancies, because they have a plan of a new infrastructure, which should be developed in the UK (Campaign Against Arms Trade, “Arms to Renewables”). For example, the country has a great potential for creating and investigation of alternative sources of energy such as wind and solar power.
One of the most successful campaigns is Arms Trade Out!, which helped the country to gather a sufficient number of votes and to sign up a petition. Finally, it led the company to end the sponsorship of Comic Relief company, which invested much of their money into arms trading (Campaign Against Arms Trade, “Arms Trade Out!”). Furthermore, there are a few local campaigns, which propose to vote for come projects online, to participate in different meetings, and to become a volunteer as a member of the CAAT. Additionally, there is also a career growth opportunities for the employees, because they can become a key campaigner, a local media activist, and even can join the speakers’ network (Campaign Against Arms Trade, “Local Campaign”). There are also numerous actions and events organized under the campaign Weekly picket of Israeli drone factory, which is aimed on prevention of the UK’s arming of Israel (Campaign Against Arms Trade, “Actions and Events”). Moreover, there are suggested certain measures to be taken to access the authorities of the UK such as meetings and permanent contestations between government, volunteer organizations, and militaries (Campaign Against Arms Trade, “Political Influence”). Nevertheless, the business’ goals of various organizations usually lead them to the violence of different international humanitarian laws. Finally, it can be easily observed that most of the actions of the CAAT have positive influence on the processes of solving of different arms trading issues. However, there are not enough visible effects of the policies’ application with Saudi Arabia’s problems, although the future victory of democracy can be forecasted.
In conclusion, the Campaign Against Arm Trade organization has gained certain positive achievements in its attempts to finish permanent trade of arms between the UK and Saudi Arabia. It was created because of great volumes of the damages and deaths, caused because of arms trading, which, in its turn, causes serious economic, manufacturing, and humanitarian destructions. Unfortunately, not all the people are aware of the visible results of the activity of the organization. CAAT is constantly developing different policies aimed on prevention of the consequences of the arms trading in Saudi Arabia, and have even succeeded in their public activities. For example, CAAT has its own website which clearly and accurately provides the information regarding the situation in the region. Furthermore, all the people from different parts of the world have a free access to this data and can use it for various purposes. The organization also conducts different surveys asking to sign the paper with message to the UK’s government asking to stop their illegal activities. Additionally, the CAAT has created numerous international projects to attract the public attention to the laws ignored by the authorities of the country and promote demilitarization. As a result, CAAT can help all the people to struggle with arms trading with Saudi Arabia saving a plethora of lives of innocent people in Yemen.
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