29 June 2007
Security Council
SC/9063

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Security Council

5709th Meeting (AM)


SECURITY COUNCIL, GRAVELY CONCERNED AT DESTABILIZING EFFECT OF ILLICIT SMALL ARMS,


CALLS ON STATES TO OBSERVE EMBARGOES, DESTROY SURPLUS, IN PRESIDENTIAL STATEMENT


Noting with grave concern the destabilizing effect of the accumulation and illicit manufacture of small arms and light weapons in many regions of the world, the Security Council today called on all Member States to observe the arms embargoes established under its resolutions, and encouraged them to destroy surplus and obsolete small arms and light weapons.


In a statement read out by its President for June, Johan Verbeke ( Belgium), the Council encouraged States to strengthen stockpile management and to ensure that all small arms and light weapons were marked at the time of manufacture and import.  It also stressed the need to implement the 2001 United Nations Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All its Aspects, and the international instrument to enable timely identification and tracing of such weapons.


The Council noted that the trade and circulation of small arms and light weapons around the globe was increasing the intensity and duration of armed conflicts, undermining the sustainability of peace agreements, impeding the success of peacebuilding and frustrating efforts aimed at the prevention of armed conflict.  The presence of illicit arms and weapons was also considerably hindering the provision of humanitarian assistance, it further noted.


The Council thus encouraged national, regional and international efforts to end the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons.  It drew Member States’ attention, in particular, to the importance of strengthening export and border controls and to control brokering activities.


To facilitate further consideration of the question, the Council asked the Secretary-General to submit a biennial report, beginning in 2008, on his analysis of and observations on the implementation of the 2001 Programme of Action.


In the statement, the Council also reaffirmed the right of individuals and States to self-defence, as consistent with the United Nations Charter.


The meeting began at 10:14 a.m. and adjourned at 10:19 a.m.


Presidential Statement


The full text of presidential statement S/PRST/2007/24 reads as follows:


“The Security Council recalls its primary responsibility under the Charter of the United Nations for the maintenance of international peace and security.  In this regard, the Security Council recognises that the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons in all its aspects has hampered the peaceful settlement of disputes, fuelled such disputes into armed conflict and contributed to the prolongation of such armed conflicts.


“The Security Council notes with grave concern that the destabilising accumulation and illicit manufacture, trade and circulation of small arms and light weapons in many regions of the world increases the intensity and duration of armed conflicts, undermines the sustainability of peace agreements, impedes the success of peacebuilding, frustrates efforts aimed at the prevention of armed conflict, hinders considerably the provision of humanitarian assistance and compromises the effectiveness of the Security Council in discharging its primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security.


“The Council reaffirms the inherent right to individual or collective self-defence consistent with Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations.


“The Security Council notes the report of the Secretary-General to the Council entitled ‘Small Arms’ (S/2006/109) of 27 February 2006, and recalls the statements of its President of 17 February 2005 (S/PRST/2005/7), of 19 January 2004 (S/PRST/2004/1), of 31 October 2002 (S/PRST/2002/30), of 31 August 2001 (S/PRST/2001/21) and of 24 September 1999 (S/PRST/1999/28).


“The Security Council underlines the need to address this issue and, in this regard, requests the Secretary-General to submit to the Council on a biennial basis beginning in 2008, a report on small arms, containing his analysis, observations and recommendations, as well as his observations on the implementation of the United Nations Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All its Aspects, to facilitate its further consideration of the matter.


“The Security Council stresses the need to implement the United Nations Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects and the international instrument to enable States to identify and trace, in a timely manner, illicit small arms and light weapons, in order to make real progress in preventing, combating and eradicating the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons.  In particular, States are encouraged to strengthen physical security and stockpile management, destroy surplus and obsolete small arms and light weapons, ensure all small arms and light weapons are marked at the time of manufacture and import, strengthen export and border controls, and control brokering activities.


“The Security Council encourages increased efforts to end the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons at the national, regional and international level.


“The Security Council calls on all Member States to abide by their obligations to observe the arms embargoes established under relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions.”


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For information media • not an official record