Today marked the beginning of a five day event organized to generate conversation about a potential programme of action aimed at controlling and ultimately preventing the illicit trade of small arms and light weapons. H.E. Mr. Tanin, chair of this meeting, opened the dialogue by discussing our need for more innovative methods in improving our collective control over the proliferation of these weapons. He then outlined the three topics that need to be tackled over the upcoming days, including discussions on stock pile management, international cooperation and assistance, and an agreed upon outcome document. H.E. Mr. Tanin truly highlighted the importance of this event by claiming that the success of the post-2015 sustainable development agenda is contingent on the prevention and reduction of armed violence. Only effective action against illicit trade of weapons at national, regional, and global levels can provide an environment conducive to success for the sustainable development goals.
Mr. Prins continued the opening remarks with an overview of the 2014 national reports, with a focus on those countries that requested international assistance. Following these remarks, the debate on stock pile management ensued. The Permanent Representative of the EU sparked the dialogue by stating the need to devote attention to countries where ill managed stock piles could potentially have devastating effects, particularly those emerging from recent conflict.
Furthermore, Representatives from both Jamaica and Japan brought attention to the role women need to play in this fight. Through educating children and working to prevent the recruitment of child soldiers, women can play a vital role in containing this crisis. Finally, while the Representative from the Arab Group stressed their complete commitment to combat the illicit trade of weapons, they also stated their belief that the final document should not propose a cumbersome task for developing countries, and instead should be in accordance with the abilities and capacities of all countries.
Meeting Title: Fifth Biennial Meeting of States to Consider 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
Speakers: H.E. Mr. Zahir Tanin, Ambassador of Afghanistan to the UN; Mr. Daniel Prins, Conventional Arms Branch Chief of the UNODA; Permanent Representative of the European Union; Permanent Representative of Jamaica on behalf of CARICOM; Permanent Representative of Japan; Permanent Representative of the Arab Group; Permanent Representative of Pakistan; Permanent Representative of China; Permanent Representative of Iraq
Location: Conference Room 3, United Nations HQ, New York
Date: 16 June 2014
Written By WIT Representative: Zachary Halliday
Edited by WIT Representative: Marli Kasdan