A recent report by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) has revealed that the global arms trade has increased significantly over the past five years. The US exports more arms than any other country.
Europe collectively exports around 58 per cent but that includes Russia which accounts for 25 per cent of the world's arms exports alone.
Asia receives 37 per cent of the world's arms - that includes countries like Sri Lanka, China and South Korea. Europe takes 24 per cent and the Middle East 18 per cent.
In recent months, Sri Lanka's arms imports have increased as the country's army intensifies its offensive against the Tamil Tigers.In this episode of Inside Story, we ask if those countries that supply the global arms trade fuel armed conflicts around the world.
To discuss this, Inside Story is joined by Paul Holtom, the head of the Arms Transfer Programme at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, and Rebecca Peters, the director of the International Action Network on small arms.
This episode of Inside Story aired from Tuesday, April 28, 2009.