Illicit flows of small arms and light weapons undermine security and the rule of law. They are often a factor behind the forced displacement of civilians and massive human rights violations.
In 2001, countries adopted the Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects (PoA). In it, governments agreed to take measures to improve national small arms laws, import and export controls, stockpile management, and to engage in regional and international cooperation and assistance.
In 2005 they also adopted the International Tracing Instrument (ITI), which requires governments to ensure that weapons are properly marked. Moreover, it provides a framework for cooperation in weapons tracing – fulfilling one of the commitments governments made in the Programme of Action.
Meetings and national reports on PoA and ITI are always combined.