The UK government has launched a review of its 2002 arms export legislation.

The government review will identify new changes and ways to guard against ‘undesirable exports’ which includes goods that can be misused to aid acts of internal repression or to exacerbate regional conflicts.

The consultation document urges all those with an interest in export control to contribute their views.

This week, UK Secretary of State for International Development Hilary Benn called for a global deal to control the movement of small arms such as AK47s and anti-aircraft rocket launchers, as well as heavier weapons such as battle tanks to ‘close loopholes, shut down unscrupulous arms dealers and keep weapons out of the hands of human rights abusers’.

The United Nations is due to examine the case for an arms trade treaty in 2008.