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Abstract: The data in this report is derived from country submissions when possible,
and estimates when necessary. Estimates are extrapolated from each country’s
identified procurement, highest modern personnel totals, and strategic doctrine.
Except where noted, the military small arms and light weapons data
presented here is not official, comprehensive, or conclusive; it is for general
evaluation and comparison only. The complete methodology used here is described
in Chapter 2 of the Small Arms Survey 2006.
Small arms are state-owned handguns, submachine guns, rifles, shotguns,
and light and medium machine guns. Firearms are civilian-owned handguns,
submachine guns, rifles, and shotguns. Long at the forefront of international small arms issues, public debate and
activism in South America have largely focused on matters surrounding civilian
firearms, estimated here to total between 21.7 and 26.8 million. The reasons
for this civilian preoccupation are principally linked to chronic gun violence.
South America has 14 per cent of the global population, and roughly 3.5 to 4 per
cent of the world’s civilian firearms, but it suffers from roughly 40 per cent of
all homicides committed with firearms.
Military small arms are rarely part of public debate, largely because of a
strong culture of national security secrecy in South America. But military
small arms policy has attracted much closer scrutiny in recent years, especially
as military small arms and light weapons are diverted to criminals and
guerrillas, fuelling insurgencies and civil violence. This report focuses primarily
on issues surrounding surplus military small arms and light weapons in
the region. Law enforcement and civilian firearms inventories and issues are
recognized here as well, to ensure a balanced overall perspective.
The region’s military establishments do not have a strong record of identifying
or eliminating their surplus small arms, light weapons, or ammunition.
South America holds some of the world’s largest military small arms and
light weapons surpluses. Military inventories are not exceptionally large in
absolute terms, but they are a major element in global surplus problems. Among
the 12 independent countries of South America, there are an estimated 3.6
million military small arms as of 2007, 1.5 per cent of the global total. Of these,
approximately 1.3 million, more than one-third, are surplus.
Abstract: On May 12, 2009, the UN General Assembly will elect 18 new Human Rights Council members. Twenty countries are candidates. However, each is not competing against all of the others, but rather only against the ones from the same UN regional group. In this year’s election, all but two regional groups have submitted the same amount of candidates as available seats. The Asian Group has 5 countries vying for 5 available seats, the Latin American and Caribbean Group (―GRULAC‖) has 3 countries vying for 3 available seats, and the Western European and Others Group (―WEOG‖) has 3 countries vying for 3 available seats. This does not mean that the candidate countries for these groups will automatically be elected; in order to become a Council member, a country must receive the votes of at least 97 of the 192 General Assembly member states (an absolute majority). Competition between the candidates exists only in the African Group, where 6 countries are vying for 5 available seats, and in the Eastern European Group, where 3 countries are vying for 2 available seats.
Abstract: Although all countries, in theory report their authorized transfers - and
such information may even be available in certain public databases - the
task of providing an overview of SALW transfers, their parts and
munitions, is an arduous one. Nonetheless, despite the difficulties, we
have some extremely positive initiatives on a global scale, such as for
example, the Small Arms Survey, recognized as an important source of
information, especially on SALW production and transfers, as well as the
Norwegian Initiative on Small Arms Transfers (NISAT) which has a
database containing transfer records going back to 1962.Despite these
important initiatives, themselves when researchers, activists and policy
makers try to understand a regional market, such as Latin America and
the Caribbean, they encounter a dearth of information. With the intent of addressing this shortcoming, En La Mira has, since 2007, dedicated an
issue to transfers of SALWs, parts and ammunition in this region. Further, according to statistics from the United Nations Commodity Trade
Statistics Database (UN-Comtrade or Comtrade), USD 6.7 billion were
exported between 2004 and 2006, while USD 6.5 billion were imported.
Despite the fact that Latin America and the Caribbean represent 6% and
3%, respectively, of total transfers worldwide during this period, 42% of
firearms related homicide is committed in the region. This discrepancy
between the international transfer volume share and the levels of armsrelated
violence in Latin America and the Caribbean calls attention to
itself, above all because of the tragic and startling number of homicides.
Obviously, far from wishing to increase arms transfers in order to be more
in sync with homicide rates, we decided, a year ago, to study this issue
and periodically monitor its development based on our interest in
understanding the primary legal entry and exit routes of firearms and
ammunition. The result is a report - based on customs information as
stated by Latin American and Caribbean countries and their respective
partners - whose objective is to describe the movement of the SALW
imports and exports, as well as ammunition and parts, during the present
decade. Based on this data, we answer the following questions: who
exported and who imported? From whom? What? And when?
It is worth restating that the intent of this report is not to explain the
cause of arms imports and exports by Latin American countries. Beyond
merely providing information, we do indeed wish to awaken, by means of
the information presented here, the curiosity of other researches, activists
and government staff members such that they may continue to perform research in their countries regarding the transparency of this information,
on who is using the transferred SALW, and how.
The data used for this report came from the NISAT database, which
contains more than 800,000 entries for SALW transfers worldwide since
1962. The NISAT database gets its information from different sources,
COMTRADE among them. In this study we decided to restrict ourselves
to data from this latter source because, in theory, all countries report
transfers to the UN. This data is declared in accordance with the
Harmonized System (SH) merchandise classification system. The HS has
existed since 1988and, in 2007, was revised for the fourth time; previous
revisions were in 1992, 1996 and in 2002. Regarding the period analyzed,
we are looking at data up until 2006, since at the time the study closed
this was the most recent year available on NISAT.
Abstract: Récemment, le CRDI a examiné pourquoi et comment il avait travaillé, au cours des trois dernières décennies, dans des pays en transition — transition de la dictature à la démocratie, d'une économie planifiée à l’économie de marché, de la guerre à la paix. L’objectif du CRDI était de mieux comprendre comment il recueille et diffuse l’information destinée à éclairer l’élaboration de la programmation et les prises de décisions. Comment le Centre avait-il été informé de l’imminence d’une transition? Comment s’était-il renseigné sur la situation ? Comment était-il intervenu?
Des études de cas ont été préparées sur l’Algérie, la Birmanie, le Cambodge, le Kenya, l’Afrique du Sud, les pays du cône Sud, le Vietnam et la Cisjordanie et Gaza. Ces huit études de cas et le texte d’introduction qui les accompagne montrent que le CRDI est depuis longtemps capable de travailler dans les situations à haut risque que l’on retrouve avant les transitions et dans la phase initiale de celles-ci. Il en ressort également qu’il a joué un rôle distinct dans l’aide à la recherche et à la conception de politiques axées sur le développement et qu’il a su habituellement adapter sa programmation à des contextes mouvants.
Abstract: Récemment, le CRDI a examiné pourquoi et comment il avait travaillé, au cours des trois dernières décennies, dans des pays en transition — transition de la dictature à la démocratie, d'une économie planifiée à l’économie de marché, de la guerre à la paix. L’objectif du CRDI était de mieux comprendre comment il recueille et diffuse l’information destinée à éclairer l’élaboration de la programmation et les prises de décisions. Comment le Centre avait-il été informé de l’imminence d’une transition? Comment s’était-il renseigné sur la situation ? Comment était-il intervenu? Des études de cas ont été préparées sur l’Algérie, la Birmanie, le Cambodge, le Kenya, l’Afrique du Sud, les pays du cône Sud, le Vietnam et la Cisjordanie et Gaza. Ces huit études de cas et le texte d’introduction qui les accompagne montrent que le CRDI est depuis longtemps capable de travailler dans les situations à haut risque que l’on retrouve avant les transitions et dans la phase initiale de celles-ci. Il en ressort également qu’il a joué un rôle distinct dans l’aide à la recherche et à la conception de politiques axées sur le développement et qu’il a su habituellement adapter sa programmation à des contextes mouvants.
Abstract: The governments of Argentina and Uruguay are at loggerheads. The conflict involves the construction of two plants designed to produce paper pulp, one backed by Spanish capital and the other Finnish, in the Uruguayan city of Fray Bentos. The Argentines see the venture as environmental aggression, making it a bilateral issue. Uruguay considers it a strictly internal, domestic matter in which the country's sovereignty is at stake. The conflict arose from local political battles and electoral issues in the Argentine province of Entre Rxc3xados. From there, with President Kirchner's support (or unwillingness to stop it), it became a nationa#l issue. Uruguay's response has been uncompromising and the constant criticism of Mercosur expressed by different political and economic actors has amplified a large number of complaints against Argentina. The two governments could lose control of the dispute since strong nationalist feelings have been stirred up among the general public. In fact, the conflict mounted steadily through February, as the Argentine Congress authorised the government to approach the International Court in The Hague, the Uruguayan government requested mediation before the Organisation of American States (OAS) and Argentina proposed that work on the projects be stopped for three months. This demonstrates how the conflict has gone beyond the bounds of Mercosur, given the apparent inability of Brazilian diplomacy to deal with a dispute which, if it continues to worsen, threatens to ruin what little remains of Mercosur. However, in early March there were a few, though insufficient, signs that tensions may be easing.
Abstract: The Oriental Republic of Uruguay is a constitutional republic with an elected president and a bicameral legislature. On October 31, in free and fair elections, Tabare Vazquez, leader of the Broad Front or Encuentro Progresista-Frente Amplio (EP-FA) coalition, won a 5-year presidential term. Vazquez was scheduled to assume office on March 1, 2005. The judiciary is independent.
The Interior Ministry administers the country's police departments and the prison system and is responsible for domestic security and public safety. The military is responsible for external security within the prison system. Civilian authorities exercised effective control over the security forces. Some members of the security forces committed some human rights abuses.
Abstract: This thesis argues that Uruguay should commit its Armed Forces to a broader
spectrum of peacekeeping missions, including UN Chapter VII operations. This is
consistent with Uruguay's foreign policy principles of preventive diplomacy and peaceful
resolution of controversies, and would not violate the principle of non-intervention as
long as military intervention takes place for "humanitarian reasons." Enhancing the
involvement of Uruguayan troops in UN Chapter VII operations would be a strong sign in support of international law and multilateral institutions, of which the UN is the major
example. By committing Uruguayan troops to UN Chapter VII missions, the leftist
government has a unique opportunity to "spread" its ideal of solidarity to countries that
need assistance. Moreover, from the perspective of the Uruguayan military, the
commitment of Uruguayan troops in Chapter VII operations has a number of advantages.
It would allow the military to train in a realistic conflict environment, enable the military
to upgrade its equipment and improve the economic well-being of military personnel.
Furthermore, the commitment of troops to Chapter VII operations would improve the
international image of the country and foster the development of stronger domestic civilmilitary
Abstract: Given the growing economic and social crisis, it was not surprising that the Colorado Party won the November 1966 elections. In March 1967, General Oscar Gestido (1967), a retired army general who had earned a reputation as an able and honest administrator when he ran the State Railways Administration, became president. He was supported by the Colorado and Batllist Union (Unixc3xb3n Colorada y Batllista--UCB), comprising List 14 and other conservative Colorados.
Abstract: In 1995, at the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, governments specifically pledged to revoke all laws that discriminate against women. In 2000, at the five year review of the Beijing Conference, governments established a target date for the amendment or repeal of these laws by 2005. This is the year of reckoning. Yet, as Equality Now's report Words and Deeds: Holding Governments Accountable in the Beijing +10 Review Process illustrates, countries around the world regardless of geo-political status continue to discriminate against women and girls by keeping them unequal before the law. Taina Bien-Aimé Executive Director notes, "Changing the law is just the first step towards addressing violence and discrimination against women. How can governments claim they are committed to sex equality if they cannot even eliminate the most blatantly discriminatory laws?"
Equality Now, an international human rights organization with offices in New York, Nairobi and London, works to protect and promote the human rights of girls and women. Equality Now's Women's Action Network counts more than 25,000 groups and individual members in over 160 countries.
Abstract: The Western Hemisphere Subcommittee of the House International Relations Committee
holds hearings on trade disputes in Ecuador and Peru. Thanks to booming
exports, Brazil expects to grow 4.5 percent this year. Argentine Supreme Court declares
the conversion of dollar-denominated bank deposits into pesos constitutional.
Nicaraguan President Enrique Bolaxc3xb1os faces impeachment threat over campaign
finance allegations. Vxc3xa1zquez wins first round of presidential elections in Uruguay.
A Canadian submarine is rescued by the British Royal Navy off the coast of Scotland.
Government officials in the Dominican Republic say there is still time to negotiate
with the United States on sugar. Mexican President Vicente Fox visits Ottawa.
The Governor General of Canada opens the new session of parliament on
October 5, 2004. Proposals to change the Hydrocarbons Laws creates a political and
economic firestorm in Bolivia.
Abstract: This study seeks to draw lessons for the United Nations from the deployment of the Interim Emergency Multinational Force (IEMF) in Bunia, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) between 6 June 2003 and 7 September 2003. The IEMF was deployed in response to an appeal by the Secretary-General for assistance in dealing with the grave security and humanitarian crisis that erupted in the Ituri district of the DRC1 in early May 2003 following the withdrawal of Ugandan troops which had, up until then, been the de facto authority in the District. Having neither the mandate nor the resources to provide security in Ituri, the United Nations Mission in the DRC (MONUC) had nevertheless been obliged to deploy a battalion of Uruguayan guards (URUBATT) to the capital, Bunia, in order to protect UN personnel participating in the peace process MONUC had brokered a month earlier. As the last Ugandan troops left Bunia on 6 May 2003, Lendu-based militias and the predominantly Hema Union of Congolese Patriots (UPC) attempted to take control of the town. In an attempt to escape the ensuing violence, thousands of civilians either abandoned the town or collected around MONUC sector 2 Headquarters and the airport where the Uruguayan battalion had established its base. On 13 May, two UN military observers were murdered in Mongbwalu as the situation spiralled out of control.
The paper notes that the disorderly withdrawal of Ugandan forces and the ensuing crisis in the Ituri region of the DRC obliged MONUC to redeploy the Uruguayan battalion to Bunia in order to protect UN personnel participating in the Ituri peace process. While this decision led to the saving of many lives, the arrival of the Uruguayan battalion also led to increased expectations among the population that the UN would be able to protect civilians despite the lack of capacity for this task. In this regard, emphasis is placed on the need to ensure that contingents are properly configured and equipped to perform mission reserve tasking and that troop contributors are given clear guidance on the use of force in peacekeeping, particularly as regard the protection of civilians.
The continuing crisis and the plight of the civilians who sought refuge around the MONUC compound and the airport eventually led to the deployment of the IEMF under the leadership of France which was able to restore security to Bunia and pave the way for the deployment of the Ituri Brigade. However, the tightly constrained life-span of the IEMF could have led to failure if circumstances had not permitted the rapid deployment of the Ituri Brigade.