yesA prerequisite for effective international action to prevent and combat the illicit trade in small\ud arms and light weapons (SALW) is that states develop a common understanding of what\ud constitutes the ¿legal¿ trade and therefore what is ¿illicit¿. At the same time, failure to exert\ud e ffective control over the legal trade in SALW opens up possibilities for diversion to illicit markets\ud and end-users and blurs the lines between the legal and illicit trade. All governments are\ud potential suppliers of SALW, since even those with no manufacturing capacity will have the\ud potential to export surplus weapons once owned by their police and/or armed forces. A major\ud concern for the UN Conference on the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its\ud Aspects should thus be to define clear parameters for and to agree on a comprehensive\ud mechanism for controlling the legal trade in these weapons.British American Security Information Council (BASIC), International Aler
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