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Undermining Global Security: Measuring the Risk of Arms Exports and Commitment to Development

Just weeks into his presidency, Joe Biden announced a suspension of arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. This follows similar promising commitments from Italy last month. As security and development are mutually reinforcing concepts, what countries do on arms exports matters for development. We look at arms exports across all major economies—both in terms of value and their “conflict potential.” We analyse the extent to which the choice of arms customers is likely to increase risk and undermine development, and highlight which countries should be taking more action on reducing the conflict potential of their arms exports.