Conference to Review Progress Made in the Implementation of the Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All its Aspects

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This high level meeting aimed to explore the current progress on combating, preventing and eradicating illicit trafficking of small arms and light weapons.  Representatives focused on three aspects, including implementation of Programme of Action (PoA) at national level, impact of illegal weapon trade on sustainable development, as well as the importance of international collaboration.

Representatives presented national policies and strategies adopted to eliminate illegal circulation of firearms. The United States, for example, established control systems on destructions of weapons while providing assistance to other countries in terms of export control of weapons. The representative of Philippines stated that a nation-wide firearms control program was executed and assured that such program is of top priority of the government.

At the same time, Liberia described the socio-economic consequences brought by illicit trafficking of weapons, such as the emergence of civil wars around the region.  Sierra Leone further added that it is pivotal to ensure the compliance of PoA in order to achieve SDG 16, in particular the forth item, “by 2030 significantly reduce illicit financial and arms flows, strengthen recovery and return of stolen assets, and combat all forms of organized crime.” South Africa and Netherlands emphasized the importance of maintaining gender equality by empowering more women to engage in addressing illicit trading of firearms.

The Republic of Korea highlighted that it is indispensable for nations to contribute to the Peacekeeping Fund with the purpose for building capacity to facilitate synergies among countries. Cuba and Ukraine echoed that international assistance should be strengthened to enhance global tracing of illegal weapon trading. Argentina suggested providing more training to personnel involved in the PoA according to different needs of nations.

Meeting: United Nations Conference to Review Progress Made in the Implementation of the Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All its Aspects: General Exchange of Views

Date/Location: Conference Room 4, UNHQ NYC; 15:00-18:00; June 18th 2018

Speakers: Ambassador Jean-Claude Brunet (President of Conference)

Representative of United States

Representative of Philippines

Representative of Nepal

Representative of Democratic Republic of Congo

Representative of Russia

Representative of Thailand

Representative of Namibia

Representative of Sierra Leone

Representative of Republic of Korea

Representative of Cuba

Representative of South Africa

Representative of Ukraine

Representative of Argentina

Representative of Netherlands

Representative of Mexico

Representative of Egypt

Representative of Brazil

Representative of Colombia

Representative of Peru

Representative of Chile

Representative of Uruguay

Written By: WIT representative, Rosalind Cheung

Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate Illicit Arms Trade

An open-ended informal consultations session was held today at the United Nations Headquarters to consider the implementation of the Programme of Action (PoA) to prevent, combat and eradicate the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons in all its aspects. This meeting focussed on compiling a draft based on the recommendations by the member states in preparation for the upcoming Fifth Biennial Meeting of states from 16th to 20th June 2014.

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In their recommendations, the speakers underscored the nature of present day conflicts as being mostly fought with small arms and therefore, stressed upon the importance of combating this illicit trade. Small arms have become major instruments of tactical and strategic use to terrorists in recent years, thereby, calling for an immediate and a proactive action by the international community.

The delegations of Member states endeavored to produce a collective document at the Fifth Biennial Meeting of states to reflect a collective consensus. The delegation of Cuba recommended that each state establish their own rules, standards, and indicators, conforming to and in consistency with their national priorities, which have to be agreed upon collectively.

Many delegations spotlighted the key role of the civil society in catalyzing international cooperation. Non-governmental organizations can contribute to this process by providing expertise and raising awareness about the devastating consequences of the illicit trade of small arms and light weapons.

The delegation of Mexico proposed to include targeted control measures for illicit brokering, special attention to countries affected by endemic violence and the promotion of synergies between PoA and other instruments, such as the Firearms Protocol and the ATT. The idea of promoting synergies between different instruments will be a stepping-stone towards providing a mutual reinforcement for achieving a control at global level. The cooperation and consensus, hence achieved, would foster a culture of peace, which is the ultimate objective of preventing, combating and eradicating illicit trade in small arms and light weapons.

Meeting Title: Informal consultation on the Programme of Action (PoA) to prevent, combat and eradicate illicit arms trade
Chair: H.E. Dr. Zahir Tanin, Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to the United Nations
Date: 13 June, 2014
Location: CR 2, CB, United Nations HQ, New York
Written by WIT representative: Nusrat Laskar