Civil-Military Occasional Paper 1-2016 – Illicit Small Arms in the Pacific

Abstract With the exception of Papua New Guinea, the number of illicit small arms likely to be in circulation in Western Pacific island countries is not particularly large or widespread. The region remains relatively ‘gun free’ as Philip Alpers’ recently proclaimed. Supply is not bountiful, controls in the form of regional and national laws are sound, disarmament and amnesties have been somewhat successful, and demand is neither strong nor state or region-wide—Papua New Guinea being the exception. In broader context, the Pacific Institute for Public Policy points out that: The Pacific has seen its share of coups and conflict, but deserves recognition for being a largely peaceful region … It also has a wealth of traditional mechanisms to end conflict … It is worth bearing this in mind as the region develops a more ‘bottom-up’ approach to contemporary security issues. The project conducted a strategic assessment, rather than a detailed stocktake, of the illicit small arms in the Western Pacific island region with a focus on Fiji, Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea (excluding Bougainville). As anticipated, most of the illicit small arms in the region come from within the countries studied and are largely recirculated within them. However, there are…

Read More