Developing appropriate brokering controls that permit legal trade to be conducted unimpeded while effectively filtering out illicit activities is a critical challenge facing the international community and national governments today. Much attention has been focused in recent years on combating the illicit brokering of small arms. The 2007 report of the UN Group of Governmental Experts tasked with considering further steps to enhance cooperation in preventing, combating and eradicating illicit brokering in small arms and light weapons has been instrumental in this reflection. But Member States are also attempting to come to grips with the challenges posed by illicit brokering of materials, equipment and technology that could contribute to the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery. This means hashing out the thorny issue of dual-use items, educating a much wider public and harmonizing national controls, and promoting cooperation and information sharing. In UN General Assembly resolution 63/67, Member States are called upon, inter alia, to establish appropriate national laws and measures to prevent illicit brokering and encouraged to fully implement relevant international treaties, instruments and resolutions to prevent and combat illicit brokering activities. Building on this resolution, as well as efforts undertaken by other relevant bodies, such as the 1540 Committee of the UN Security Council, Member States have many avenues of action open to them, from national measures to regional initiatives and international cooperation. As the General Assembly will return to the issue of preventing and combating illicit brokering activities at its 65th session, this issue of Disarmament Forum examines recent initiatives to combat illicit brokering and asks how Member States could best address the phenomenon.

Citation: Kerstin Vignard (ed.) (2009). "Disarmament Forum: Tackling Illicit Brokering", UNIDIR, Geneva.

Disponible aussi en français.


  • Editor’s note, Kerstin Vignard
  • Special Comment, YU Myung-hwan
  • Tackling Illicit Brokering International initiatives to prevent illicit brokering of arms and related materials, Brian WOOD
  • Curbing illicit brokering in WMD-related items: solutions in the making, Anne-Charlotte Merrell Wetterwik.
  • Arms brokering control in the Americas, An Vranckx
  • Illicit brokering of SALW in Europe: lacunae in Eastern European arms control and verification regimes, Peter Danssaert and Brian Johnson-Thomas
  • The regulation of arms brokering in Southern Africa, Guy Lam
  • UNIDIR focus