Columbia International Affairs Online: Policy Briefs

CIAO DATE: 12/2011

Reporting to the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms

paul holtom, Lucie Béraud-Sudreau, Henning Weber

May 2011

Stockholm International Peace Research Institute


The key international mechanism for states to report on international arms transfers is the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms (UNROCA). UNROCA was established to build confidence and cooperation between states. The information provided by states to UNROCA is used in analyses of states’ intentions and capabilities and in bilateral or regional consultations to help avoid misinterpretations, miscalcu­lations and the exaggeration of threats that can influence arms races and armed conflicts. In recent years there has been a dramatic decline in levels of reporting to UNROCA. This Fact Sheet provides information on the levels of reporting to UNROCA for the years 1992–2009, including regional trends, reasons for low levels of reporting and efforts to improve reporting.