Monday 16th June 2014

 

Summary (PDFs at bottom of page)

16 June 2014 – Morning session

The morning session was opened by the Deputy High Representative of Disarmament Affairs, Virginia Gamba.  She recalled that while over the past years there have been major achievements, member states still faced daunting challenges and hundreds of thousands of lives across the globe were destroyed by guns. Illegal guns created crime, conflict, threatened international aid workers and impeded development.

In reference to the 3 main items of the agenda, (Stockpile management, Consideration of ITI and International cooperation and assistance), she noted that they are all vital to combatting the illicit SALW trade and thus addressing the needs of today’s world. She expressed confidence that the close examination of these topics would enable member states to identity the practical measures necessary to address the fragility of peace and security.

She underlined that International Governmental Organizations (IGOs) and Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs) are essential partners; and noted that the BMS week coincided with the Global Week of Action Against Gun Violence, which has the strong support of the United Nations Office of Disarmament Affairs.

The meeting proceeded to the election of the Chair.

In his statement the Chair stressed that Afghanistan had been one of the major victims of illicit SALW trade. Millions of illegal arms and light weapons have been imported or trafficked into Afghan territory and been used to kill and injure hundreds of thousands of Afghans. These weapons have fueled the cycle of violence in Afghanistan, prolonging conflict and affecting all citizens. The government was highly sensitive of the negative impact of illicit weapons around the world.  The PoA and the ITI remain the cornerstone of all efforts to tackle the complex issue of illicit SALW trade which continues to wreak havoc in MENA and delay socio-economic development. This topic has never been more timely, the post -2015 sustainable development agenda being so entwined with effective action against illicit trade of SALW at all levels. This is central to achieving any of the post 2015 goals. People can only fully realize development goals if their safety is secured.

Under Agenda Item 5: the meeting proceeded to the election of the vice chairs of the meeting.

Daniel Prins from UNODA took the floor to give a factual summary of the national reports received.  He explained that reporting was now web-based, supported by the second review conference of 2012, that assistance was encouraged to be included where relevant in national reports.  Since 2001, 162 countries have reported at least once.  In 2014, only 60 states have submitted reports, while 133 have not.  The majority of member states submitting national reports used the online reporting template. While countries had been requested to provide a national point of contact, 37 of the 60 had not included it.  With regard to requests for assistance, 37 of the 60 submissions had not included request for assistance, while 23 did. The themes of these requests for assistance were:  manufacture, transfers, brokering, stockpile management, destruction, confiscation/seizure, record keeping, tracing, implementation. 

Regarding tracing, Mr. Prins mentioned that 18 countries had received tracing requests, including two countries which received over 500 tracing requests.

National reports are online and open to everyone to consider, and analyze.

The thematic debate on stockpile management started.The following member states took the floor: Argentina, Brazil, Cape Verde, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Egypt, EU, France, Guatemala, India, Iraq, Jamaica (on behalf of CARICOM), Japan, Kazakhstan, Nigeria, Pakistan, Qatar (on behalf of the Arab group), Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Spain, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, Venezuela

  • Cuba, EU, India called for full implementation of the PoA
  • CARICOM, EU, Guatemala, South Africa, considered physical security and stockpile management (PSSM) as high on the agenda for BMS5
  • CARICOM, EU, Republic of Korea,South Africa, noted that the diversion of SALW occurred primarily through poorly managed stockpiles, which posed a significant risk to human security as explosive incidents were happening at regular intervals
  • EU, France saw that abandonment of SALW made stockpiles accessible to terrorists, and combatants
  • Cape Verde, CARICOM, Dominican Republic, Iraq, Nigeria, South Korea, emphasized the need to address the illicit trade in SALW as a necessary measure to ensure socio-economic development
  • CARICOM, Colombia, EU, France, JAPAN, South Africa, Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, considered ammunition as part of a comprehensive approach to stockpile management and physical security; ammunition required urgent attention.
  • South Africa stressed the need to regard the illicit trade of small arms and light weapons in ALL ITS ASPECTS
  • Costa Rica, South Africa, Spain noted the need to incorporate stockpile management into DDR programs
  • EU believed that particular attention should be paid to countries emerging from conflict where stockpiles could have a particularly deleterious effect
  • For Argentina, Cape Verde, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, EU, Republic of Korea, Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, developed countries needed to provide to developing countries financial support and international assistance, capacity building, and timely support via exchanging good practices
  • CARICOM underlined the importance of establishing indicators or benchmarks, to allow for critical self-assessment and a regional peer review mechanism comprised of regional experts. For Nigeria, however, even if benchmarks were needed they should not be enforced but voluntary. China did not support universal benchmarks, while Brazil saw benchmarks as necessary but that they needed to be nationally defined  
  • The need to better include women in disarmament and control of illicit trade in SALW was reaffirmed by CARICOM, Costa Rica, Japan, South Africa, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago
  • Japan and Republic of Korea saw a mutual reinforcement of state efforts on the case of illicit SALW through the adoption of the Arms Trade Treaty and UNSC Resolution 2117, the first to directly address SALW; Spain had developed an inter-ministerial group to implement the UNSC 2117 resolution at the national level; Costa Rica also called into consideration the adopting of UNSC 2117 
  • Arab Group, Cape Verde, Colombia, Cuba, reaffirmed that financial assistance and material resources must be provided to build national capacity.  It was also important to review the available technologies and provide an adequate price for developing countries (Arab Group).
  • Cape Verde, Dominican Republic,Guatemala, India, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, Russia, Venezuela, each mentioned that illicit SALW trade contributed to overall crime including: narcotics drug trafficking, human trafficking, terrorism or organized crime
  • Egypt,Pakistan, Qatar stressed the need to adhere to the mandate of the PoA
  • Cuba did not support universal methods of reporting, marking nor tracing SALW; Venezuela said it did not oppose the establishment of indicators and standards but needed to be consulted and not have it imposed. 
  • Argentina, Cape Verde, Guatemala,South Africa valued the input and support of civil society in the implementation of stockpile management processes
  • The following countries noted the importance of border surveillance: Colombia, Cape Verde, Cuba, Iraq, Kazakhstan especially called for maritime surveillance 
  •  Argentina identified a need for synergy among various instruments in regard to managing the illicit trade
  • Saudi Arabia, Russia, Egypt called for evaluation of progress made since the adoption of the PoA;
  • Colombia, Thailand, Venezuela noted the importance of capacity building and information sharing
  • EU suggested further developing agreed standards and best practices based on the International Small Arms Control Standards (ISACS) and the International Ammunition Technical Guidelines (IATG).
  • The Arab Group noted that the large countries that produce and export arms should take the necessary steps to combat illicit trade of SALW in all its aspects; there must be transparency in procedures adopted, particularly with the contracts that have been concluded;
  • For Colombia destruction was a necessary component to physical safety and stockpile management. 
  • Cuba suggested that donor states provide timely reports on the progress of aid provision
  • Colombia stated that there should be a national diagnosis of needs with respect of PSSM
  • Republic of Korea called for special attention to be paid to address illicit brokering activities by linking illegitimate suppliers to potential buyers
  • For India the PoA should be separated from the ITI
  • Thailand believed that additional mandates involving UN peace keeping missions should be discussed by the security council and not at the BMS
  • Brazil stated that more conversation needed to be held in regards to new technological developments to fight against diversion
  • Russian Federation called for a ban on transfer at all times of SALW to non-government entities, strict regulation including direct control by states within the territory of their jurisdiction on manufacturing and brokering activities on export of arms; minimizing the number of brokers; government bans on manufacturing of SALW by non-licensed manufacturers. A universal ban on SALWs to non-state actors would cut off one of the channels of diversion to the illicit markets; these measures are not one that have financial implications but are based on political good will.

 

 

16 June 2014 – Afternoon session

The afternoon session continued the thematic debate considering the implementation of the Programme of Action in all its aspects at the national, regional and global levels, including stockpile management, including physical security measures of small arms and light weapons.

After the chair reopened discussions the order of speakers was; OSCE (Moldova), Mexico, Australia, Malaysia, the Netherlands, Israel, Palestine, United Kingdom, Switzerland, Belarus, Canada, the USA, Mali, Benin, Nicaragua and Austria.

Nearly all states made reference to the importance of stockpile management for combating the illicit trade in SALW. Related to that was the need to improve the physical security of these stocks. Australia and Mexico both outlined stockpile management as an issue that has wide ramifications. They stated that poor security is a major cause of diversion and it can also lead to accidents and explosions. The Netherlands stated that stockpile management and physical security needed to be integrated into the wider disarmament process, in an integrated approach. The Swiss and UK delegations both emphasised the importance of stockpile management and physical security, because of the detrimental effects on development caused by accidents and explosions. The USA referred to its $2.3bn contribution to stockpile destructions, and pointed out that conflict or post-conflict states were very vulnerable to losing control of their stockpiles. Thus there was a general call for the improvement of stockpile management and physical security.

There were also detailed statements about the legislation that states had put in place to improve stockpile management or implement the PoA. Belarus and Malaysia both discussed their regulations, such as regular reviews of stockpiles and destruction of all confiscated SALW, as a positive way of dealing with the issue. Mali spoke about its National action plan to implement the PoA, which included training centres. Nicaragua discussed national legislation to create a coordination body that formulates policy and works to develop a culture of peace.

Regarding ammunition, Australia, Austria, Netherlands, and Switzerland recommended including ammunition in the discussions. Australia mentioned that poorly secured ammunition stockpiles could lead to diversion and explosions, so supported the inclusion of ammunition as part of comprehensive approach to stockpile management. Austria also supported this comprehensive approach. Netherlands supported the inclusion of ammunition, to ensure an integrated approach. Switzerland recommended exploring ways to include ammunition in the discussions, since it is an essential component of SALW. However, the USA strongly objected to these continued references to ammunition, stating that the topic should be discussed in a different forum.

Australia, Austria, Netherlands and the USA supported the role of women in policymaking, planning and implementation processes related to SALW, citing Security Council Resolution1325 in support. These include processes related to stockpile management, including physical security measures. Australia supported a strong commitment to women’s decision-making and involvement in combating SALW. Netherlands also mentioned that including gender perspective in decision-making is important and women should be an integral part of efforts. The USA also supported the discussion of lifecycle management and marking and the role of women.

Numerous countries made reference to international standards and guidelines, with a wide range of view represented. Australia, Austria and Switzerland all called for the adoption of international standards and guidelines, suggesting the adoption into the PoA of the International Small Arms Control Standards (ISACS) and the International Ammunition Technical Guidelines (IATG). However, the USA strongly objected to this, stating it supported ‘voluntary guidelines’ but would oppose international standards. Belarus, Malaysia and Mexico stated that they already had standards and procedures in place, but did not indicate whether they welcomed or were opposed to international standards.

There was support from Australia, Mali, Mexico, OSCE (represented by Moldova) and the USA for the continued reference, within the outcome document, to Security Council Resolution 2117.

The issue of border control was referred to by Israel and Mexico. Mexico called for cooperation of all states to strengthen border controls and Israel stated that border controls and the prevention of trafficking and smuggling needed to be a main focus.

There were numerous references to cooperation and assistance, both from countries calling for it to be increased, and countries describing the assistance they give. Australia, OSCE, the UK and the USA all spoke about the assistance they give to developing countries and regional groups, to improve stockpile management and increase capabilities and training. Belarus called for more regional cooperation and international projects to increase stockpile security. Benin also called for greater assistance and exchange of technology and training. Mali thanked Germany for the help already given and advocated for the usefulness of international assistance and cooperation.

Australia and Austria both thanked the Secretary General for his report on technology and its impact on SALW. Israel also mentioned technology, seeking an addition to paragraph 5 of the draft outcome document to include the use of ‘sophisticated technology” to help combat diversion in post-conflict regions. The USA was wary about highlighting some technologies over others and wanted only general references to technology in the outcome document.

Australia, Benin, the Netherlands and Mexico all welcomed the mention of the ATT into the BMS5 discussions, but the USA opposed discussion of anything outside of the PoA.

Australia, Mali, and the Netherlands noted the importance, where mandated and in full consultation with relevant stakeholders, of integrating stockpile management measures with wider national Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) and Security Sector Reform (SSR) programmes, particularly in conflict and post-conflict situations. Australia supported the inclusion in DDR of physical security and stockpile management. Mali stated that the inclusion of Security Council Resolution 2117 should lead to better implementation of DDR. Netherlands noted the need to integrate physical security and stockpile management activities into wider disarmament programmes and Security Sector Reform programmes.

Finally, certain states aligned themselves to statements made by regional groups or other states. Malaysia associated itself with NAM’s working paper. Netherlands aligned itself to the statement of the EU. Palestine agreed with the statement from Qatar on behalf of the Arab Group.

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BMS5 DAY 1 Monday AM.pdf73.57 KB
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