The Fifth Biennial Meeting of States on small arms and light weapons adopted by consensus an outcome document that highlighted the international community’s renewed commitment to preventing, combating and eradicating the illicit trade.
The text, adopted as orally revised, covered several main areas, including implementation of the 2001 Programme of Action and international tracing instrument; global cooperation and assistance; and follow-up to the Second Review Conference in 2012, recommending steps for the way forward.
To further implementation of the Action Programme, States were encouraged to continue strengthening stockpile management, including physical security measures, particularly in conflict and post-conflict situations, to prevent the diversion to the illicit trade, illegal armed groups, terrorists, and other unauthorized recipients.
On tracing, States noted with concern in the text that recent developments in manufacturing, technology and design of small arms and light weapons, including those presented in the Secretary-General’s report (A/CONF.192/BMS/2014/1), posed new challenges for effective marking, record-keeping and tracing. They acknowledged, however, that those developments could be opportunities to enhance the process, and they sought further information from the Secretary-General on the topic.
Along those lines, States recommended that the open-ended Meeting of Governmental Experts in 2015 consider the implications of those developments, as well as practical steps to enhance the effectiveness of those processes nationally and consider the implications for international assistance and capacity-building.
On that point, all States and international organizations in a position to do so were encouraged to provide developing countries with the requisite training and capacity-building, upon their request.
Also by the text, States highlighted their grave concern about the devastating consequences of the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons on civilians, particularly on women and children, while acknowledging the important role of civil society organizations in supporting implementation of the Action Programme and Tracing Instrument.