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The international arms trade lacks effective control. Irresponsible arms transfers continue to fuel armed violence. They contribute to violations of human rights and international humanitarian law and they undermine development. The uncontrolled proliferation of conventional arms, particularly small arms and light weapons (hereafter referred to as small arms), has taken a terrible toll on communities worldwide. The cost in lost lives, lost livelihoods and lost opportunities to escape poverty is incalculable.

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