First Committee of the 69th session of the General Assembly- 27 October 2014

In addressing the First Committee during the Regional Disarmament Cluster, the following delegations discussed the roles of various regional centers, small arms and light weapons (SALW) and the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT): Belize on behalf of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), Suriname on behalf of the Union of the South American Nations (UNASUR), Algeria, Gabon, Malta, Myanmar, and New Zealand.

Myanmar reiterated the important role that Regional Centers play in promoting disarmament, non-proliferation and arms control measures at the regional level and in disseminating and sharing concepts, ideas, and best practices through the medium of national and regional disarmament forums. CARICOM emphasized that it takes a practical and innovative approach at regional and sub-regional levels in order to tackle the various security threats posed to the region, including from transnational organized crime and the illicit trade in SALW. CARICOM have formally included Security as the Fourth Pillar of their regional integration and continues to engage in collective action and forge partnerships that demonstrate their commitment.

CARICOM countries and others in the wider Caribbean Region, continue to benefit from the project ‘Promoting Firearms Marking in Latin America and the Caribbean’. Further, it stated that the project has assisted countries that have signed the ‘Inter-American Convention Against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Ammunition, Explosives, and Other Related Materials’ to meet their obligations.

In addition, CARICOM stressed that the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament, and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean (UNLIREC) is an important partner in its efforts to combat the illicit trade in SALW and ammunition. The Regional Centre has assisted CARICOM member states in enhancing the capacity of law enforcement and judicial personnel which has improved stockpile management capacities and in aligning national legislation with global and regional instruments. Further, UNASUR highlighted that UNLIREC has succeeded in implementing programs of work that are characterized by their interdisciplinary approach and the level of coordination with the different actors in the region.

Gabon welcomed the cooperation between the Regional Center for Peace and Disarmament in Africa (UNREC) and the Central African Convention for the Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons, their Ammunition, Parts and Components that can be used for their Manufacture, Repair or Assembly (also known as the Convention of Kinshasa). It noted its appreciation for UNREC and it’s reporting to the Secretariat on the development of harmonization with Central African States and international and regional instruments, such as the Convention of Kinshasa, the UNPoA, and the ATT.

UNPoA

Azerbaijan highlighted the importance of conventional arms control regimes as important instruments for ensuring stability, predictability and transparency in the military sphere, and underscored its commitment to the UNPoA, in addition to its support for Security Council Resolution 2117 dedicated to SALW.

Gabon welcomed the successful outcome of the 5th biennial meeting of states (BMS5) and underscored the importance of establishing a legally binding instrument regarding the marking and tracing of SALW. Azerbaijan also stressed the importance of supporting development in the area of tracing and record keeping of SALW.

Further, Algeria and Gabon underlined their concern for the illicit transfer and circulation of SALW to terrorist groups and reiterated the importance of strengthening regional and sub-regional efforts to combat this illicit trafficking.

ATT

Malta and Gabon welcomed the entry into force of the ATT. Malta stressed that the success and relevance of the ATT is dependent on effective implementation and universalization. UNASUR drew attention to the initiatives undertaken by UNLIREC in response to requests by States in Latin America and the Caribbean to provide assistance for the implementation of the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT). New Zealand paid tribute to its Kathmandu Centre’s ongoing focus on activities to support the ATT, which included assisting with funding and participating in the Dialogue meeting held in the Philippines in November last year which facilitated a very good exchange between Asia/Pacific colleagues on the ATT. It also stressed the Centre’s involvement in the meeting hosted in Auckland last December to assist with the conclusion of the Model Legislation on the ATT.