|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
Press Conference on Fourth Biennial Meeting on Small Arms, Light Weapons
Specific means of tracing small conventional arms and eradicating the illicit cross-border trade in them will be the focus of a Headquarters meeting next week, its designated Chairperson told correspondents at Headquarters this afternoon.
Pablo Macedo of Mexico, Chairperson-designate of the Fourth Biennial Meeting of States on Small Arms and Light Weapons (BMS4), told journalists that the meeting, to be held from 14 to 18 June, will review implementation of the 2001 Programme of Action on the illicit trade of those armaments.
Ewen Buchanan, of the United Nations Office for Disarmanent Affairs, presented Mr. Macedo and pointed out that the dedicated website of the meeting could be found at www.poa-iss.org/BMS4.
“The BMS has a lot on its plate”, Mr. Macedo said, noting that the Action Plan was an ambitious document which addressed actions to be taken at the national, subregional, regional and international levels. At each biennial meeting, the Bureau must work out priority issues to be tackled.
The upcoming meeting, he said, would have as its provisional areas of main concern the establishment of mechanisms to end the illicit cross-border trade and to mark weapons and trace them from their source to their end users, both of which were critical issues.
In addition, it would discuss international cooperation in implementing the Action Plan, strengthening follow-up to commitments made, and other issues that delegations might bring up, he said.
In filling out that agenda, Mr. Macedo said, he held extensive consultations during the past months in New York, Geneva, Kigali, Sydney and Lima, conferring with States, international and regional organizations, and representatives of the civil society and academia.
He said that most of the actors involved are convinced of the need to produce concrete results, building upon the achievements of the Third Biennial Meeting, which was the first to reach consensus, following a failure to do so in the first two.
Another priority of next week’s conference was laying the foundation for a successful Expert’s Meeting in 2011 and the Review Conference in 2012, as well as reviewing country reports, which were very important for building transparency and confidence.
He said, in addition, that many mechanisms to control small arms and light weapons were already in place around the world and a main objective of all the biennial reviews was strengthening them through multilateral and intersectoral cooperation.
Asked if he expected the gun lobby, especially from the United States, to remain in opposition to progress in controlling the illicit trade of the armaments, Mr. Macedo acknowledged that “not everybody likes the Programme of Action” and that there was still a strong gun lobby that could be very vocal.
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