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Survey Swiss back at the top in small arms trade transparency

A SIG Sauer pistol with two cartridges

The survey includes small arms and light weapons, accessories as well as ammunition.


Switzerland has come out top in a ranking about the world’s most transparent small arms exporters.

With a score of 21.75 out of a possible 25 points, Switzerland came first ahead of the Netherlands, Britain, Italy and Serbia, according to the 2018 Transparency Barometerexternal link, published on Wednesday.

Switzerland has held the lead since 2007, except for the past two years, when it dropped to fifth and second position respectively.

The least transparent exporters are Iran, North Korea, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Israel in the 2018 barometer.

The survey by the Small Arms Surveyexternal link organisation at the Geneva-based Graduate Institute of International and Development Studiesexternal link includes 49 countries. The latest report focused on the period up to the end of 2015 and takes account of exports of light weapons, their parts, accessories and ammunition worth at least $10 million (CHF9.9 million).

For the first time, the barometer uses the reports of the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) and the United Nations Programme of Action on Small Arms (PoA) to determine light weapons exporters’ level of transparency, according to the authors of the survey.

These sources “shed new light on the national transfer control systems and reporting practices of several major exporters”, a statement said.

The authors say the improved method serves as a possible benchmark for future assessments of transparency in the small arms trade.

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