Asia-Pacific countries to address threat of illicit small arms trade – South Asia Time

Asia-Pacific countries to address threat of illicit small arms trade

 January 23, 2024  

Kathmandu — Delegations from over 25 countries in Asia-Pacific countries have gathered in Kathmandu to collectively tackle the spectra of illicit arms’ trade.     

The three-day regional preparatory meeting for the fourth review conference of the United Nations Programme for Action (UN PoA) to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All its Aspects and International Tracing Instrument has kicked off on Tuesday.     

The meeting would be chaired by President designate of the fourth review conference Maritza Chan Valverde of Costa Rica as well as Izumi Nakamitsu, UN Under-Secretary-General and High Representatives for Disarmament Affairs.     

UN PoA, established in 2001 at the UN General Assembly, is a critically and politically binding framework. It provides framework for activities to counter illicit trade in small arms and light weapons.     

It also encompasses commitments by UN member states to enhance control measures over small arms, including through improved national regulations, stockpile management, import/export controls and international cooperation.     

The adoption of the International Tracing Instrument in 2005 further strengthened the mechanism and facilitated tracing, emphasizing the need for effective marking and record keeping of weapons.     

These measures are an integral part of global efforts to address the challenges posed by the illicit arms trade and are in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).     

UN member states will periodically review the progress of their commitments at the fourth review conference to be held in New York from June 16 -27, 2024.     

A meeting of the preparatory committee will be held to prepare the basis for the meeting. United Nations Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Asia and the Pacific region in collaboration with the Government of Nepal has organized this regional meeting in Kathmandu. The regional meeting will hold discussions with the participating countries and other stakeholders, including civil society organizations, to identify the challenges related to small arms and light weapons specified in the region and to discuss the priorities of the review conference. The meeting will make thematic presentations and group-wise discussions on formulating an effective national policy, increasing the tracing of small and light arms through the International Tracing Instrument format and identifying and formulating strategies to control demand and supply. (RSS)