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From: Interpol Special Agent Capolungo

Position of Interpol

Dominic Capolungo

Position of Interpol on Arms Control in the Middle East

Interpol is an international institution that works on being the world police.  The goal for Interpol is to take individuals from the 192 member states and increase cooperation among states on the matter of a variety international security concerns.  We hope to act as an information hub for law enforcement agencies to assist in preventing crimes within state borders.  Training policing techniques and capabilities will be given to special agencies to combat international crime and resources will be allocated to these states to assist in their efforts. Interpol looks to work closely with member states to reduce the amount of transnational crime that occurs within the states borders.  Interpol has a variety of interests in Chemical Biological Radiological Nuclear Explosive (CBRNE), terrorism, war crimes, crimes against children, and firearms trafficking.  In recent events, Syria and its surrounding neighbors have taken priority focus within the region in order to bring the conflict in Syria to an end as soon as possible and help re-establish a policing authority within the region.  Allowing transnational crimes to occur within the region is a serious international threat to safety and security and Interpol cannot allow these crimes to extend the conflict any further than it has already gone.

Interpol has set up a number of National Central Bureaus within the borders of member states.  These locations are designed to help Interpol and local agencies better fight criminal activities within the state and other states within the region.  It is within Interpol’s legal responsibility to work with states to help locate and disrupt the illegal arms trade taking place within the region.  We look to enforce the international laws that have been put into force by the United Nations.  These laws are designed to prevent conflict and arms races and when these laws are undermined by actors within the community it creates a security issue within the region.  Interpol’s goal will be too strongly enforce the laws in the region in order to bring stability back to the region.

It is the responsibility of Interpol to become more involved in the illegal weapons trade and use in the Middle East.  Chemical weapon use in Syria has been a major concern in Interpol, but it is also concerning to see states are willing to supply these agents to only further escalate the war.  Interpol agents will look to pursue international cooperation to deter these weapons from entering Syria.  Chemical weapons coming from Turkey have been used by rebel actors.  This prompts Interpol to work closely with the government of Turkey to prevent the further spread of these weapons.  We must take responsibility and understand “greater coordination is essential for the global community to effectively respond to the threat of returning foreign terrorist fighters”.  The issue lies in that foreign terrorist fighters have access to chemical weapons to use in conflict.  Reports of chemical agents from North Korea, supplying the Assad Regime, has been reported to enter the country which has been used on not only combatants but also women and children.  Interpol will look to pursue greater cooperation between the agency and Russia in order to better combat the illegal use of chemical weapons and help stop the war crimes being committed with these weapons.

Interpol is totally and completely against the illicit arms trade in the Middle East.  The illegal weapons being provided to the warring factions have brought unnecessary killing and human suffering to conflicts within the region, specifically in Syria.  In order to put an fight illegal arms trade in the region Interpol has to better enforce the laws and promote better cooperation in the region.  Libya has become a hub for illegal arms trade which is problematic due to no central government in the country.  We will have to allocate resources to the Libyan National Police to prevent actors from smuggling weapons out of the country.  Turkey is another major exporter of illegal firearms that are ending up in Syria.  Interpol will work on operations along the Turkey Syria border to stop illegal weapons from entering the conflict.  The goal is to eventually suffocate the conflict through lack of materials to fight with.  This gives Interpol an opportunity to work with the United States and the Government of Turkey to help allocate resources and police trainings to stop the illegal arms trade.  This will also help add to Interpol’s Illicit Arms Records and Tracing Management System (iARMS).  This would help the international community track weapons and learn where they are coming from.  This will ultimately give the international community the best opportunity to track weapons in a region that has become the largest concentration for weapons in the world.

Missiles are another concern of Interpol within the Middle East.  This weapon system has been used against both military and civilian targets.  This is unacceptable and it is within the international community’s interest to assist Interpol in tracking down illegal weapons shipments containing missiles.  Without these delivery systems it makes it much more difficult for actors to use explosive warheads in conflict.

Nuclear weapons have become a growing threat in the international community and more states are looking to obtain these weapons.  Interpol will be keeping a close watch on nuclear weapons coming from North Korea, considering they have already shown they are willing to send chemical agents to actors in the Middle East.  Interpol will also keep an eye on Israel because they are the only state with nuclear weapons in the region.  The trade and transfer of nuclear materials to other non nuclear states will not be tolerated by Interpol.  Ultimately, we are looking to reduce the likelihood that these weapons may be used by other actors.  Interpol will look to the Security Council to assist in our efforts.

Interpol will look to become more strict on the rules of the Arms Trade Treaty, which looks to prevent certain weapons from being sold and traded to states who look to use these weapons on civilians and further escalate any conflicts in the region.  This will be more complicated but hope with the support of international organizations and other states the ATT will be better upheld in the region.

The war in Syria will eventually come to an end and when this happens it is the duty and responsibility of Interpol help put Syria back together.  Interpol wants to have a much stronger presence in Syria in order to quickly and efficiently gain control of as many weapons as possible in the country.  The fear of Interpol is that Syria becomes the next Libya and turns itself into the next major weapons hub in the region.  It is within Interpol’s interest to provide training and state of the art equipment to the Syrian Police forces.  The weapons in Syria must be systematically collected and destroyed to prevent them from being used in any more conflicts.  With the United States looking to pull out of Syria this leaves Russia the next in line to assist in this process with the Syrian Government.

Interpol will need the assistance of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), and Russia to help stop the transfer of chemical weapons to Syria.  Once the conflict is over their will be absolutely no need to possess and maintain any chemical weapons within the country.  The OPCW will have the opportunity to enter the country, with the permission of the Syrian Government, to investigate where chemical weapons are officially originating from.  This will allow Interpol to better police the transfer of chemical weapons when we know where they are coming from.  Russia will be crucial in collecting and destroying the chemical weapons that have entered Syria.  North Korea will need to be better policed in consideration of the reports coming about chemical agents originating from this country.  It is dangerous that North Korea has participated in this conflict through the promotion of chemical weapon usage in Syria.

Interpol has the main goal of putting an end to the illegal weapons trade in the Middle East.  The hope is that in slowing the weapons trade to the country the war will eventually be unsustainable.  This will help put an end to war crimes and crimes against children  The United Nations Security Council has a duty to protect the people of Syria and must work with Interpol to end illegal arms trade which will shorten the war before it spreads further in the region.

The goal of Interpol is to help set the Middle East up so that in five years it can start making serious strides towards stability.  The conflict in Syria and Yemen should be over and strong central governments should be established within these states.  The world superpowers should be assisting in the rebuilding of war torn states due to the military interventions within the region that has contributed to the conflicts.  Most importantly, Interpol with the help of states and other organizations should be making serious efforts to reduce the number of arms within the region.  Taking the weapons out the region will be important for the future of the region and its general stability.

The Middle East 25 years from now should be much more stable.  The number of conflicts and weapons within the region should be severely reduced the international community should have helped rebuild the region.  States such as China, Russia, and the United States have an opportunity to help its business by assisting in the rebuild of the region.  The need for large outside state’s military presence should be eliminated and the Middle East should be given the opportunity to grow as a weapons free zone.


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