On 11 March, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) published its latest report on the arms trade, with data up to 2023. The report provides data from the last five years, and it is worth knowing a little about its contents.

The first piece of evidence is the doubling of arms imports into Europe. To be more precise, imports of major weapons have increased by 94%, and they have been bought from the United States. This is not the case in other regions of the world. Ukraine, for its part, has become the largest importer on the European continent. As a logical counterpart, the increase in arms exports from the United States rose to 42 percent of global sales, with arms distributed to 107 countries around the world: 38 percent to the Middle East, 31 percent to Asia and Oceania. While the United States is the world’s largest exporter, Russia has seen a significant decline of 53 percent over the last five years and the number of recipient countries has fallen from 31 to 12.

And who is the world’s top buyer? According to the report, India remains the world’s biggest buyer, increasing its imports by 4.7% and accounting for 10% of the world’s total arms purchases.

The opposite trend is seen in our region, Latin America and the Caribbean, where the arms trade fell by an average of 19%. Within this regional average, however, Brazil was the only country in the region to increase its imports by 26%.

These are just a few of the many figures in the report which, in general, tell us of an industry that is not shrinking, of millions and millions of dollars spent that could be used to meet the real vital needs of our populations, and of a logic of attack and defense that is still alive in a world that cries out for peace.