SECRETARY-GENERAL'S STATEMENT (Press Release of 10 July 2006)
The United Nations Conference to review the implementation of the Programme of Action on the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons ended on 7 July 2006 without agreeing on an outcome document.
In spite of differences on follow-up details, the Conference did succeed in recalling the issue of small arms and light weapons to the attention of the international community, which clearly remains committed to the Programme of Action as the main framework for measures to curtail the illegal trade in these weapons.
The UN Programme of Action, adopted in 2001, is still in operation. It already brought over 50 countries to toughen their laws against illegal guns and 60 countries to destroy large number of them. These efforts spared large numbers of lives and will likely continue to do so.
Delegates from all parts of the world reaffirmed during the Conference that the most urgent task is to take firm steps to control illicit arms brokers. This issue will be studied in depth by a United Nations intergovernmental expert group, which will hold its first session in November 2006.