First Committee of the 69th session of the General Assembly- 28 October 2014

On 28 October 2014 the following delegations addressed issues regarding international security: Jamaica on behalf of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), Cuba, Pakistan, and Trinidad and Tobago. In addition, NGOs had the opportunity to address the First Committee, with Control Arms, IANSA and Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom speaking on the topics of small arms and light weapons (SALW) and the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT).

Pakistan noted the threat of technological advancements in conventional arms to international peace and security. Cuba reiterated that collective agreements are the only way of guaranteeing international peace and security, while stressing that multilateralism and peaceful negotiations are the sole means of resolving international disputes. IANSA further stressed that increased partnerships- among states as well as between states and civil society are essential.

CARICOM welcomed the growing attention for the gender aspect in disarmament and the strengthening of the participation of women in all aspects of disarmament, non-proliferation and arms control. CARICOM and Trinidad and Tobago emphasized the importance of draft resolution A/C.1/69/L.47 Women, disarmament, non-proliferation and arms control. Trinidad and Tobago stated that this year’s draft resolution is expansive in scope and reflects recent progress in the field of women and disarmament. It highlighted important changes in the draft resolution, namely the inclusion of language relating to women’s participation in the disarmament of SALW. It stressed that the resolution should be implemented efficiently and effectively and strongly believes that the resolution is more streamlined and focused in content. Control Arms also welcomed this draft resolution.

UNPoA

CARICOM and IANSA welcomed the outcome of the 5th Biennial Meeting of States (BMS5) on the UNPoA in June 2014. IANSA underscored the important advances made at BMS5, in particular, the commitment to increase the participation of women in small arms issues and the framing of small arms as a problem not just in conflict and post-conflict settings. IANSA stressed that the vast majority of gun violence occurs in crime and not in conflict. CARICOM also supported the inclusion of the participation and representation of women. The representative of IANSA, however, underscored topics that failed to gain consensus at BMS5, namely the formal recognition of the needs and rights of gun violence survivors and the inclusion of ammunition in the scope of the UNPoA.

IANSA further discussed the Omnibus Resolution which encourages states to implement ‘as appropriate’ the recommendations of the BMS5 report. IANSA is concerned that this phrase weakens even further the already modest obligations under the UNPoA. It suggested that ‘as appropriate’ in the resolution be replaced by ‘as reflected in the report’. The Resolution also emphasizes the need for civil society to strengthen cooperation and work with states to implement the UNPoA, and IANSA stressed that it stands ready to do so.

ATT

Trinidad and Tobago and Women’s International League of Peace and Freedom acknowledged the imminent entry into force of the ATT and supported the inclusion of the provision on gender based violence. Control Arms also welcomed the progress made on the ATT and acknowledged the strong momentum that remains. The representative did, however, stress that conflicts are fueling in many regions and civilians are the ones suffering the consequences. Control Arms urged for effective implementation as soon as possible and emphasized that the success on the treaty will be judged by the lives saved. Further, the representative welcomed the statements from many States noting the humanitarian aims of the Treaty and its potential to prevent arms from getting into the hands of human rights abusers, of terrorists, those who repress, and those who commit sexual and gender-based violence. IANSA also continue to work around the world for ratification and implementation of the treaty, in addition to developing synergies between the ATT and the UNPoA.