The small arms control agenda focuses on the supply of illicit weapons and is also part of the work to control the legal trade in weapons under the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT). More than half the world's small arms are in the hands of civilians. QUNO has been active in promoting consideration of the demand side of the equation – why people feel the need for such weapons – and in bringing the voices of those who are involved on the ground in programmes to counter this perception and the conditions that foster it.
What are collectively referred to as demand issues are actually a whole range of cross-cutting factors encompassing conflict, development, human rights, post-war recovery and governance. QUNO has worked to highlight some of these cross-cutting issues at the international level and has been instrumental in bringing the voices of local experience to inform such state-led initiatives as the 2006 Geneva Declaration on Armed Violence and Development (which has now been endorsed by more than 100 States). QUNO also helped to establish the Global Alliance on Armed Violence (GAAV) in 2013, which aims to foster a coalition of actors working to prevent and reduce armed violence worldwide through collaboration at all levels.
- QUNO is one of 9 NGOs forming an Interim Committee to set up the Global Alliance on Armed Violence (GAAV), due to be launched at the beginning of 2013. The Global Alliance will support integrated approaches to armed violence prevention and reduction and provide a platform to exchange good practice, strengthen networking, increase advocacy potential and build up the evidence base to feed into more effective policy and programming.
- QUNO is coordinating the Working Group of the Interim Committee (of the GAAV) on the Post 2015 Development goals (the successors to the Millennium Development Goals) with the aim of ensuring that the impact of armed violence and violent conflict is reflected in thinking about development represented by this imperfect, but nevertheless influential, global framework.