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Statements in International Organisations


United Nations - General Assembly (New York)

Informal Open-Ended Consultations regarding the Third 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.

Statement on behalf of the European Union by Ms Aleška Simkić Deputy Permanent Representative of Slovenia to the United Nations

Mr. Chairman,

I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union.

The Candidate Countries Turkey, Croatia* and The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia,* the Countries of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidates Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, as well as Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova and Armenia align themselves with this declaration.


Mr. Chairman,

The European Union sees the proliferation, widespread availability and illicit trafficking of Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) as one of the most dangerous challenges and threats to global stabilisation and security, as well as to economic and social development and prosperity. The origin and the consequences of the proliferation of this kind of weapons can and should be dealt with on national, regional and global level. States, international organisations and NGOs should be encouraged to perform different but well co-ordinated tasks at various levels. A variety of approaches is not only possible but also desirable.

In December 2005, the European Union, a major contributor in the fight against illicit accumulation and trafficking of SALW, developed its full-fledged strategy. This so called EU SALW strategy places under a single heading all the instruments at the disposal of the Union, political and financial, to fight against the scourge that the illicit traffic of SALW represents and constitutes a concrete response to the UN Programme of Action, which reaffirms the need for complementarity at global, regional and national levels in its implementation.

The UN Programme of Action plays a vital role in stemming SALW proliferation. We have been promoting a good preparation for the third biennial meeting. After the disappointing results of the Review Conference, a successful Biennial Meeting of States Parties must be assured. We appreciate and strongly support your endeavours, Ambassador ekuolis to prepare for this important event on the basis of broad-based and transparent consultations and would like to thank you for today's introductory remarks. We are convinced that your focused approach will yield positive results in July this year.

You proposed three important topics:

  1. The International Tracing Instrument: Global standards on marking and tracing of SALW are essential in tracking the illicit trade of these weapons. The adoption of the International Instrument on Marking and Tracing was a first important step in the implementation of the UN Programme of Action in this regard. We support full implementation, and further strengthening in the future, of the International Instrument to Enable States to identify and Trace, in a timely and reliable manner, Illicit Small Arms and Light Weapons (The International Tracing Instrument) inter alia by making it legally binding. The EU adopted a Joint Action to sponsor regional seminars for the promotion of the International Tracing Instrument in Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean and in South East Asia.
  2. Brokering controls: Illicit brokering is recognised as being among the main factors fuelling the illicit trade in SALW world-wide. We welcome the report of the Group of Governmental Experts (GGE) established by the Secretary-General pursuant to resolution 60/81. We all need to implement the recommendations contained in the report as well as continue consideration of further steps to prevent, combat and eradicate illicit brokering in SALW. In this respect, in 2003 the European Union adopted a Common Position requiring Member States to introduce national legislation to effectively control the activities of brokering.
  3. Stockpile management and surplus destruction: Insufficiently secured stockpiles in storage depots constitute a threat to security, health and the environment. This is particularly true for stockpiles of Small Arms and Light Weapons. Currently there is a growing awareness of the importance of the ammunition problem. In this regard, we look forward to supporting the work of the Group of Governmental Experts on Conventional Ammunition Stockpiles in Surplus established pursuant to resolution 61/72.


Mr. Chairman,

The European Union is looking forward to a fruitful exchange of views on the third biennial meeting and its preparation, so that we can achieve a successful outcome. We would like to underline the need for a full and active participation of all States. We should bear in mind that the results of this year's meeting is crucial for our work to prevent loss of human lives caused by SALW.

Thank you Mr. Chairman.


*Croatia and The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.


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Date: 06.02.2008