The devastating impact of armed violence around the world is well known. Conflict and armed violence close schools, paralyse neighbourhoods, burden health-care services, discourage investment, and make lives less secure. Spending on arms or arms races can divert vital funds from public services such as education and health-care, and when such spending takes place without transparency it can aggravate corruption. Individually and cumulatively, these impacts undermine sustainable development and internationally agreed targets such as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
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