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International efforts to prevent diversion of arms and dual-use goods transfers: challenges and priorities


The diversion of conventional arms from the state into the hands of unauthorised users - such as armed groups - is a major cause for concern in regions of conflict and instability. 

The diversion of dual-use goods is known to have contributed to weapons of mass destruction programmes as well as supporting military programmes in states that are subject to UN Security Council sanctions, including arms embargoes.

Despite an increasing awareness of the problem, further international understanding of the motivations and mechanisms that encourage and facilitate diversion of arms and dual-use goods is needed. This paper contributes to the debate as to how, and to what ends, diversion takes place and helps to develop a wider appreciation of the measures required to tackle this problem.

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In the field of arms and dual-use transfer controls, the complex nature of diversion means that preventing it is an extremely challenging task - requiring a comprehensive response and adoption of best international practices by states.

Elizabeth Kirkham

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