Switzerland most transparent small arms exporter, Iran, DPRK and UAE most opaque

Small Arms Survey analysis reveals 19 of 20 most transparent arms exporters are European states

Switzerland was the most transparent authorized small arms exporter in 2015, according to an analysis by Small Arms Survey published on Wednesday, August 22.

The Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Italy, and Serbia rounded out the top five most transparent in the 2018 edition of the Small Arms Trade Transparency Barometer – which analyzes the transparency of the authorized small arms trade in 2015.

The least transparent exporters for 2015 were Iran, North Korea, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and Israel.

Authored by Paul Holtom and Irene Pavesi, Small Arms Survey’s analysis is based on small arms trade reporting by 49 countries that exported a minimum of $10 million of small arms and light weapons, including parts, accessories, and ammunition, during any calendar year between 2001 and 2015.

The top 14 most transparent were all European countries, and Europe also accounted for 19 out of the top 20.

The United States, the world’s biggest arms exporter came in at number 15. It’s next biggest arms export rival Russia was at 38, while China was at 43.

The analysis scores major arms exporters based on “an evaluation of information on its transfer control system and small arms exports made publicly available via national and multilateral instruments.” It assesses 42 criteria across seven transparency parameters: timeliness, access and consistency, clarity, comprehensiveness, deliveries, licences granted, and licences refused.

For the first time since the first report in 2003, the Barometer also assesses Arms Trade Treaty and U.N. Programme of Action reports.

At the bottom end of the table, Iran, DPRK and UAE were tied with zero points out of 25, with Saudi Arabia with 0.5 points and Israel with 0.75. The jump to next-worst – Pakistan with 7.75 points – highlights the lack of transparency in those bottom five.

The average score for the 2018 Barometer is 12.35 out of 25, and half of the countries reviewed gained scores below that average.

The United States scored 15.75, while at the top of the table, Switzerland – whose government in June said that it wants to sell weapons to states in ‘internal conflict’ under certain conditions – scored 21.75, the Netherlands and U.K. were tied with 20, Italy scored 19.5 and Serbia had 19.

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