Background

More than a decade has passed since the adoption of the UN Programme of Action (PoA) in 2001. The PoA laid the foundation for action at the national, regional and global levels. The Second Review Conference will offer the opportunity to review the progress made in the implementation of the PoA, including the separately agreed International Tracing Instrument (ITI) (2005).

Program of Action Implementation Support System

Essential documents
Report of Review Conference (with Outcome Documents annexed)

[A] [C] [E] [F] [R] [S]

Final outcome document (CRP3 rev.3: adopted on Sep. 7)

 

[A] [C] [E] [F] [R] [S]

Agenda [A] [C] [E] [F] [R] [S]

Programme of work (30 Aug) [A] [C] [E] [F] [R] [S]

More documents


Photo courtesy of BICC

COMBATTING THE ILLICIT TRADE IN SMALL ARMS

Most present-day conflicts are fought with small arms and light weapons. They are the weapons of choice in civil wars and for terrorism, organized crime and gang warfare.
Illicit small arms have a negative impact on security, contribute to the displacement of civilians, facilitate the violation of human rights and hamper social and economic development.
Secretary-General's report to the Security Council on small arms

 


Photo courtesy of MAG 

COMBATTING THE ILLICIT TRADE IN SMALL ARMS

To address the issue of illicit small arms, the United Nations adopted in 2001 the Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects (PoA).
The PoA contains concrete suggestions for improved national legislation and controls, regional cooperation, and international assistance and cooperation. It covers a wide range of topics including: small arms manufacturing; marking, record-keeping, and tracing; stockpile management and security; surplus identification and disposal; brokering; public awareness; and DDR programmes.
Programme of Action on Small Arms

 


Photo Courtesy of BICC:  Weapons storage facility in South Sudan

COMBATTING THE ILLICIT TRADE IN SMALL ARMS

The Programme of Action on Small Arms recommended starting negotiations on a separate instrument on tracing illicit small arms. In 2005, the International Tracing Instrument (ITI) was adopted by the UN General Assembly.
If weapons can be traced back to their last legal owner, they need to have been marked, and a record should be kept. In the ITI, governments have committed to do just that.
International Tracing Instrument


Photo Courtesy of MAG 

COMBATTING THE ILLICIT TRADE IN SMALL ARMS

Since 2001 a number of States have enacted new, or have revised existing legislation. Some States have integrated small arms action plans into national development strategies. The number of regional or sub-regional initiatives, guidelines and instruments inspired by the PoA has multiplied.
Cooperation and assistance among States and regional organizations have increased. And there has been an increased awareness and understanding of how small arms problems relate to broader issues, such as armed violence, economic and social development, transnational crime and terrorism.
Secretary-General's report to the Security Council on small arms

 


Photo courtesy of the DRC National Commission

COMBATTING THE ILLICIT TRADE IN SMALL ARMS

Member States have gathered periodically to review the implementation of the Programme of Action and the International Tracing Instrument, and how to strengthen their implementation. Over the past decade, four Biennial Meetings of States were held. In 2011, technical officials have gathered for a meeting of governmental experts, to discuss how marking, record-keeping and tracing of small arms could be improved.

 

 
UN Photo/Devra Berkowitz 

COMBATTING THE ILLICIT TRADE IN SMALL ARMS

The Second Review Conference on the Programme of Action will be held from 27 August to 7 September 2012 in New York. Much has changed since 2001, including that rich countries have agreed that small arms control activities are formally eligible for development assistance. So this will be an opportunity for States to review progress made in the implementation of the Programme of Action and the International Tracing Instrument, and to discuss plans for further implementation in the coming years.
Ambassador Joy Ogwu of Nigeria was nominated as the President of the Review Conference.
Webpage of the Review Conference

 

President
 
Ambassador
Joy Ogwu
 
"My mission can only be successful if the feeling is shared that the illicit trade in small arms forms a huge impediment for growth, development, safety and security
AmbMcLay
anywhere in the world, and that we need to design our way forward as a team with a common goal. I will conduct the complete process in a fully transparent way; working with all partners on how best to progress towards an outcome that is satisfying for all".

Letters from the Chairperson-designate

dot 21 August 2012
dot 6 June 2012
dot 14 March 2012
dot 24 January 2012
dot 30 December 2011
dot 15 December 2011
30 November 2011
National reports

Voluntary standards

The United Nations is developing a set of international small arms control standards (ISACS) to provide guidance to policymakers and practitioners on a range of small arms control issues.
These voluntary standards will be launched at a side event during the Review Conference.

ISACS website        Launch of ISACS

Regional preparations

Regional Preparations for the 2012 Review Conference
supported by the European Union



Asia

Regional meeting on the PoA for Asian States (5-6 March 2012, Bali, Indonesia)
[Co-Chair's notes] [ASEAN+3]
[SAARC member Countries]

Americas
Regional meeting on the PoA for Latin America and the Caribbean States (12-13 April 2012, Kingston, Jamaica) Chair's summary [E] [S]

Africa
Regional meeting on the PoA for States of subregions of Africa(14-15 August 2012, Nairobi, Kenya) Meeting summary [E]

Europe

 


Information for NGOs

List of NGOs

Accreditation:
Aide-mémoire for NGOs

NGO focal point:
newyork@iansa.org

UN contact:
UNODA-web@un.org