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Letter

Illegal Arms Trade
The terror-strike in Paris is a shrieking denial of life and everything that we hold dear. It is time for us to set our priorities right.

Modern war is not only destructive of human life. It is catastrophic in environmental terms. However, the demand to end war, though noble, is somewhat unrealistic.

Yet, the lethal terror in Paris and the resultant shock all over the world, should, at the very least, provide us the opportunity of taking decisive action against illegal trade in arms. At the moment of COP21, we only need to remind ourselves of the role that the illegal arms trade plays in fuelling both terror and military conflicts, and, more-over, that modern military conflicts are not merely human disasters—they are environmental nightmares with nasty climate-footprints.

Everyone is agreed that something decisive needs to be done about the climate peril. Incidentally, everyone is declaredly also against illegal arms trade. This benign atmosphere of unanimity ought to be conducive to decisive international action against illegal arms trade—not merely 'banning' or 'prohibiting' it, but stopping it outright.

Let us transform the misfortune in Paris into an historical opportunity for destroying one of the most callous, cruel, and ecologically corrosive trades in the world.
Dhrubajyoti Ghosh,
UN Global 500 laureate, Member,
Commission on Ecosystem
Management International Union for Conservation of Nature

Frontier
Vol. 48, No. 25, Dec 27, 2015 - Jan 2, 2016