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Monday, 18 December 2017

Arms Exports Report 2017 \ GKKE calls for a ban on exports to Saudi Arabia and enhanced export controls

On 18 December, the Joint Conference on Church and Development (GKKE) presented its Arms Exports Report 2017 in Berlin. It sharply criticized arms exports to the Gulf region. Against the backdrop of the aspired Europeanization of the arms industry, the GKKE also calls for a strengthening of arms exports controls on the level of the European Union.

Dr. Max M. Mutschler, Prälat Dr. Karl Jüsten and Prälat Dr. Martin Dutzmann (f.l.t.r.). Photo: GKKE \ Tim Kuschnerus

The GKKE Report 2017 shows that more than half (54 per cent) of all individual armament export licences went to third-party states outside of NATO and the European Union. When it comes to the actual exports of military weapons, the share of exports to third-party states amounted to more than 90 per cent. The GKKE considers the authorization practice of arms deliveries to parties of the war alliance led by Saudi Arabia against Yemen as particularly problematic. In light of the humanitarian catastrophe in Yemen, the ecumenical organization reiterates its demand to ban all arms exports to Saudi Arabia.

BICC researcher, Dr Max M. Mutschler, Chair of the expert group on arms exports of the GKKE, points out that the cooperation of 25 EU member states in the framework of the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) also raises critical questions in the context of arms exports and their control. There is the threat that "a Europeanization of the arms industry makes national arms export controls more difficult as it allows arms manufacturers to circumvent them, Max Mutschler argues. To, first and foremost, prevent the final manufacturing of weapons systems from moving to countries with the lowest national standards, a strengthening of exports controls on the European level must come before the aspired coordination of arms production. "The GKKE, therefore, backs the decision of the European Parliament of 13 September 2017 and also demands the establishment of a supervisory body on the level of the EU for the monitoring of arms exports of the member states", Max Mutschler stresses. In line with this, the German government, too, ought to back the strengthening of arms exports control on the level of the European Union.

 

Press release BICC, 18 December 2017 (in German)

Press release GKKE, 18 December 2017 (in German)

“Rüstungsexportbericht 2017 der GKKE” (in German)

“Statement von Prälat Dr. Martin Dutzmann“ (in German)

“Statement von Prälat Dr. Karl Jüsten“ (in German)

“Statement von Dr. Max M. Mutschler“ (in German)